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An improved granary design

Simple improvements to traditional granaries may reduce the loss of grains to pests and diseases without requiring a financial outlay

1997 Available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese

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From: Food security – Footsteps 32

The importance of producing, processing, storing and distributing food locally

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

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