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Larry Murdock Helps Develop PICS Project in Afghanistan
As published on the USAid web site at http://idea.usaid.gov/div/purdue-grain-storage
Logo of the Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage Project

THE NEED: Grain storage loss can cost farmers 25%-30% of their yield for the season. In Afghanistan, over 30 million people depend on stored grains for consumption.

THE SOLUTION: Jump start the supply chain for low-cost hermetic storage bags to help Afghan farmers avoid storage loss of grains.

COST EFFECTIVENESS: The DIV grant will assess the potential profitability of using hermetic storage bags to reduce grain loss from 25%-30% to 5%-10%.

With Stage 1 support from DIV, Purdue University will lay the groundwork to develop the supply chain in Afghanistan for hermetic grain storage bags that substantially improve on-farm storage of grains and grain legumes.

Hermetic storage bags are an ancient idea that was adapted by Purdue scientists in Cameroon and Senegal, with USAID funding, which address the problem of grain storage loss.

Purdue’s hermetic grain storage technology is a triple-layer bag composed of two inner liners and an outer sack of woven polypropylene, which can almost eliminate grain storage losses from insects and can greatly reduce losses from mold and mildew.

In Afghanistan, the need is great: 24 million people reside in rural areas where farmers experience high storage losses of grains and grain legumes due to moisture, insects, mold, mildew and rodents. Effective use of the bags could reduce wheat storage loss from 25-30% to 5-10%.

To foster the development of the supply chain, Purdue will identify competitive manufacturers in Afghanistan and launch a wholesale and retail distribution system for the bags. The DIV seed grant will enable Purdue to assess the potential profitability and sustainability for hermetic storage bags in Afghanistan.

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