KARACHI - The increase in production of major commodities like wheat, rice, cotton and oilseeds of traditional and non-traditional varieties has emerged dramatic services problem of retention for long period. The existing storage facilities available are insufficient at various levels to come with large increase in production.

Experts while exchanging views with The Nation said food grain storage is sensitive issue for farmers, grain merchants and is a serious issue to the Government all over the country for safe storage under hygienic conditions.

First kinds of grain losses start from birds, rats, insect pests and diseases, rain, delay in threshing and storage etc.

The losses of grain depend upon crop variety, grain moisture content, humid climate and high temperature. Whereas such grain losses may be reduced by threshing, cleanings, drying and storing of grain immediately after harvest of the crop.

Most of the farmers store their grains in godowns due to protection from hidden enemies like birds, rats and insect pests, which cause time to time damage to the seed. A representative of local silos firm Mohammad Shahid informed The Nation the latest storage method being used in Pakistan called Silos compared to Jute bags or Polypropylene packaging for transportation.

Silos are the cost effective and long-lasting compared to the other storages and can be used easily for three to four decades. An average cost of Silos for thousand tons around Rs 5 million in Pakistan.

Mohammad Shaid further said the Silos storage also maintains the temperature of the seeds by automatic exhaust fixing in the bottom while the proper fumigation of seeds also extends its life.   On the other side the jute millers claimed that the jute is the best packaging for the storage and affordable at large it is costly compared to the Polypropylene bags but have multiple uses from its starts to end. He further added that the jute bags also supports the seeds temperature and maintain its quality.  It is reported that, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will provide technical support to enhance agricultural productivity and food security in Pakistan. FAO continues to work with Government and farmer organisations to strengthen the role of women in agriculture, to improve water use and management, to improve seed quality. FAO has been active in Pakistan since 1947 and has helped Pakistan over the years to strengthen agriculture, livestock and fisheries production in the country.