Friday, 11 May 2012

Block Day Report on Storage Grain Pest


We are very much thankful to our module teacher Mrs. Ugyen Yangchen for taking us to farm households to identify the storage grain pest and their management by the farmers. We were able to know the problems faced by farmers regarding the storage pests and we could identify pests. We also would like to thank the farmers of Tagochen, Shengana for sharing their valuable knowledge and providing time with us. Without them our objectives would have been in vain.
Moreover, we would also like to thank all of our friends for their support in writing this report.

Chapter One

1.1 Introduction

Post harvest is an important part of agriculture. If crops are not stored properly after harvest, pests and diseases would easily attack the grains in the storage thereby causing loss to the farmers. If the grains are not properly managed, they would cause a great loss to the farmers.

 1.2 Objectives

ü  To identify the type of pests and rodents affecting the crops
ü  To study the problems faced by the farmers with the storage grain pest

Chapter Two

It is important to know the pest in the storage as agriculture students. Without the knowledge about the storage grain pest, somebody may not be able to tell farmers how to manage the storage pests and rodents. Therefore, with the objectives to identify the type of pest and to study the problems faced by the farmers in storing the grains, we went to Shengana to interview farmers. It was found that the main pests attacking the storage grains are rice weevil and rats.


In order to fulfil the objectives, the information was collected from six farm households at Tagochen, Shengana under Punakha Dzongkha through structure and semi-structure interview.

Chapter Three - Results and Discussions

3.1 Cereal crops grown:

Rice is grown as the main crop in the summer by the farmers of Tagochen. In winter farmers said that they grow wheat, buckwheat and barley. Unlike rice, they grow maize for home consumption only. They also grow vegetable. According to Aum Yangdon, she said that she grows vegetable for home consumption only. 

3.2 Materials used to stored grains by the farmers of Tagochen

Farmers use following materials to store their grains:
a.      Bamboo basket

b.      Wooden boxes
             The problems in using wooden box are that, during summer seasons mosses and fungi grow thereby the grains in the box get damaged.

c.       Jute and Polythene bags 
                  The problems in storing the grains in jute and polythene bags are that, these bags are easily get damaged by rats. They create a hole and the grains are easily available to them.

d.      Metal drums
        The problems in using the metal drums are that, they get rusted and form rust which get mixed with grains and it is difficult to segregate.

3.3 Pest that attack the stored grains

 Some of the main pests in the storage are weevils, grain moth etc. ‘Most of the damages are done by the larvae of these pests in the storage’, said Ap Tawcho. According to Aum Kinley, rats are the most notorious pest. ‘It destroys the crops in the field and also in the storage’. She also said that, rats create nonsense by moving here and there inside the house and sometimes they make holes in the walls and brings lots of rubbish.

3.4 Management Practices

 Through their experiences, farmers have developed many types of storage system in order to prevent the loss from storage grain pest. Through the advice from the extensions and through their own experiences, they said that they are maintaining the sanitation.
Some of the management practices are stated below:
a.      Sunning/drying
 In case of rice moth, sun-drying is the only way to get rid-off the moths. She said that, while drying in the sun, the moth die and flies away due to the heat of the sun. During rainy days, it’s difficult for the household because, they cannot dry their grains in the sun. So, she said that most of the grains get damaged during rainy days.

b.      Trapping and predators
 In order manage the rodents like rats, she said that she use to keep traps in the runways of the rats and near the holes. She also keep cat to manage rats in the house. “Without cats, rats can destroy the whole storage grain”, said Ap Tawcho. Everybody says killing is sin but for farmers who depend on the crops has no options but to kill the pest that damage the grains. Otherwise, it would be great loss to the farmers.

c.       Sanitation
Sanitation is an important activity in storing grains. “If sanitation is not maintained, insects easily attack the grains”, Aum Chimmi said. She said that she use to clean the residues and unwanted grains in the storage containers.

d.      Rotational use of storage bins
Aum Kinley said that she store her grains in different containers on the rotation basis. “If rice is stored in wooden box this year, we will store buckwheat next year”. When storing the same grains in same container, the disadvantage is pest easily attack the grains, she said.

e.        Chemical treatment
The farmers of Tagochen do not use any chemicals for storage grains to keep away the pests. “Since we are illiterate, we do not have any idea about the chemical”, Ap Tawcho said. Moreover, the pests in the storage do not cause huge damage. Most of the farmers said that, they do not know what chemicals


We found out that the farmers of Tagochen are hard working. Farmers were cooperative and they have strong relation with their neighbours. Meeting farmers and sharing their experiences is the happiest movements. The information we got from them were educative. The knowledge they have about the storing grains is very effective in managing the pests.
Lastly, we would like to thank each and everyone for sharing knowledge about the storage of grains and it pests.

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