Economics of on-farm maize storage in Tanzania: The case of Kilosa District

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University of Nairobi Kenya


This study describes the technological and economic aspects of traditional and improved farm level storage of maize in Kilosa district of rural Tanzania. A brief review of the maize industry in the country is provided. Storage patterns in two survey villages using two different kinds of traditional storage structures are examined followed by a temporal price analysis of the parallel market. An economic and financial appraisal of farm storage improvements is presented. Primary data from the survey villages and secondary data from the Ministry of Agr iculture and Livestock Development are the bas is for the analysis. The study reveals that farmers store grain mainly for home consumption with the surplus used for sale, seed and other socioeconomic obligations. The temporal pr ice analysis shows that parallel market price increases over time resulting from grain supply flactuations are in excess of storage costs. This provides an opportunity for storers to make profits. It is further noted that farmers are aware of rodent and insect pest losses incured in their traditional granaries. Proposed farm level storage improvements aimed at reducing these losses were found to be profitable in terms of parallel market prices. Benefit-cost ratios (BCR) ranging between 1:1 and 4:1 and internal rates of return (IRR) well above the cut-off rate of 18 percent were estimated. To ensure a stable food supply and restrained prices it is recommended that official prices should be made to vary over time to reflect storage costs. The costeffective improvements proposed in this text may further contribute to the realization of these objectives. To be more effective it is suggested in this study that future on-farm storage improvement programs prefer the multidisciplinary systems approach over the specialists symptomatic approach.




Technological economic aspects, On-farm maize storage, Tanzania, Kilosa District