FIELD REPORT: SUCCESS IN MALAWI

August 24th, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

Farmers responded positively to the recently concluded World Food Programme-led P4P postharvest workshops in Malawi according to an official field report by Alex Chigovera, Technical Support Engineer of GrainPro. The report was collected from the post-training surveys that the participants completed.

More than 70 percent of the 114 participants indicated that they gained important knowledge that would be very useful in reducing food deterioration during storage. Facilitation quality was evaluated by participants with more than 75 percent of them giving it excellent ratings across the three locations. The participants are expected to share their training at their respective communities.

The workshops were organized in partnership with GrainPro and its partner in Malawi, Chemicals and Marketing. The 114 participants, 33 of which were women farmers, represented 54 farming groups from the regions of Blantyre, Lilongwe, and Mzuzu. In Malawi, women smallholder farmers play an important in food production.

The farmers were taught postharvest management principles and practices, knowledge of seed preservation using hermetic storage, and recommended methods for safe long-term grain preservation without using harmful chemicals. To better demonstrate the principles of hermetic storage, the farmers had hands-on training using the SuperGrainbag – a lightweight hermetic liner bag for dry agricultural commodities such as food grains.

Due to its significance to the safe preservation of locally produced dry agricultural commodities, future workshops to include more women farmers are being proposed. There is also a need for refresher workshops to facilitate the continuous sharing of new technologies to farmers. This ensures that smallholder farmers are kept abreast with best practices in food preservation and pest control.

IN GUATEMALA, SMALL FARMERS SAFELY STORING BEANS HERMETICALLY

August 22nd, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

Great training video here from Guatemala of smallholder farmers hermetically storing their bean harvest. Outstanding work by Michigan State University, with the support of USAID, on improving the nutritional intake of poor farmers in the Western Highlands of Guatemala (“MasFrijol”). The video is in Spanish, but easy to follow.

Why focus on improving the production and consumption of beans, especially for poor farmers? MSU explains below:

Although beans and maize were domesticated in the Americas and are traditional staples of the indigenous Mayan peoples in Guatemala’s western highlands, undernutrition plagues the people living in this region, with more than half the children suffering from chronic malnutrition and stunting.

Globally, the Mayan populations in the western highlands persist as the most undernourished population in the Americas and the sixth most undernourished in the world. Although beans and maize provide a quality protein when eaten together, access to sufficient beans for household consumption is inadequate to meet the nutritional needs of the populations living in Guatemala’s western highlands.

Low bean production from limited access to farm land and low productivity from the inability of most bean varieties to grow well at elevations 2,500 meters above sea level—an altitude well exceeded in the western highlands—has made beans scarce and expensive. These high prices, along with little understanding of beans’ nutritional value, have, in the past, led smallholder farmers to sell them.

Pairing the seed distribution and first planting of improved bean varieties with nutrition education multiplies the program’s effectiveness. Because the educational programs focus on the nutritional value of beans along with how to prepare them, households that suddenly find themselves with a large bean harvest know how to use them most advantageously.

Instead of educators telling the people that they should eat more beans before they even possess them, educators are preparing the local people to use the improved bean harvests to their best advantage. Cross-trained and working together, agronomists and nutritionists present integrated and improved farming and nutrition messages to maximum effect, ensuring that the improved agriculture practices and technologies that lead to improved crop yields also lead to increased bean consumption and, ultimately, improved nutrition throughout the region.

GrainPro, and our distributor EGS, is proud to be collaborating with the team at MSU on improving and protecting the yields of bean harvests by small farmers in Guatemala.

INDIA TO SUPPORT HERMETIC STORAGE

August 17th, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

The Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) is strongly pushing the use of hermetic technology as a permanent solution against food losses in India. IIFPT is studying multilayered bags, Cocoon storage, and on-bulk grain silos.

