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Journal: Academic Research International (Vol.4, No. 3)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 228-236

Keywords : Fabric finish; Weevil Perforation Index; jute; polymer; muslin cloth; rancidity;

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Communal farmers were identified as the major producers of nyemba seeds in Zimbabwe but were facing challenges on storage. Polythene bags posed the problem of degradation by mildew and mites as well as rancidity while with jute bags, the problem of weevil infection was encountered. An experiment was carried out to see if jute bags with a special finish of aqueous extracts from an indigenous plant ‘Lantana Camara’ would reduce the damage of the seeds by weevils. The fabric finish was applied to jute fabric that had been treated with 5% sodium hydroxides to make the adherence of the plant extract easier. Two different concentrations of the insecticidal finish (20% and 40%) were applied to the jute fabric. The fabric was then sewn into four small bags into which five hundred nyemba seeds were packaged in each, 1% of the seeds was infected with weevils and stored for twelve months. The 40% fabric finish concentration was recorded to have the least damage of the seeds (2.4%) after a period of twelve months. It was therefore concluded that the insecticidal fabric finish can significantly prolong the storage of nyemba seeds in jute packaging with minimum damage. The method was found safe, and environmentally friendly, affordable, and accessible to most of the farmers. It was recommended that the farmers consider using jute bags to which the fabric finish has been applied; the method be tried with other seeds used and grains; the process be commercialised since it contributes significantly to food security; and that further research focuses on trying the finish on other fabrics used in food packaging.

Last modified: 2013-11-11 01:47:35