Posts Tagged ‘grainpro’

PHILIPPINE FARMERS RECEIVE TRAINING ON STORAGE AND SUN DRYING

November 3rd, 2017

Farmers from Saranggani Province, Philippines received the much-needed training last month on proper sun drying and Ultra-Hermetic storage – thanks to the collaborative effort between the Department of Agriculture (DA) and GrainPro. More than 30 farmers from cooperatives participated in seminars conducted in six municipalities across the province.

The training is part of the DA’s efforts to reinvigorate the agriculture sector in the region. Known locally as the Special Areas for Agricultural Development (SAAD) program, the objective is to identify problems and recommend solutions to address poverty and create livelihoods in the poorest parts of the Saranggani.

Alnor Limbo, Technical Support engineer for GrainPro, explains that, “the training of SAAD beneficiaries creates the much-needed awareness and interest in post-harvest technologies that will reduce losses in food supply and income.” The training program involved classroom sessions and hands-on training on proper drying and organic storage using the GrainPro Collapsible Dryer Case II (CDC II) and the Self-Verifying Cocoon (SVC).

The CDC II is an improved solar drying floor that protects the commodities from the effects of sudden rains during drying operation. The SVC is an Ultra-Hermetic storage container that stops infestation and inhibits fungal contamination in stored grains and seeds by preventing the exchange of air and moisture. Together, these products form a combination that effectively reduces losses of food supply and income. The farmers intend to use the CDC II on locally harvested crops such as cassava, paddy and corn, while the SVC is intended to store seeds for the creation of seed banks.

IN MEMORY OF AUGUST “GUS” SCHUMACHER (1940-2017)

September 28th, 2017

It is with deep sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of Gus Schumacher, a long-standing member of GrainPro’s Board of Directors, on Sunday, 24 September 2017 due to heart failure.

From 1997 to 2001, Gus served the US Department of Agriculture during the Clinton administration as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. But for Gus, his many accomplishments don’t compare to the brilliance of his life’s work.

Gus was a food activist by heart. His down-to-earth approach and willingness to reach out made him a major driving force in American agriculture and food access. He pioneered federal programs to make fresh and affordable food more accessible to those who can’t afford them.

This led to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women and Infants and Children (WIC), a program that makes it possible for low-income consumers to buy fresh fruits and vegetables directly from farmers at a highly subsidized price.

Gus’ influence extends far and wide into farming communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where most of the world’s food is produced and most losses on food occur.

His concerns over the future of global food security led to his joining as a member of GrainPro’s Board of Directors in 2001. As a GrainPro Board Member, Gus worked to promote the use of hermetic technology as a viable and affordable storage solution for smallholder farmers, especially in the developing world.

“He was very much a sparkplug – Gus pushed us and brought ideas to the table,” says Phil Villers, GrainPro President and CEO, on reminiscing about Gus’ time in the company. “We definitely lost an ally who cares genuinely for low-income families and smallholder farmers around the world.”

Source: http://www.wholesomewave.org/news/honoring-gus-schumacher-food-farming-hero-1939-2017

KEEPING IT REAL – SUMINTER INDIA ORGANICS

September 25th, 2017

GrainPro Cocoons at Suminter’s facility.

The organic food industry is a multibillion-economy with an increasing demand. A major challenge for companies that supply certified organic products is preserving the quality of products organically after harvest. Many companies that grow organic crops are forced to take refuge to chemicals to stop infestation and inhibit fungal growth during storage and transport. These chemicals may leave residues on food that could have adverse health effects to consumers, especially among children.

Doesn’t sound too organic, right?

Suminter India Organic is serious about their products. They realized that their postharvest process plays a huge role in ensuring that their products – herbs and spices, fibers, oil seeds, cereals and nuts – stay organic throughout the value chain. They wanted to make sure that their products reach their customers in optimal and pure condition without the need for chemical fumigation.

This attitude inspired them to employ innovative measures in 2010. They partnered with hermetic storage flag-bearer GrainPro, Inc., whose line of certified-for-organic-use and Ultra-Hermetic™ solutions are leading the way in drying, storing and shipping dried organic produce. They regularly use the Cocoons as a non-toxic fumigated, storage solution; the Collapsible Dryer Cases for drying; and the TranSafeliner for trans-shipment of organic spices and oil seeds.

