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< prev - next > Agriculture Seed supply and storage seed multiplication of improved open pollinated varieties (Printable PDF)
Seed multiplication of improved open-pollinated varieties
Practical Action
Conditions suitable for seed storage are:
Low temperature
Low humidity
Low oxygen
Free from pests and rodents
Low temperature
Temperatures of less than 4˚C are ideal for seed storage
Low temperatures do not promote germination
At low temperatures, seed is kept inactive but alive
Germination in many plants only occurs when the temperatures are warm, usually above 20˚C
Low humidity
Living things need water
Humidity has water that can make the dry seed wet whilst in storage
The see may germinate or it can rot if the humidity is high
Low humidity makes the storeroom cool
The storeroom should have no holes that may allow wet air to enter
Low oxygen
Oxygen is needed for seed germination
Low oxygen reduces breathing of the seed and seed does not germinate
Free from pests and rodents
Seed shold be free from pests and rodents
Damaged Seeds
Weevils, mice and rats can damage the stored seed
The damaged seed may not germinate. If damaged seed is planted, germination will be poor
It is important to protect seed from pests and rodents
Other ways of improving seed storage
There are some seeds that are not easily eaten by weevils. These seeds store well even
without chemicals.
Store seed in airtight containers, e.g, metal drums or plastic bags that cannot be easily
entered by weevils
Mix grain with chemicals. In some crops like cowpeas, mixing grain with wood ash from
cooking fires or any other grained inorganic material such as sand, results in less damage to
the grain. A ratio of least 3 parts ash, 4 parts grain can be used. Unfortunately, this does not
affect pests already in the seed
Vegetable oil can also be used in storage, 1-5 ml of oil per kilogram of threshed grain is
Pesticides such as Malathion dust, Actellic super and Shumba dust, can be used to control
storage pests
Store seed when it is mature and has the right moisture content.
Control rodents in the storage room.