Agricultura técnica en México
Print version ISSN 0568-2517
Maize post-harvest losses associated with storage pests pose a serious problem, particularly for low-income farmers in developing countries. Grain weight losses of up to 40% have been reported in tropical regions. The objective of the present work was to propose an integral program oriented to reduce post-harvest losses in maize, based on five multidisciplinary activities: a) quantify and map post-harvest losses in Mexico and identify the responsible storage pests, b) development of maize varieties resistant to storage pests, c) implement new methodologies for the evaluation of pest resistance, d) improve traditional and recommended grain storage practices and e) transfer the grain conservation practices to farmers. The research advances and achievements of the five proposed activities were reviewed. Individually, each activity reduces grain loss from 10 to 30%. As a whole, the use of storage pests resistant cultivars, the use of appropriate storage structures and the proper conditioning of the grain, can reduce postharvest grain losses up to 60%. The integral program can be adapted to meet the diverse socioeconomic status and prevalent climate across regions.
Keywords : Zea mays L.; maize pests; resistant cultivars; storage.