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Tips On Proper Crop Harvest

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After 110-120 days, the harvest should be 4,000-5,000kg per hectare when 80-85% of the grains are straw coloured and the grains in the lower part of the panicle are in the hard dough stage.

To harvest, the stems of the rice are cut close to the ground using serrated sickles. This method of harvesting is faster than harvesting panicles using a knife.

Threshing can be done by beating with sticks or using a thresher. Using a thresher is recommended since threshing by beating increases broken grains at milling, hence raising losses. Threshers can be bought from farm machinery stores around town at about sh500,000.

Open air drying is the commonest practice in Uganda. However, bigger farmers like Kibimba irrigation scheme have got mechanical driers. Under open drying, rice is spread out on clean grounds and dried.

After the threshing, the rice must be packed in clean sacks and stored in a clean, dry shelter that is free of any pests. Rice can be stored for up to a year, as long as it does not get into contact with water.

After harvesting, ensure that they dry properly, with the right moisture content, which is usually between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius.

To know that the groundnuts are dry, a farmer may shake the pod to hear the rattling sound or bite one of the nuts to feel the crunchiness. It is advisable to keep the groundnuts in sisal gunny bags as they are aerated, although they are now scarce.

When stacking or arranging the bags in the store, they should not be squeezed or even placed on the bear ground. From the ground they pick up moisture from the floor, which could lead to molds.

When it comes to processing or eating, only shell what can be cooked for a meal because the shell itself, if well stored, is enough protection for the nut not to pick up any disease-causing organisms, including fungus.

Passion fruits

Passion fruits start flowering after 7-9 months, depending on the planted variety. Harvest only ripe fruits because those fetch bigger money on the market.

If you are growing the purple passion fruits, mature fruits turn purplish. If you are growing the yellow varieties, they turn yellowish on maturing.

Do not cut the stem as you harvest, but simply pluck the ripe fruit off the stem.

Under good management, passion fruits can last up to six years. Average harvests per acre every month is six, 100kg bags every week. During this period, a farmer will be picking fruits at regular intervals, with two peak season every year.

Passion fruits are considered a slow perishable produce.

To store them for much longer, you need to keep them in a cool, dry place. You can, for example, put them on a cemented clean floor, if you do not have coolers. Only put them in sacks on their way to the market.

The average price of a sack is between sh300,000 and sh400,000 in most markets in the city.

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