Improper storage and infestation are threats that cause postharvest losses in quantity and quality. In India, 12 to 16 million metric tons of foods produced are lost each year. Chemicals are used to fight off infestation. However, the use of chemical pesticides is affecting the environment and the health of consumers.

Hermetic technology is very appealing in many developing parts of the world as a solution because it provides a sustainable and affordable alternative. GrainPro Cocoons and SuperGrainbags, for example, do not require the use of chemicals to stop infestation and inhibit the growth of aflatoxin producing molds.

These solutions present a long-term solution for the storage of locally produced grains and seeds such as wheat, rice, maize and high-value spices. For more information about GrainPro and its line of hermetic solutions, visit www.grainpro.com.

USING HERMETIC STORAGE TO PRESERVE PADDY SEEDS IN PANAMA

August 10th, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

Fincas Azuero in Panama found a way to properly store paddy seeds and retain seed germination thanks to GrainPro and its distributor Potuga. Five 100MT GrainPro® Self-Verifying Cocoons™ (SVC) are preserving 82 tons (180,000 pounds) of certified paddy seeds at their facility in Panama. Research and field trials show that Cocoons can store seeds as well as conventional cold stores. The patented SVC is an Ultra Hermetic™ storage solution for the long-term storage of bagged seeds and other agricultural commodities. It can be installed outdoors or indoors, and requires minimal cost to install and use. For more information about this product and worldwide distributors, please visit www.grainpro.com.

VILLERS TO SPEAK AT COFFEE CONGRESS IN GUATEMALA

August 3rd, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

 

Phil Villers, GrainPro® President, will be at the 28th Guatemala National Coffee Congress organized by Anacafé on August 11 at 11:45 am at the Anacafé Building in Guatemala City. Phil will talk about the benefits of using solar drying and Ultra Hermetic™ storage during the event’s Master Conference. His presentation will include many interesting data and success stories gathered from users around the world. Everyone is cordially invited. See you there!

 

 

GRAINPRO LAUNCHES A NEW ICON FOR ITS BRAND AND LOGO

July 28th, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

Concord, Mass., USA, July 28, 2017

GrainPro®, the leader in Ultra Hermetic™ technology, today introduces its iconic corporate brand and logo. The new branding strategy reflects GrainPro’s increasing role in leading the way in innovating Ultra Hermetic™ postharvest solutions that are helping create a more food secure future.

GrainPro's launches new logo

Since its humble beginnings in 1992, GrainPro has been recognized as a leader in hermetic storage and postharvest solutions. The company has been helping food producers of all sizes reduce their food losses and increase overall profits. its technology has continued to evolve to fit the needs of farmers as the world becomes more connected.

Today, GrainPro’s products are being used in more than 110 countries worldwide. Its name has become synonymous in solar drying, and the safe and chemical-free storage of a wide range of dry agricultural commodities. Its impact and positive contributions are felt especially in developing parts of the world where 25 to 40 percent of staple food crops are lost due to infestation and fungal growth because of improper handling and management.

GrainPro’s rebranding reflects its successful and ongoing growth in the food security sector. Today, the company is also leading the way in innovative solar drying and transport solutions – providing a full suite of products designed to protect food from farm to market to tables.

“We’ve been working on a brand that captures our leading role in the industry,” says Tommy Ng, Vice President for International Sales and Marketing at GrainPro. “Its implementation is a step in the right direction as we continue to position our company as more than a product or service, but as an inspiration in the marketplace, in the industry and within the communities we live in.”

The new logo – the first in 10 years – echoes a contemporary look and feel that appeals to this generation’s food producers. It evokes the radical evolution of the symbolic stem and leaves that used to stand out alone into what appears to be embraced and connected to the rest of the image. This signifies GrainPro’s link to its focus on sustainability and growth, and in earning the lifetime loyalty and trust of customers. The green tint mirrors its mission of developing solutions that are safe for consumers and the environment, while raising the quality of life of food producers and smallholder farmers, especially in developing parts of the world. The new typeface lends an elegant, modern, and cleaner appearance.

