Correcting storing paddy must follow certain rules in order to:
- Preserve viability and germination ability of seeds.
- Preserve the quality of paddy for processing.
- Avoid losses due to diseases, insects and rats.
- Avoid molding.
This operation, which is often neglected b producers, is one of the main causes of the qualitative depreciation of paddy.
The paddy harvested must be handled like any live biological product, as seeds are live organisms whose growth is temporarily suspended. The quality of paddy can be deteriorated by bacteria and fungi, for which the favorable conditions for development are: high moisture content of paddy, high relative huminidity of air, and high temperatures in the store. In order to prevent these risks, the following measures must be observed when storing paddy:
- Correctly dry the threshed paddy in the sun, until a moisture content of about 14% is obtained. This precentage is reached when the paddy is dried in the sun for 24 to 48 hours (wtih at least 8 hours of sun per day), and if harvesting has been done at the right time. If too dry, the internal moisture of the grain will fluctuate and lead to high breakage percentages during processing.
- Put the paddy in jute bags (preferably new), to allow good ventialtion of the product. If necessary, label th ebags, including the variety name and harvest dates.
- Clean the store and spray inside with a solution of malathion 2% or any othe rappropriate product to protect paddy against insects. Let it dry before storing the paddy.
- Place wooden pallets directly on the grond, so as to allow good ventilation around and under the bags. Leave some space between the bags and the walls.
- Lay the paddy bags one upon the other, taking care to alternate their orientation.
- Never store chemical products (fertilizers, herbicides, etc.) with the paddy.
- Check the stock once or twice per week; if insects or rats are detected, treat again, preferably wiht bio-pesticides like neem.
- When storing for a long time, check the moisture level of the grains; if it increases too much, dry again in the sun. To prevent this problem, once in a while put the stock in the sun for the day.