An improved granary design

Food Security

Simple improvements to traditional granaries may reduce the loss of grains to pests and diseases without requiring financial outlay. A workshop was held in Mundri, Sudan to look at grain storage. Relevant teaching was first given about the main enemies of stored grain – mould, insects, rats and mice and the four main environmental factors affecting their multiplication – heat, moisture, air and dirt. New ideas and designs were then introduced and discussed. Finally, however, the participants made their own decisions about an improved design for them.

Traditional granary


1 The new design has fewer legs – only 6 or 4. 

2 The platform was raised to over 1m from the ground to prevent rats and mice jumping up. 

3 Supports for the basket rise from the raised platform – not the ground. 

4 Rat guards (made from old tin cans) are put on the legs at knee height or above. 

5 The inside of the basket is coated smoothly with anthill mud and slime from a vine (Cissus integrifolia). Traditionally, buffalo dung was used but this is now in short supply and very difficult to get. 

6 The roof is attached to the basket with poles reaching the platform rather than the ground. Combining traditional skills and materials with the opportunity to discuss new ideas, resulted in a design which proved both practical and efficient in reducing the amount of grain destroyed by rodents and insects. 

Roger Sharland
First used in ILEIA Newsletter Vol 9 No 3

New Granary Design