Non-chemical on-farm hermetic maize storage in east Africa

  • A. Yakubu Department of Agricultural and Biosytems Engineering, Email:
  • C. J. Bern Department of Agricultural and Biosytems Engineering,
  • J. R. Coats Department of Entomology,
  • T. B. Bailey Department of Statistics,


Hermetic post-harvest maize storage can effectively control maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais, which can be responsible for up to 50% damage to stored maize grain. Its use eliminates the need for toxic and expensive chemicals. Laboratory experiments were conducted on hermetic storage systems to evaluate the effects of temperature (10o vs. 27°C) and maize moistures (6.3 to 16%) on maize weevil biology and mortality rate, and to quantify weevil oxygen consumption. Ten-day weevil mortality was higher in hermetic vs. nonhermetic storage, in 6.3% moisture maize vs. 16%, and at a 27°C storage temperature vs. 10°C. Oxygen depletion results allow estimation of daily weevil oxygen consumption as a function of storage temperature and maize moisture for East Africa conditions.

Keywords: Maize storage, Hermetic storage, Sitophilus zeamais, Maize weevil control, Maize deterioration

Section: Fumigation, Modified Atmospheres and Hermetic Storage