Bhartiya Krishi Anusandhan Patrika, volume 37 issue 3 (september 2022) : 253-259

Design and Development of Cold Storage System for Community- based Small-size Seed Banks for Farmers

S. Sankar, N.G. Shah, U.V. Bhandarkar, V.K. Kauthale, S. Zambre
1Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Mumbai-400 076, Maharashtra, India.
  • Submitted23-02-2022|

  • Accepted14-07-2022|

  • First Online 24-08-2022|

  • doi 10.18805/BKAP472

Cite article:- Sankar S., Shah N.G., Bhandarkar U.V., Kauthale V.K., Zambre S. (2022). Design and Development of Cold Storage System for Community- based Small-size Seed Banks for Farmers. Bhartiya Krishi Anusandhan Patrika. 37(3): 253-259. doi: 10.18805/BKAP472.
Background: Seed preservation in the context of changing climatic conditions and retaining quality is a big challenge, especially for marginal farmers who does not have appropriate seed storage facilities. Moisture and temperature variations (both seasonal and diurnal) during storage result in moulds, bacteria, insects, mites and rodents attacks. Tropical regions with higher ambient temperatures and relative humidity variations need to address the storage issue. 
Methods: This research work discusses the process of design, fabrication and testing of a low-cost seed storage unit (SSU) for community-based seed banks. The SSU of 200 L storage capacity was cooled using a thermoelectric cooler (TEC) to provide the temperature range of 15°C to 18°C and relative humidity <70% inside the SSU. The SSU was field-tested at fourteen different agro-climatic locations for seeds of paddy (Oryza sativa), gram (Cicer arietinum), onion (Allium cepa), groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) and maize (Zea mays) during the period 18 months between 2017 to 2019. These seeds were tested for germination count (GC) and moisture content (MC).  
Result: Results obtained indicated that the SSU developed can retain essential seed quality parameters i.e. more than 80% germination count (GC), except for groundnut seeds over a period of 18 months as against loss of seed viability in 8 months’ time in traditional storage at ambient temperature. Based on the field performance testing, we recommend the use of such devices for farmers’ and farmers’ producer companies for a decentralised seed storage capacity of 100 to 200 kg.

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