HYDERABAD: A researcher from the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H) has developed neem oil based nanofibrous bags for seed storage that would reduce post-harvest seed storage losses.
Post-harvesting, proper storage of seeds is necessary to preserve the active germplasm of crops for longer periods without compromising their viability and germination ability. The indigenous seed storage practices utilize various kinds of structures to store the grains such as ropes and bamboo baskets, mud and earthen pots, wooden structures, brick structures, underground pits, gunny bags, polypropylene bags etc. Additionally, various natural pest control measures are practiced by farmers that includes dressing the seeds with oils, cow dung, wood ash etc. Despite all these measures, significant seed storage losses are registered.
Neem oil based nanofibrous bags
Research by Prof Chandra Shekhar Sharma of the chemical engineering department at IIT-H demonstrates the suitability of neem oil (NO) encapsulated electrospun polyurethane (PU) nanofibrous bags as an ideal storage system. The real time storage experiment carried out for 75 days infers that 90 per cent seeds stored in nanofibrous bags were uninfected whereas 70 per cent seeds in commercial bags found to be infected with storage fungi.
“The real time applicability of these bags infers that any type of seeds can be stored for a longer duration at normal room temperature conditions. Large scale production of nanofibers however, is still a challenge in which there is promising development in recent years and that gives a hope for commercialization of such storage bags in near future,” said Sharma.
Source From : Times Of India