Metal tanks


Metal tanks are constructed from corrugated iron. They were originally designed as water tanks but found to make good grain stores. They can be made gas-tight (hermetic) with careful sealing but if using just normal closure then they are sufficiently well sealed for pest control by fumigation. They range in capacity from 200kg to 300kg. They should be located inside a house or under a shelter to protect then from sun and rain.  They should also be placed on wooden pallets to prevent contact with ground moisture corroding the metal.



Pest Control Status: Easily implemented by sealing storage
Storage Period: 3-12 months
Capacity: 200kg - 2t
Lifespan: 15 year - 20 year
Initial cost: US$ 178 - 500
Cost per tonne per year: US$ 10 - 29

Commodities stored:

Cereal grains, especially maize (Africa)and paddy rice (Bangladesh)






Materials used: Corrugated iron sheet and solder
Locations made: Manufactured locally and typically made to order



Life span: Typically 15 to 20 years but if installed outside so that they are exposed to the elements then about 10 years.




Marketing and promotions: No active marketing campaign, but through extension officers in Swaziland the government has encouraged the purchase and usage of these metal tanks.

Success and nature of marketing: Promotion appears to have been successful as the metal tanks are used throughout the Swaziland; though no formal study has been done.

Training as part of the campaign: Extension officers conducted practical training on the use of the metal tanks.




Degree of adoption: Metal tanks are widely used widely throughout Swaziland by maize growers who can afford it. In the late 1990s about 30,000 tanks were in use. In Comilla, Nertokona, Kustia, Bogra and Satkhira districts of Bangladesh, 15,000 farmers were trained and are reported to be using metal tanks.

Reason for adoption:
  1. Long lasting
  2. Rodent proof
  3. Easy to fumigate grain inside them
  4. Cheaper than other store types
  5. Easy to handle


Weaknesses of this store:

Barriers to adoption:

Overcoming barriers:
  1. Credit support
  2. Subsidy from government





Use by institutions: In Swaziland used by military centres, prisons, community maize storage at Chief’s homesteads, national maize corporation, milling companies. Commonly used by institutional players throughout Swaziland.

After uses: Scrap metal




What to like: NA

What to dislike: NA



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Located in: Sealable
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