On-farm grain storage and challenges in Bagmati Province, Nepal
Farmers in Nepal lose up to one-third of stored grain to pests and diseases. This results in food insecurity and loss of income. To mitigate these losses, farmers use several approaches includ-ing pesticide applications on stored grains. We interviewed 241 farmers in Bagmati Province, Nepal, to assess the current on-farm grain storage practices and challenges to improve postharvest man-agement. The results show that rice was the most stored crop (median 1150 kg). About half of farmers stored for at least nine months and grain was mainly used for home consumption. Grain was stored by 66.5 and 69.8% of farmers in granaries (rice) and plastic drums (legumes), respectively. Insects were the most important challenge during storage, and farmers used pesticides to control them. Farmers were more likely to use insecticide on grain (p = 0.000) if they stored rice, used traditional granaries, and had insect damage during storage. The use of improved storage methods (e.g., hermetic bags) was very low for rice (3.5%). There is a need to improve on-farm grain storage by disseminating storage innovations to address postharvest challenges in important crops such as rice.