“We were skeptical at first, but GrainPro’s hermetic solutions impressed us when results of the trial in 2010 came back,” explains Mr. Vivekanand, Director Technical at Suminter. “The visual and aromatic quality of the stored crops were surprisingly good, insects were controlled and no traces of aflatoxin-producing molds were detected.”

Loyalty is important to Suminter. The use of Ultra-Hermetic technology is another way that Suminter shows their loyalty to their customers and farmers. Since 2003, their focus

has been to retain the loyalties of both. They work closely with local agricultural communities across India to share the economic rewards of a thriving organic market to smallholder farmers. Additionally, they make sure that their customers in 19 countries across five continents are 100 percent satisfied with their products and services.

Suminter’ s customers are in a long-term relationship as they consistently receive high-quality products year after year.

“GrainPro’s technology has contributed to our growth and has enabled us to uphold our core mission of staying organic,” adds Vivek. This growth led Suminter to move into a larger, more modern facility to keep up with the incessantly growing demands for their products. They also branched out to form Bergwerff Organic India Pvt., Ltd., supplying customers in the United States, Europe and Australia.

That’s keeping it real!

HERMETIC STORAGE TRIAL KICKS-OFF IN NEPAL

September 1st, 2017

Mero Agro, Pvt., Ltd., introduces the GrainPro GrainSafe Bag 1.0 to local farmers in Nepal.GrainPro distributor in Nepal, Mero Agro, Pvt. Ltd., facilitated a hermetic storage trial of a GrainPro GrainSafe Bag-1.0 (GS Bag 1.0) on June 3, 2017 in Dhangadhi, Nepal. The trial is part of a 10-year Prime Ministerial Agricultural Modernization Project that aims to improve the country’s food security through the integration of modern postharvest solutions.

Nepal’s economy is dominated by agriculture with 90 percent of the population working in the industry. With help from the Seed Science and Technology Division of the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Mero Agro collected more than 10 quintals of maize seeds from Unique Seed Company, Pvt. Ltd.

The goal is to maintain the high germination scores of the seeds until the next season. With a capacity of up to one ton, the GS Bag 1.0 is the perfect storage solution. Made from lightweight and durable materials, the GS Bag 1.0 can extend the shelf life of stored commodities for more than a year without using harmful chemicals. Because of its hermetic qualities, it can prevent the exchange of air and moisture, enabling it to stop infestation and inhibit the growth of aflatoxin-producing molds.

Visit grainpro.com for more information.

 

ADVANCES IN ULTRA HERMETIC STORAGE TECHNOLOGY BY DR. SHLOMO NAVARRO

August 25th, 2017

Dr. Shlomo Navarro delivered an important technology lecture on July 27, 2015 in GrainPro® Philippines, Inc., in Subic Bay. In his presentation, Navarro emphasized that Ultra Hermetic™ technology is playing a crucial role in providing a long-term solution to global post-harvest losses and food security concerns.

The event themed “Advances in Ultra Hermetic Storage Technology for Quality Preservation of Agricultural Commodities” was organized by GrainPro Philippines, and attended by post-harvest experts from the major food research institutions in the country, such as the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

A former principal scientist for the Agricultural Research Organization (ARO) in Israel, widely known as the Volcani Center, Dr. Navarro is a foremost expert in the post-harvest protection of durable commodities with specific emphasis on quality preservation and storage engineering. He is currently the Director and CEO of Green Storage Limited, a food quality and post-harvest preservation consultancy and research firm based in Israel.

hermetic storage are more effective compared to rigid structures in depleting oxygen to control insects and inhibit fungal development

According to Navarro, he became deeply involved in the development of the Volcani Cube, now known as the GrainPro Cocoon™, after observing that crop insects were able to develop resistance against synthetic pesticides. Working with scientists from the Philippines Department of Agriculture – PhilMech in the early 90’s to test the Volcani Cube’s effectiveness in hot and humid tropics, Navarro was able to adapt biological and physical features that controlled insects more effectively using green technology.

According to Navarro, flexible liners such as hermetic storage are more effective compared to rigid structures in depleting oxygen to control insects and inhibit fungal development. Navarro still believes that more has to be done to ensure the success of ultra hermetic systems, including the continued development of better hermetic sealing features. He praised GrainPro for taking a leadership role in introducing and promoting the wider use of hermetic storage systems particularly to farming communities around the world.

