Rice is best stored as paddy because the husk provides some protection against insects and helps prevent grain quality deterioration. A safe or hermetic storage system prevents the grain from getting wet after drying and also gives protection from insects, rodents, and birds.

Rice can be stored for longer periods if:

  • Moisture content is maintained at less than 14% for grain and 12% for seed;
  • Grain is protected from insects, rodents, and birds; and
  • Grain is protected from re-entering of moisture by rain or from the surrounding air.

A rule of thumb for seed is that the life of the seed is halved for every 1% increase in moisture content or a 5°C increase in storage temperature above recommended levels.

Rice storage systems

  • Bags should not be stacked higher than 4 meters.
  • Bags should be stacked under a roof, in a shed or under water-proof tarpaulins.
  • A one-meter gap should be left between and around stacks.
  • Bags should be stacked on pallets or above ground.
  • Bags should be stacked so that fumigation can be undertaken, if necessary.

Grain can be stored in bulk in containers made from wood, metal, or concrete and located under or inside the house. While these storage containers vary in size, they all need to be protected from insect, rodent, and bird attacks as well as moisture uptake. Otherwise IRRI technology Grain safe/Cocoon may be a better option for hermetic storage having capacity more than 1 ton capacity.

Sealed or hermetic storage systems are an effective means of controlling grain moisture content and insect activity for seed or grain stored in tropical regions. For sealed storage, farmers may adopt oil drum or metallic bin with proper sealing to avoid re-entering of moisture. Otherwise IRRI super bag having capacity of 50 kg is better option.