“Storing the Future” will stay as GrainPro’s tagline. Timeless and on-point, this reminds customers about the company’s ultimate mission, suggesting an optimistic and brighter tomorrow – without hunger –through innovation.

GrainPro’s web presence, marketing collateral, and official documents will begin carrying the new iconic brand. In fact, a team is currently working hard at redesigning the “new” GrainPro’s official website into a more visually-appealing and user-friendly experience, while carrying the new visual themes.

Please watch this video to see how GrainPro’s logo has evolved.

Thank you.

WFP MALAWI SIGNS PARTNERSHIP TO PILOT HERMETIC GRAIN STORAGE

July 13th, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

GrainPro is among technology developers working closely with WFP to help achieve its global food security goals.

The World Food Program (WFP) is working with GrainPro® to pilot the use of Ultra Hermetic grain storage solutions in Malawi, according to the latest WFP Country Brief released on May 31, 2017. This pilot is in line with ongoing WFP efforts to break the cycle of food insecurity and poverty in the African country.

Malawi, a small and land-locked country in the sub-Saharan region of Africa, is facing critical food and nutrition security issues. The country’s population explosion – expanding by 3 percent each year – and recent drops in agricultural production leave most Malawians in poverty and without food.

GrainPro and its local representative, Chemicals and Marketing, will train at least 60 WFP-beneficiary farmer organizations in 15 districts in the use of hermetic bags as part of the Purchase for Progress (P4P) program. Additionally, GrainPro will also study the perceptions and demands of the farmers to the effectiveness of hermetic technology.

The training program will include the use of the GrainPro’s Ultra Hermetic™ SuperGrainBag® (SGB), a low-cost and reusable liner bag developed primarily for smallholder farmers. Made from multilayered and recyclable polyethylene with a proprietary barrier layer, the SGB ‘s has sufficiently low permeability to air and water to stop infestation and inhibit the growth of aflatoxin-producing molds.

P4P is an innovative food security initiative launched in 2008 by WFP that seeks to help smallholder farmers better cope with fluctuations in harvests and household food security by adapting technologies that will reduce postharvest losses. The program is funded with the help of the Flanders International Cooperation Agency, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

One of the goals of the program is to introduce new technologies to smallholder farmers. GrainPro is among technology developers working closely with WFP to help achieve its global food security goals. The training has commenced with series of workshops in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu with farmers organization leaders, lead farmers extension officers and farmers stakeholders.

Women play a major role in food production and farming in Malawi.

 

A female farmer gets first-hand experience in using the GrainPro SuperGrainbag.

NEW SCIENTIFIC PAPER DISCUSSES AFLATOXIN CONTROL WITH SAFER POSTHARVEST PRACTICES

June 28th, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

In human beings, high aflatoxin levels depress the immune system, thereby contributing to many health problems ranging from cancer and susceptibility to HIV, to stunted growth among children. This led governments in Africa to band together to stop the spread of Aflatoxins in the continent. At an October 2016 meeting with the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA), Ugandan President, H.E. Yoweri Museveni called for a collective effort among African countries to address aflatoxin challenges.

However, improved postharvest handling remains the most overlooked component for effectively preventing aflatoxin growth. In hot, humid climates, long term conventional storage can cause exponential growth of aflatoxins. It shows that restricting the increase in aflatoxin levels during both drying and storage is a major challenge, particularly under hot and humid conditions.

An increasingly popular and inexpensive alternative method for controlling aflatoxin growth during multi-month storage is using flexible, Ultra Hermetic™ storage containers. This storage technology relies on creating a conditions that will control increase in aflatoxin levels through the bio generation of low oxygen levels. For the successful application of Ultra Hermetic storage as well as for other storage methods, crops must be adequately dried, typically to a point below their ―critical moisture level (in equilibrium with 65% relative humidity).

