We analyze the impact of a new storage technology and training on post-harvest losses among small-scale maize farmers in rural Tanzania. The analysis is based on data collected by means of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) in which farmers were randomized into one of three groups: a control group and two treatment groups. Farmers in the first treatment group received training on post-harvest management practices, and farmers in the second treatment group were provided with hermetic (airtight) bags for storing maize, as well as the training administered to the first treatment group. We show that both interventions had a significant effect in reducing storage losses. The intervention with hermetic bags improved the quality of maize grain, increased the market price of maize, and reduced the cost of storage protection using insecticides. We show that both interventions are economically feasible, and relate our findings to the larger literature on the roles of physical and human capital in economic development.
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