Grain storage solutions by Ekima Engineering

When you think about post-harvest grain storage, what comes to mind is the traditional grass thatched granary or iron roofed one. For the large ones, maybe the government silos which have a capacity of hundreds of thousand metric tonnes. Evans Kingoo ventured into conservation agriculture in 1985. He deals with making farm implements of conservation agriculture and post-harvest handling.

 

This mode of agriculture was mostly used in Brazil and over the years has slowly been adopted worldwide. Research shows that 15-35 per cent of produce is lost through rodents as a result of poor storage facilities. Ekima has been in the business of constructing metallic silos in various sizes for grain storage. The silos are able to store grains without chemicals. They are airtight and Evans has been able to ride on the basis that “where there is no oxygen, there is no life.”

 

The silo has an inlet at the top and an outlet at the bottom. Once the silo is filled with grain, a lit candle placed at the top of the grains then the inlet lid is closed. This is done to burn the oxygen. Once it’s done, the candle goes off. After 30 days, it is advisable that the inlet is opened to air the silo. The metallic silos can store all types of grain but different grains cannot be mixed in one silo because different grains have different moisture contents. This means that each grain is stored in its own silo. The silos are also fabricated for research purposes.

 

The silos range from a bag to 30 bags. Each bag is 50 kilogrammes and costs KSh5000 and the biggest which is 30 bags goes for KSh35,000. The silos can be used for both rural and urban setups. The silo has to be stored inhouse in order to preserve the grain in its original state in both quality and quantity.

 

Apart from fabricating the silos, he is also involved in educating farmers on how to prepare grains before storage. He also takes them through the process of loading and testing moisture content in the silo. He also makes other implements like the ripper and sub-soiler which are attached to the plough. These are tools used in breaking the hard soil. Evans has worked with NGOs such as World Vision, Action Aid, FAO, CEFA Somalia in their agriculture departments in fabricating for them silos.

 

Since he joined AAA four years ago, he admits that he has benefited a lot through the interactions. “I have been able to get new clients through referrals from members and NGOs dealing in agriculture. Sharing information has also given me a boost in marketing my products.” He is happy that he has been assisted in writing business proposals at no costs. Visiting other agribusinesses in other countries is a learning experience and the exchange of ideas have helped him transform his business.