There is only one wheat harvest each year, so most of the wheat crop will be stored either on-farm or at central storages. Most flour millers can store relatively small quantities of wheat and rely on a constant supply transported to their mills. Once the wheat has been harvested, it usually requires drying before being stored in cool and dry conditions in clean stores to minimize the risk of damage caused by insects, mites, and fungi. These are generally specific to grain stores and different to pests that may attack growing crops.
Safe, adequate grain storage is the key to ensuring crop quality and helping prevent loss of premiums through claims and rejections. Good storage practice minimizes risk throughout the supply chain and safeguards food safety for consumers.
Store preparation is an essential aspect of ensuring safe storage, whether the grain is to be held for a temporary period or for longer. This is usually done by combining several techniques. Good store preparation is used in conjunction with reaching and maintaining the target temperature and moisture content. The aim in most stores is to reduce and maintain moisture levels to 12.5% and temperature to below 15oC within two weeks of harvest and to below 5oC by the end of December.
In Afghanistan, most wheat is transported in lorries by road. To maintain standards of food safety, grain handling, and transport systems are subject to third party audit and inspection. Each vehicle is also checked for cleanliness before loading.
It is essential that deliveries to mills are made on time and that the quality of the wheat is protected during transport. Every two years, FLOUR AND BREAD PRODUCT BARAKAT HARIWA surveys all truckloads arriving at the mill. This information is used to monitor changes in delivery patterns and to identify developments that may require action.