Why a store is a must on your farm
To the average Ugandan farmer, a store is any place where agricultural produce is kept after harvest, before it is sold off.
But as any competent farm manager will tell you, a store is not just for keeping harvested produce.
Actually, a well managed farm is supposed to have several specialised stores.
There should be a store for keeping farm tools like hoes and pangas, another for animal feeds, and another for valuable inputs like fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides, and animal drugs.
On a poultry farm, there should be a designated store for eggs, while on a dairy farm there must be one for milk products that are collected daily.
As long as it can serve the purpose it was intended for, a store does not have to be complex. An egg store, for instance, can be a well organised and lockable cupboard.
A tool store or shed can be a small room with a rack where tools can be hung so that they don’t rust.
The most important thing is that the store is secure. There should also be well kept record of every item that is brought in the store or that is taken out.
If it is a feeds store, all feeds must be weighed and recorded before getting into or leaving the store. Besides helping the farmer keep track of the amount of feeds in stock at any time, these records can also be used as planning tools.
Likewise, anyone taking a tool from a store must sign for it even on returning it. That way it is possible to know who is using which tool, and in case it goes missing or it is broken or misused, it is
easy to trace the culprit. Theft can also be checked.
Practices to avoid
- Allowing farm workers to keep tool like pangas in their quarters.
- Treating a store as a multi purpose facility, where you keep everything that has nowhere else to be kept on the farm.
- Keeping goats, chicken, harvested coffee and maize in the same room. This is common on many rural farms. That is a recipe for disaster.