Effects of Storage Losses and Grain Management Practices on Storage: Evidence from Maize Production in Benin
This study uses nationally representative data from 360 farm households in Benin to estimate how access to storage technologies and storage losses from insects affects a smallholder African farmer’s decision to hold grain from production, in an environment of high price variability. We find that access to storage chemicals increases the average amount stored by 196 kilograms with results approaching statistical significance. Farmers who use plastic bags store 293 kilograms less grain on average, likely because bags are used for transport to market in addition to storage. Results from our study also suggest that market-driven farmers rely on high price variability as shield against storage losses, whereas subsistence farmers jeopardize their food security in lean season because of aversion to stock losses. Expected post-harvest losses might therefore be more detrimental to storage decision for farmers with low physical and financial assets. These findings highlight the need to develop effective and accessible new or improved storage technology for small farmers in SSA (Sub-Saharan Africa).
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