ABOUT THE COMPANY
GrainPro, Inc., a green, “not-only-for-profit“ company, has created a revolution in safe storage and drying of grains and seeds. With the developing world as its primary target, its products are now used in over 80 countries. This second green revolution involving storage improvement and public health protection that has been spreading “under the radar” is American technology’s contribution to the alleviation of world hunger that deserves to be told.
GrainPro, Inc. was founded in Concord, Massachusetts, USA in 1992. Products are principally manufactured at its wholly owned subsidiary, GrainPro Philippines Inc. of Subic Bay, opened in 2007. GrainPro provides safe, cost-effective solar drying and airtight storage products throughout the world, especially for areas with hot and humid climates. GrainPro aims to improve the quality of life by reducing world hunger, protecting public health, increasing small farmers’ incomes, and improving the environment.
GRAINPRO SAFE STORAGE METHODOLOGY
GrainPro’s safe storage products all operate on the same simple organic mechanism. If a container is airtight, any infesting insects, microorganisms, and the stored commodity through their respiration alone will create a low-oxygen, high-carbon dioxide environment. This will inhibit mold growth and kill the insects.
GrainPro’s products contribute to the improvement of public health by preventing the growth of molds and resulting aflatoxins in stored dry foods such as maize, peanuts, and rice. Growth of aflatoxins in stored products negatively affects the human immune system and poses a serious risk to public health, compounding the effects of HIV infection, raising cancer rates and causing stunted growth in children. Aflatoxin growth in stored grains and peanuts is a global health problem; in Africa, studies have shown that aflatoxin contamination exceeds allowable levels (as defined by the Codex Alimentarius, Interntional Food Standards) in up to 40% of the commodities traded in local markets. In GrainPro’s airtight (ultra hermetic) containers, however, aflatoxin-producing molds are unable to grow for lack of oxygen and high humidity.
USAID AND WORLD FOOD PROGRAM PURCHASES
In 2010, GrainPro fulfilled a $7 million USAID subcontract for delivery of its ultra hermetic storage and solar dryer systems to small Afghan farmers, with orders ranging from its 100-pound-capacity, portable airtight SuperGrainbagsTM to its 10-50-tonne capacity Self-Verifying Cocoon™. GrainPro has also sold its products to the World Food Program for use in countries such as Guatemala, the Philippines, Burundi and Kenya.
REDUCING WORLD HUNGER BY PROTECTING SEEDS AND REDUCING LOSSES
In addition to keeping aflatoxin levels low, GrainPro’s on-farm and village-level ultra hermetic storage units and solar dryers prevent loss of germination capacity in stored seeds. These also significantly reduce post-harvest losses of food supply among both small and large farmers. In the absence of ultra hermetic storage, these losses are often as high as 25%. Ultra Hermetic storage of the kind provided by GrainPro’s products reduces losses, organically and without chemicals or refrigeration, to less than 1% per year. This means higher small farmer incomes, more food for family consumption and local markets particularly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. GrainPro’s products also provide food relief to poor and war-torn countries, where portability and fast set-up times of ultra hermetic storage units are essential. In addition, GrainPro has a Safe Storage Promoter (SSP) program that trains one SSP per village to institutionalize know-how about safe drying and storage in each individual community.
IMPROVING THE ENVIRONMENT
GrainPro’s pesticide-free ultra hermetic storage units provide long- and medium-term, safe storage, eliminating losses without the need for insecticides, fumigants, or need for refrigeration, thus eliminating both costs and risks to farmers, agricultural laborers, consumers, wildlife and the environment. Because fungi cannot grow and insects cannot survive in the low-oxygen atmosphere of GrainPro’s Self-Verifying Cocoon™ and SuperGrainbag™, harmful aflatoxins do not grow and even the worst insect infestations are rapidly brought under control without the use of harmful chemicals.
GrainPro’s storage solutions include SuperGrainbag™ of 69kg to 1-tonne capacity that act as portable airtight liners that protect small farmers’ grains from Afghanistan and Nepal to Ghana and Guatemala, providing safe and affordable storage for up to one year. In addition, its CDC™ solar dryers save energy and its TranSafeliner™ protect commodities during transport, while its SilBag™ is used for safe storage of silage.
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