This paper examines the prevention of the exponential growth of aflatoxin occurring in multi-month, postharvest storage in tropical countries, with examples from field experience and scientific data. Four approaches to modern, safe, postharvest storage methods are described, the most successful being the use of flexible, Ultra Hermetic™ airtight structures creating an unbreathable atmosphere (low oxygen, high carbon dioxide) through insect and microorganism respiration alone, without use of chemicals, fumigants, vacuum, or refrigeration.

SCHOOL KIDS IN HONDURAS ARE BENEFITTING FROM HERMETIC STORAGE

June 15th, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

Bags of rice being loaded into a Cocoon.

Children in the village of Krausirpi in Honduras are benefitting from rice that was not treated with any harmful chemicals thanks to Ultra Hermetic™ and patented GrainPro® Cocoons™. The Cocoons were delivered on March 2017 and are currently protecting food crops against insects and fungal growth.

The United Nations’ World Food Programme partnered with GrainPro to store rice as part of a feeding program aimed at local school children. The Cocoons were delivered to the beautiful La Moskitia region – a large wetlands area in Honduras considered by many as the “Amazon” of Central America – using dugout canoes.

Preserving highly nutritious stocks of staple grains is a serious problem for the locals due to it’s location and the atmospheric conditions in the region. To safely preserve the shelf life and protect staple crops against infestation and fungal contamination, new storage methods – such as the Cocoon – are immediately needed to make an immediate impact.

The Cocoon is a hermetic storage container that comes in various capacities of 5MT to 1050MT. It is made from flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with gastight and watertight properties to prevent the exchange of air and moisture. It effectively preserves and extends the shelf life of dried agricultural commodities using inert gases such as carbon dioxide to kill all insects. This means that the stored food crops won’t have any residues of harmful chemical fumigants.

The Cocoons were transported in canoes.

Scenic and pristine community.

A Cocoon storing bags of rice.

PACIFIC ISLAND EXPLORES SUN DRYING AND ULTRA HERMETIC™ STORAGE

June 8th, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

New Caledonia is getting much needed help to safely dry and store locally produced food crops as it attempts to invigorate the agricultural sector. Tom de Bruin, President of GrainPro® Philippines, recently visited the area to train government personnel in the use of innovative sun dryers and Ultra Hermetic™ storage solutions.

The island chain in the Pacific Ocean has big hopes of achieving food and agricultural independence. Called the “Heart of the Pacific”, this French territory is known for its rich deposits of nickel, which play a crucial role in the international nickel trade.

Despite its status as a major economy among the many island countries in the Pacific, it is very dependent on imports to feed an estimated population of 670,000. For example, rice, the staple food of the islands, is imported from Thailand and nearby Australia. An estimated 6000 tons of brown rice are imported each year with only one mill to process everything.

To turn things around, the French government assigned the Agence de Développement Economique de la Nouvelle-Calédonie (New Caledonia Economic Development Agency) or ADECAL to diversify the islands’ agricultural resources. ADECAL is currently developing the rice seed business to provide local farms with acclimatized rice seeds that fit the islands’ tropical climate.

GrainPro is working with ADECAL to test innovative postharvest solutions to safely dry and store rice seeds. Using Solar Bubble Dryers™, harvested seeds at 22 to 17 percent moisture content are dried down to a safe 12 percent. The seeds are then stored in SuperGrainbags® and Cocoons™ to ensure optimal storage conditions and good germination. New Caledonia is now planning to use the Cocoons to store consumption paddy in the next harvest season.

Food sufficiency is a common challenge among small island countries. Their isolation requires them to be self-sufficient, but the lack of resources make it difficult to achieve this. Whether grown locally or imported, dry agricultural commodities can rely on GrainPro’s line of Ultra Hermetic storage solutions and innovative sun dryers to safely preserve quality and quantity of seeds and dry agricultural commodities without using harmful chemical fumigants.