Food is a basic need for all living entities as food supplies with all the nutrients required by our body to grow, develop and repair our body in case of any damage. We obtain our food resources from plants and animals through agriculture and animal husbandry.
Increasing demand in the food supply has led to an increase in the crop yield resulting in storage of food grains in warehouses. However, problems like hunger and malnutrition cannot be combated with this measure alone as food security is influenced both by the availability of food and access to it. Field crops accommodate a large number of insect pests, weeds and diseases. If not controlled they can cause severe damage to the yield.
Storage losses can be very high. Factors contributing to losses are biotic components such as fungi, mites, bacteria, insects, rodents etc. Abiotic components that affect storage loses include unfavourable temperatures, improper storage techniques, etc. It can cause the following:
- Degraded quality of food
- Poorly germinated seeds
- A loss in weight of crops
- Discoloured produce
These factors hugely contribute to the poor marketing of the yield produced, hence leaving them unconsumed and disfavored which can incur a great deal of loss right from the farmers up till the distributors.
Factors can be controlled by suitable treatment and constant monitoring of warehouses. Control measures need to be taken to ensure grains are stored in an environment which is free from all factors leading to its destruction. Strict cleaning procedures need to be carried out before storing grains. Also, care needs to be taken to check if grains have been dried completely in sunlight and then in shade. It also should be checked for pests using fumigation.
Importance Of Food Storage
It is necessary to store food, listed below are a few points highlighting the same:
- Storing food is economical to the consequences that can be caused otherwise.
- Food Corporation of India(FCI) buys grains from farmers and stores in warehouses to be able to supply food hence meeting the ever-growing demand
- Increases the shelf-life of a food item. There are different ways of storing various food items. For example, food item such as meat requires to be stored in the refrigerator as they tend to decay quickly because of its high moisture content
- Proper storage enables uniform distribution of produce throughout the year
- Useful in case of emergencies such as famines
Explore for more information on food preservation and storage of grains by registering at Byju’s.