Commodities like rice are exported and imported in extremely high quantities with rice harvesting taking place in India in the month of June/July. After the harvesting, storage practices of rice grains are a very important step. If the storage needs are not attended carefully it can damage the complete produce. Rice sometimes is stored up to 1-2 years before the next time it is restocked.
Global rice suppliers are following some effective measures which are also used by rice processors in India. These measures are very basic and can keep your produce safe, without any big investments.
Below are a few points you can refer to for well-planned storage:
Efficiently disinfect the storage bins.
The foremost step in rice storage is to make sure the facility is equipped for the rice going in. Clean out the storage bins for any dirt or left over produce which might have insects in them. Also, check for floor areas underneath the storage bins. Insects generally crawl down in the floor area and reappear once the new rice grains are refilled. Avoid using liquid disinfectants to clean the bins, a simple broom or a vacuum cleaner would be enough. Liquid disinfectants can leave alcohol or bleach traces inside the storage area causing harm to the freshly stored rice.
Appropriately examine the moisture levels
The general mindset is that rice can be stored with 15% moisture levels, which is no longer the case. In summers, 15% is a good unit for moisture content but if the rice is stored for a year-long then the suggested moisture level in 13%. A long-term storage requirement for rice grain is always preferred at the lowest level of moisture.
Revamp the aeration system
Air takes the path of least resistance. If there are a lot of fines in the centre the air distribution will be uneven throughout the system. Properly distributing fines by a spreader or practicing repetitive coring are some effective ways of improving aeration. For larger bins where spreaders might be inefficient, repetitive coring is a dominant practice. It is the process of loading fines directly into the bin and pulling out about 300 bushels of grains, creating an inverted coin. This process improves the aeration system throughout the storage in larger bins, for smaller one’s spreaders are a good-enough mechanism.
Regular inspection for insects
Insects are the deadly enemy for rice, if the rice isn’t checked for insects weekly it can end up creating major problems. Summers are the insects attracting season, from one or two it can infect the whole produce within weeks. Checking for insects with smaller tools is an effective measure for smaller units, for larger storage units where checking for insects manually is impossible, installing insect trackers has proven beneficial.
The above measures are adopted globally and are a few of the easy and trusted measures to keep the rice produce safe for a long time. However, experts believe that any measures taken to store rice over a year can be very subjective. Different produce has different storage life and from a financial standpoint, such long durations of storage are not cost-effective. They suggest that rotation of rice should be within a time-frame of two-three months, anything higher is just an added cost. Companies, be it big or small, need an ongoing cycle for a cost-effective business for longer sustainability. With the digitalization of mostly everything from textile to infrastructure, a new trend has emerged of digitalizing the crop business too. Companies like Tradologie.com are a pioneer who have set up a platform for buyers and sellers across the globe, digitalizing an enterprise and providing exposure beyond the border along with secure trade mechanism. That leads to branding and selling on a faster level and is considered to be the most cost-efficient way of marketing. So, instead of spending money on rice storage, invest in efficient marketing programs and go global.