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LAHORE: Though Pakistan has shown progress and increase in production of almost all the crops in last ten years yet losses during harvesting and post-harvest management are a big concern for the country.

“Pakistan can save over $1.3 billion post-harvest losses by adopting hermetic and other latest grain storage technologies’, said Director General Agriculture (Extension) Punjab Dr Anjum Ali while exhibiting the advantages of Hermetic technology.

Maize stored in Hermetic Cocoon was shown to the farmers, agriculture department officers and other stakeholders at a ceremony at Deepalpur the other day.

He said that when the population of the country was producing 2.5 to 2.6 million tons of wheat when the population was around 3 million, but now we were producing around 27 million tons of wheat to feed the population of 220 million.

He said potato which was introduced in 1949 would get 7 to 7.5 million tons of produce this year and the department was arranging for the export of surplus crop, so farmers could get better compensation.

Dr Anjum Ali said that the department was working to tackle various challenges such as the introduction of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) technology and the use of less or responsible usage of pesticides etc. At the same time we were also a supporter of hermetic and other technologies that could save post-harvest losses and enhance farmers’ income even without making land to grow more, he added.

Hermetic Cocoons are available both for indoor and outdoor storage of grains, ensure control of infestation by the disallowing passage of oxygen that also nullifies chances of aflatoxin caused by moisture.

Dr Anjum said that the world is seeking healthy food for citizens free from aflatoxin and if Hermetic Cocoons are delivered on this front then national food exports could get a boost.

Farhan Tahir, Co-founder Kissan Gudam, the agri-tech introducing climate smart hermetic storage, said the farmers avoided storing their maize, rice, wheat and other grains for lack of infrastructure and finances. They also knew that conventional stores would cause weight loss, risk of infestation and aflatoxin.

Hermetic smart warehouses equipped with censors allow inspection and sale of the stored grain online eliminating the transportation charges, he said.

The farmers storing their grain at these storages could also get easy loans on Islamic terms up to 70pc of the value of the stored crop within 48 hours enabling them to sow the next crop, he added.

He said that at liquidation the farmers are paid the prices for their grains prevailing at the time that is almost double those at the harvesting time.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Shamsher H Khan Feb 17, 2023 08:27am
Dear Writer, this article is very good information regarding use of hermetic technology to avert postharvest grain losses. In fact this is one part of the whole situation. There are many factors affecting the stability of grains i.e types of grain storage, biological, technical, and mechanical. Based on my decades of experience in the grain sector and industry, the most important part is the management of grains during storage regardless the types of opting for storage technologies. The question arises how much does the nation pay for not using the appropriate grain storage technologies and practices. There might be an opportunity to discuss more, but I am glad some one talked on this and suggested use of grain storage technologies which are for away to adopt within the prevailing system. Best wishes
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