The importance of grain storage in rice production is often ignored. Inadequate storage facilities and improper storage methods can cause considerable losses to rice farmers. Total postharvest losses in food grain account for 9.3% of total production, 6.5% of which are losses incurred during storage alone (Gandhi 1983). Minimizing these losses can increase food grain supply, thereby making headway in feeding millions of hungry people. Farmers must therefore learn how to store rice properly, especially during the transitory period, to protect the grains from the effects of weather or from insects and pests.
Women's role in this respect is yet to be recognized, in spite of their significant involvement in food processing and food storage. Women farmers play distinct and well-accepted roles in all the activities of rice cultivation, and 93% of the farm women are themselves actively involved in storing rice grains (Sumathi and Budhar 2003). They receive less than 5% of extension services worldwide, their priorities are rarely reflected in agricultural research or national policies, and their role as agricultural producers is still largely unrecognized and has not been addressed (LEISA 2002).