Meanwhile, Tom de Bruin, President and CEO of GrainPro Philippines,Inc, believes that the collaboration between GrainPro, Navarro, and institutional partners, is an important factor in the development of hermetic solutions. “Through science and technology, industrial enterprise and global partnerships, we are making a difference in quality long term storage and in growing the food supply,” he commented.

For more about GrainPro and our line of Ultra Hermetic products, please check out our website at www.grainpro.com.

USAID’s John Bowman Takes A Closer Look at GrainPro

August 25th, 2017

Subic Bay, Philippines – United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Senior Agriculture Advisor of the Bureau for Food Security, Dr. John Bowman, visited GrainPro on August 7, 2015 to get a first-hand look at Ultra Hermetic™ solutions.

During his visit, Dr. Bowman was able to get a better understanding of GrainPro’s innovative solutions and how it’s helping reduce post-harvest losses especially in developing nations. Dr. Bowman manages international agricultural research projects for USAID’s Feed the Future program. He is involved in horticulture, integrated pest management, food safety, and post-harvest loss management. The Feed the Future initiative was launched by the US Government and the Obama Administration to address global hunger and food security. Its main objectives are to advance global agricultural development, increased food production and food security, and improve nutrition, particularly for vulnerable populations such as women and children. (Source: Wikipedia)

“It’s great to see GrainPro products up close like this. Next time I visit, I’d like to see actual field installations in use with private sector clients.”

John Bowman

GrainPro, recognized as a leader in patented post-harvest solutions that are certified for organic-use, is committed to provide short term and long term solutions for quality preservation of dry agricultural commodities without the use of pesticides by providing products in drying, transport and most importantly, storage, in its mission to contribute to the reduction of post-harvest losses.

“It’s great to see GrainPro products up close,” said Bowman after actual product demonstrations. He added that he is looking forward to seeing actual field installations on his next visit. He is also very interested in learning more about GrainPro’s partnerships with like minded organizations. Bowman’s passion for fieldwork and building strong partnerships are evident in his work. With about 30 years of experience in international development, Bowman has helped more than 30 countries in designing, implementing and managing agricultural projects.

GrainPro’s collaboration with development organizations like USAID, the US Government agency responsible for administering civilian foreign aid, has been instrumental in the widespread use of hermetic solutions and in reducing potential food losses in critical development regions.

For more about GrainPro and our line of Ultra Hermetic products, please check out our website at www.grainpro.com.

John Bowman, USAID Senior Agricultural Advisor, has heard about GrainPro's SuperGrainbag as a low-cost hermetic storage solution. He is very pleased to finally see it up close.
John Bowman, USAID Senior Agricultural Advisor, has heard about GrainPro’s SuperGrainbag as a low-cost hermetic storage solution. He is very pleased to finally see it up close.

John Bowman was very impressed with GrainPro's line of drying and transport solutions.
John Bowman was very impressed with GrainPro’s line of drying and transport solutions.

Improved Crop Drying for Small Farmers

August 25th, 2017

by Jordan Dey, VP for Food Security

In Asia, most crops grown by small farmers are dried on roads and rooftops, using the sun’s heat to do the job.  Unfortunately, this “open-air” drying can lead to problems in quality – especially during the rainy season – reducing the farmers’ opportunity to sell the crop at a fair price in the market.

Over the past five years, GrainPro has worked with Hohenheim University (Germany) and the non-profit International Rice Research Institute (Philippines) to develop a dryer that speeds drying time and improves the quality of the crop for small farmers – while still relying on the sun’s abundant, free and natural energy.

As GrainPro continues to test the Solar Bubble Dryer in India, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Ghana with university and research partners, the objective is to drive down the cost and make this green technology accessible to all.  In addition to spices, the Solar Bubble Dryer is effective for drying coffee, rice, wheat, corn and other dried grains.

Pictured below is the first Solar Bubble Dryer in action in India – drying organic turmeric.

The first SBD in India

Spreading turmeric on the 25 meter base of the Solar Bubble Dryer, before inflating it

The Solar Bubble Dryer has a capacity of 1 metric ton. Fully inflated

The photovoltaic solar panels that power the fan

Click Here for the Original Post

FIELD REPORT: SUCCESS IN MALAWI

August 24th, 2017

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

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

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.