Economics of grain storage techniques for smallholder farmers in Kilosa District, Tanzania

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Sokoine University of Agriculture


Smallholder farmers lack knowledge on the amount of income lost from improper grain management after harvest thus they make uninformed decisions on the storage technique to use. This study aimed at assessing the economics of grain storage techniques in Kilosa district in Tanzania. Specifically, the study aimed at performing a cost benefit analysis of grain storage techniques, to determine farmers’ perceptions on the effectiveness of grain storage techniques and to establish determinants of farmers’ choices of grain storage techniques in the study area. A random sample of 153 farmers was drawn from farmers in Changarawe and Ilakala villages. The Net Present Value (NPV) and Cost Benefit Ratio (CBR) results from a cost benefit analysis of grain storage techniques suggest that it is more profitable to invest in the modern hermetic techniques known as Purdue Improved Crop Storage Bags (PICS) and metal silos than investing in traditional granaries and polypropylene bags. Likert scale and principal component analysis were used to deduce farmers’ perceptions on effectiveness of techniques. Farmers perceived hermetic modern techniques as the most effective in reduction of post-harvest crop losses. The Multinomial logistic regression was used to establish determinants of farmers’ choices of storage techniques where age was positive and significant for the choice of traditional granary over metal silo at 10% (P<0.1), expected price after storage was significant and negative for traditional granary and polypropylene bags over metal silo at 5% (P<0.05) and 10% (P<0.1) respectively. Education level of household head, investment costs, number of crops cultivated and percentage of crop stored for sell were significant and positive for the choice of polypropylene bags and PICS over metal silo at 1% (P<0.01) and 10%(P<0.1) respectively. The study concluded that hermetic techniques are not only feasible investments but also more effective in reduction of grain loss. The study recommends that farmers should invest in the feasible techniques while been financially supported to purchase effective grain loss reduction storage techniques for food security.


Dissertation of Agricultural and Applied Economics


Economics, Grain storage techniques, Smallholder farmers, Kilosa District, Tanzania