PEBs – A Simple Solution For Agricultural Storage

Most agriculture storage problems can be easily met with pre-engineered buildings. Here is how,

Ever wondered how much of the crop that is harvested rots or is damaged every year? On the average, it is estimated that more than 13-18 million tones (MT) of the crop was wasted in India between 2019-20. And, according to a study by the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) storage is the major cause of post-harvest losses for all kinds of food grains in India.  The calculated storage loss in FCI owned and hired godowns alone is huge with more than 0.2 lakh tones of grains procured being wasted. The situation is made worse by severe regional imbalances in terms of the distribution of storage facilities with Central and Eastern India having merely 9% and 7% respectively.

Storage occurs at various stages of the farm to market journey of food grains. From temporary traditional straw storage huts at the farm to wholesale and FCI warehouses, grains may take many months before they are cooked. In this period they are subject to a variety of attacks from both the weather and pests that can make them inedible

Traditional Straw Storage Huts

     Image: Traditional Straw Storage Huts

Grain Silos

   Image: Grain Silos 

 

Problems of food storage

The food storage sector is faced by a number of problems. Let us take a look at some of the major one

  • Exposure to elements: Small scale farmers traditionally keep grains out in the open with a temporary shade after harvesting or in straw and mud huts after sorting. At best this offers protection from direct rain but leaves them exposed to the vagaries of severe weather and prone to attacks by insects and rats. 
  • Lack of maintenance: Most common bulk storage spaces for wholesalers and government storehouses are old and poorly maintained. This means that moisture often gets it, and in turn, encourages pests to breed. This is hardly an ideal situation for crops to be stored.
  • Lack of funds: The entire traditional supply chain suffers from a lack of investment funds for upgrades and repairs. While there are public warehouses that retailers and small-scale farmers can make use of, their condition is poor and new capacities are grossly inadequate. This leaves the bulk of farmers and small traders with no safe way to store their stock.

PEBs – A quick solution 

Experts and governments have long recognized that two things need to be done to prevent wastage. 

1) Replacing/Renovating the existing agricultural warehouses 

2) Installation of new storehouse spaces

Prefabricated or pre-engineered steel buildings (PEBs) have been identified globally as ideal for quickly solving the problem of agri storage. Not only can they be put up quickly as compared to concrete structures, they are also less prone to seepages and leaks, and provide a less hospitable environment for pests than concrete or mud. PEB structures can also be used for livestock shelters. 

 Benefits of PEBs

  • Reduced risk of damage: Unlike concrete or natural structures prefabricated buildings require little maintenance. Walls don’t get damp nor can insects breed in steel.

Agricultural Warehouse

  Image: Agricultural Warehouse

  • Quick erection & dismantling: PEBs can be quickly put up – in days rather than months. Given the urgency of the problem this is a great boon. It is also well suited for temporary requirements where concrete structures are not practical.
  • Cost-effective & economical: Steel is a highly viable and affordable raw material for the construction. It should also be borne in mind that steel is fully recyclable and net costs of PEBs are therefore even lower. Faster erection also translates into cost savings.
  • Good for animal husbandry: Like grain storage, the condition of the cow and poultry are mostly poor in our country leading to disease. Pre-engineered building sheds provide a safer more protective space.

Pinax supplies pre-engineered steel structures that are ideal for both grain storage and animal husbandry. Get in touch for specialized structures for farm and storage needs with precisely pre-engineered building (PEB) services.