Zimbabwe granary

An improved granary constructed from brick, concrete slabs, wire mesh and thatch is used in Zimbabwe. Internally the store has 6 separate compartments with a total capacity of 3 tonnes. Pest control is by insecticide admixture.

Pest Control Status: Initial disinfestation required before storage
Storage Period: 0-6 months
Capacity: 3t - 3t
Lifespan: 5 year - 5 year
Initial cost: US$ 133 - 233
Cost per tonne per year: US$ 9 - 16

Commodities stored:

All cereal grains (Zimbabwe)

Materials used: Brick pillars, wire-mesh reinforced concrete slab, brick wall, thatch grass roof
Locations made: Local trained artisans

Life span: 20-25 years. Models constructed in Zimbabwe in 1993/4 are still functional. Lifespan depends on constant and adequate roof cover with eaves extended to protect the granary walls.

Marketing and promotions: Have been promoted erratically throughout Zimbabwe through government departments and NGOs

Success and nature of marketing: No adoption studies have been done. NGOs typically built for target households. Government typically erected one to serve as a model and nucleus of technology dissemination

Training as part of the campaign:

Training took 2 forms:

  1. Hands-on training of builders in the target sites. The builders would then be expected to serve other customers along business lines
  2. Training of extension officers and mechanisation technicians on grain postharvest management

The training would be similar to that of the metal silos

Degree of adoption: No study done to determine the extent of adoption.

Reason for adoption:
  1. Durability
  2. Reduced pest entry into the store
  3. Improved security against theft

Weaknesses of this store:
  1. Fire could damage the roof
  2. Not women-user friendly, as someone has to climb into the granary compartments for routine grain withdrawal

Barriers to adoption:
  1. High cost
  2. Problems coordinating building time/builders availability with farmers resources/timing

Overcoming barriers:
  1. Train more builders so there can be more competition
  2. Introduce a group approach, so they take turns to raise resources for constructing a granary for each member, e.g. by selling part of the harvest and setting aside part of the moment for a granary

Use by institutions: Social welfare uses under the “Zunde RaMambo” scheme which caters for the less privileged in society such as orphans. It is coordinated by the traditional leaders.

After uses: No comment yet

What to like:
  1. Durable structure
  2. An adaptation of traditional granary
  3. Reduces LGB problem if combined with an effective pesticide
  4. The multi-compartment nature enables farmers to store different types of grain under one roof, allowing grain budgeting or allocation for different purposes or to different people.

What to dislike: Frequent re-thatching is required and sometimes the thatch grass may not be easily available because of veld fires or drought.


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