Farmers having a land-holding of not less than four-acres are largely dependent on traditional ‘Purri (granary)’ method of storing foodgrains, arguably free from rot and rain affect.
Gone are the days in Krishna district where farmers had to depend on middlemen for selling crop, as they had no godown space to store the produce till it fetched remunerative price. In this traditional farmers’ technology, two-lines of large rope made of spliced hay is tied surrounding a mud-clad space created with gunny bags and the soil for basement.
While constructing the hay rope granary, some farmers use gunny bags to create necessary space, which is simultaneously filled by pouring grains, others make a tight rope tied around a mud wall. “The granary set up in open space would never absorb rainwater and grains are safe from any weather condition” said a woman farmer and entrepreneur M. Vijaya Lakshmi from Kuchipudi.
“It’s a method in which rotting of grains is never reported and even mice cannot gain entry due to its thickness and strength,” added Vijaya Lakshmi, who built 120-bag capacity granary outside her residence by spending Rs.1,500 for labour charges. The strength of the granary depends on how much hay is used in the making of the rope. Irrespective of height or width, each granary serves the purpose for two-years to store grains.
This kind of granary is largely being used to store paddy and blackgram in Krishna district. Unprecedented number of hay granaries welcome the visitor in the villages which are far from mandal headquarters, and which are plagued by poor transportation facilities. Even in Diviseema and Kuchipudi areas village elders said that the farmers in Krishna district used to store grain underground till 1980s.
While small farmers prefer the method of storing grains for their domestic needs, middle and big farmers construct it in business interest, and store the produce till price in market goes up. “This age-old rural technology is a boon for people like me as I have no space inside the house to store the produce,” said Peketi Seetarami Reddy of Kaja village in Movva.
Mr. Reddy, tenant farmer in 23 acres, also buys paddy from his fellow farmers at low prices and stores it for better marketing prices in his 150-bags capacity hay granary. Expert in making hay granary construction, 55-year-old K. Seetaramayya of Arisepalli is happy that the work keeps him busy every January and brings numerous orders. He reveals that he too set up a granary, storing barely 15-bags of paddy for domestic grain storage.