The Department of Agriculture Engineering of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has developed the first locally-made grain moisture tester.
The device, known as ‘Grain-Mate Grain Moisture Tester,’ is meant to accurately measure the moisture content in grains and animal feed to enhance good storage.
An Agricultural Engineering Scientist of the Department, Mr Hero Godsway, in an interview in Kumasi said that the device was designed to reduce to the barest minimum the perennial post-harvest losses suffered by farmers.
A prototype of the device, fitted with three buttons for measurement, was put on display at an exhibition mounted by the Department at the University’s Quadrangle in Kumasi.
Mr Godsway said it had been designed for use by warehouse operators, grain drying facilities, storage companies, food processors, grain and poultry farmers, as well as agricultural extension officers.
With a lifespan of 10 years, it is to provide Ghanaian farmers and other local users with an alternative to the very expensive imported ones, which cost between GHc2,000.00 and GHc3,000.00 on the market.
Mr Godsway said knowing the precise moisture content of grains reduced the likelihood of their going waste due to microbial growth during storage.
He said as much as 50 to 60 per cent of cereals and grains, for instance, could be lost during the storage stage due to lack of technical efficiency, the use of scientific storage methods, therefore, could reduce those losses to as low as one to two per cent.