Storage of agricultural products is part of a series of easy-to-read, practical guides on various aspects of small-scale, sustainable agriculture in tropical climates. The books combine new scientific research with local practices and hands on experience. The series aims to strengthen the skills of farmers and improve their livelihoods by sharing knowledge and experience.
Storing produce will be a key part of any farmers’ activities – so they have seeds for future planting, food for their families to eat in the weeks and months to come and produce to sell for income. Using this booklet, farmers can gain new insights into how to best store a variety of crops including grains, seeds, roots and vegetables in order to minimise loss.
Books like this can be life changing for small-scale farmers and their families: good grain storage can lead to better planting material, more food to eat and greater income.
Storage of agricultural products will be welcomed by rural farming communities across many of the countries we work in. Groups of subsistence farmers in rural Zimbabwe are already using titles from the series to support income-generation projects including a vegetable growing business. This group is using them to decide what to plant, when to plant and how to protect crops from disease and pests. You can read more about their business and how they are using books to make it a success here.
Our latest Book of the Month is How to make a hand pump by Thomas Simb Simb, donated by CTA (Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation).
Since 2015, CTA have donated almost 55,000 of their practical guides to Book Aid International. These booklets are created especially for rural communities in developing countries. They cover a wide range of topics which focus on improving agriculture and sanitation, from animal health and increasing crop yield to using mobile phones for rural agricultural communication. The use of simple diagrams and text makes these booklets easy to follow.
The books CTA have donated so far this year include copies of this guide to building a well and hand pump using easily accessible materials such as old car tyres, pipes and wood. Having access to this kind of knowledge and information can be transformational for a rural community.
For example, the booklet explains that the long-handled pump makes drawing water safer than the traditional rope and bucket method. It also improves sanitation by reducing the risk of contamination. In addition, this form of water fetching requires less effort. The time and effort saved frees up water collectors (often women and children) to spend more time on other activities such as reading and education.
Book Aid International’s partners often request practical books on engineering and sanitation. This booklet fulfils both those needs and copies have already been sent to partners in many of the countries we work in, including Practical Tools Initiative in Sierra Leone who will use them in their skills training programmes in prisons and the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya.