Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Stored-grain losses and management practices among smallholder cereal farmers in Northern Ethiopia

Yonas, Meheretu; Ashenafi, Fanos; Kidane, Dawit; Welegerima, Kiros


Storage pests are a major concern to smallholder farmers in Africa south of the Sahara since their livelihoods heavily depend on subsistence agriculture. These farmers depend mainly on traditional grain storage materials and pest management methods, both of which are generally ineffective against pests. Here we provide insights into stored-grain losses suffered by highland and lowland farmers in northern Ethiopia using a survey conducted during the 2016/2017 cropping season. A total of 109 household heads were interviewed and about half were visited for observation of grain storage materials. Irrespective of agroecology, the predominant stored-grain pests were weevils, rats, and termites. Both highland and lowland farmers stored grains in woven polythene sacks and dung made barrels indoors, and in barns outdoors. Some lowland farmers stored grains in underground pits outdoors. While highland farmers suffered an 8.03% average annual grain loss to the storage pests, the lowland farmers suffered a 12.18% average annual grain loss, which was significant (p = 0.007). The multiple linear regression analysis indicated significantly higher stored-grain losses in (i) lowland than highland farmers, (ii) households with heads holding village administrative positions than households with heads not holding any village administrative position, (iii) households storing grains for an additional month than households that did not and (iv) households storing grains in other indoor storage materials than households storing grains in woven polythene bags with plastic liners inside (p < 0.05). Households with one more family member working on the farm and household heads who had attended training on pest management suffered significantly lower losses (p < 0.05). Innovative storage methods and environmentally benign management options are recommended.


Storage pests; food security; pest management; Sub-Saharan Africa

Published in

International Journal of Pest Management
2022, volume: 68, number: 1, pages: 59-68

Authors' information

Mekelle University
Ashenafi, Fanos
Mekelle University
Kidane, Dawit
Mekelle University
Welegerima, Kiros
Mekelle University

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)