Posts Tagged ‘ultra hermetic grain storage’


July 13th, 2017

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.


April 17th, 2017

In 2010, Nana Yaw Obeng immediately saw the potential of hermetic technology to safely store grains and seeds. His vision is paving the way to safer postharvest storage and organic preservation, not only in Ghana, but throughout the continent.

A Postharvest Technology graduate of the Natural Resource Institute in the United Kingdom, Nana returned to Ghana upon completion of his degree and worked for the government. He started Agrimat, Ltd., as a trader of agricultural inputs and machineries. It is through his business that he found out about the GrainPro® SuperGrainbag®, a hermetic liner bag with superior air and water barriers to stop infestation and inhibit fungal growth without using chemicals.

Harvest season is a busy time for the Agrimat team when farmers flock to buy these miraculous storage bags. Each farmer buys up to 10 to 15 bags at 8 Cedis, or less than US$2 per bag. Ivy Oduro Donkyi holds Agrimat’s wholesale warehouse, where GrainPro bags are sold to retailers from all over the countryside. Ivy is on her 14th year with Agrimat and she confirms, “our clients are happy with the performance of the SuperGrainbag and they keep coming back.” At the store, we find Dora Bempong who’s been an employee for 20 years with Sophia Turkson, another 14-year employee. Dora says, “I also use the SGB at my house to store rice and since I began using it, I’ve never had any infestation problems.”

The liner bag isn’t the only hermetic solution Agrimat is offering. Tom de Bruin, who visited Agrimat last month, explains that, “as the oldest and most senior partner of GrainPro in Africa, Agrimat also sells Cocoons™, which can hermetically store up to 1050 metric tons.” They are piloting a new government initiative to set up grain warehousing facilities that will help smallholder farmers safely store their crops without the use of chemicals. This puts them and hermetic storage at the forefront of food loss reduction.

New Scientific Paper Discusses How to Control Aflatoxin Growth with Safe Post Harvest Practices

February 23rd, 2017

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, postharvest storage remains the most overlooked stage for effectively preventing aflatoxin growth. In hot, humid climates, long term conventional storage can produce exponential growth of aflatoxins. It shows that restricting the increase in aflatoxin levels during both drying and long-term storage is a major challenge, particularly in 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 condition such that insect plus microflora respiration, and sometimes respiration of the commodity itself, is greater than residual intake of oxygen through ultra-low permeability container material. For the successful use 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).

A new technical report on this topic is scheduled to appear in the Journal of Food Research’ April edition with added information from Professor Flavio Meira Borem, world leader in coffee research, post-harvest technology and new packaging materials. Download an advanced copy by following this link. –


February 20th, 2017

JAKARTA, INDONESIA – Indonesia intends to scale up the use of Ultra Hermetic™ technology to solve its storage problems. This was made apparent at a meeting last December 15, 2016 in Jakarta when officials of Indonesia’s Bureau of Logistics (BULOG), a major local food agency, expressed their plan to store 50 percent of their maize in GrainPro® Self-Verifying Cocoons™.

The agency is concerned about their buffer stock of maize for human and animal consumption, which is estimated at 200,000 metric tonnes (MT). The crop is typically stored for six months to a year in warehouses across the country. Despite their strict policies and standards on warehouse storage, the agency continues to encounter problems with insects and fungal contamination.

Another is the rising cost of chicken in Indonesia. According to Eng. Alnor Limbo, GrainPro Customer Support Engineer, chicken prices rose by at least 15 percent during the last year. The price is directly affected by the supply of maize used as feed for poultry and other livestock animals.

Because production is not spread out evenly, the country needs to import to address local demands. As such, their lack of storage facilities result in poor quality maize that can’t be used as animal feed. Unable to meet demands, the price of maize goes up and this creates a chain of events that ultimately correlates to the high price of chicken. Elevating the problem is an estimated 445,000 MT of maize to be produced or imported in 2017. This prompted the agency to explore the use of hermetic technology. Previous trials of Cocoons in Indonesia from 2014 onward with rice were very promising.

The Cocoon is a gastight and watertight outdoor food storage solution with varying sizes that can store up to 1000 MT. Because it can prevent the exchange of air and moisture, it can preserve the quality of grains and seeds without using toxic fumigants. The Cocoon uses an environment-friendly technology that safely preserves dry agricultural commodities for human and animal consumption.

BULOG now uses GrainPro Cocoons for storing locally-produced rice. They currently have 10 units installed at multiple facilities throughout Indonesia. For more information about the Cocoon, visit the GrainPro website at


December 9th, 2016


KAMPALA, UGANDA – Ugandan coffee farmers called for tougher laws and punitive measures against improper drying methods and poor crop handling at the 2nd Uganda Coffee Festival on November 4, 2016 according to a Bloomberg Markets story.

The National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE), the nation’s largest coffee farmer representative group, believes that poor post-harvest practices are contributing to the country’s declining reputation in the global coffee trade. The group is asking lawmakers to enact laws that discourage improper drying methods and the practice of picking immature beans among others.

The Uganda Coffee Development Authority reported that coffee sector earnings are down to $327 million this year compared to $411 million last year a midst the low shipment volumes and weak global prices for the third year in a row. Despite the decline in revenues and exports, coffee is still Uganda’s top exported commodity and remains the second biggest coffee exporter in Africa.

Such laws should encourage producers to improve their existing practices, explore new post-harvest techniques, and create opportunities for innovation. Being able to dry coffee properly to the correct moisture content can help inhibit the growth of aflatoxins during storage. Modern coffee drying solutions such as the Solar Bubble Dryer (SBD) are a much better choice over traditional methods.

The SBD is a sun drying solution that was designed to dry coffee and other agricultural commodities at a more consistent drying rate, while providing protection against rewetting in case of sudden rains. Combined with patio drying, the SBD can gradually lower the moisture content of coffee beans to the equilibrium moisture content to safely preserve flavor and aromatic qualities.

At 2nd Uganda National Coffee Festival, Stakeholders Push for Laws to Protect Quality


October 26th, 2016


Could GrainPro be holding the key to safely preserve coffee quality during shipment? Per this article from, GrainPro prevented moisture loss of coffee beans, and preserved the flavor and aromatic qualities of coffee better than jute bags

Read more:


June 1st, 2016


Calubian, Leyte – Cassava farmers of the Fatima Multi-Purpose Cooperative (FMPC) are using the Ultra Hermetic™ GrainPro® Self-Verifying Cocoon™ to easily and quickly fumigate their cubed cassavas using phosphine. Cassava, also known as tapioca, is used as raw material for animal feeds.

Cassava is the cooperative’s main source of income and their weekly turnaround translates to a quick return of investment. According to Margarito Costello, FMPC President, the price for cassava, unlike corn, is very stable so it makes sense for the farmers to sell immediately. However, their buyer demands that the crops must be free from infestation.

FMPC has been using two 10MT Cocoons since last year. In April 2016, FMPC commissioned the installation of a 20MT Cocoon to double their operational capability. The Cocoon is a gastight storage solution that eliminates all insects and inhibits growth of aflatoxin-producing molds. Prior to using Cocoons, the FMPC used regular polyethylene plastic that allow phosphine to leak out leaving some insects to survive.

For more information about the GrainPro Cocoon, check out

Photos: The FMPC has been using two 10MT Self-Verifying Cocoons as a fumigation chamber for their dried cassavas since last year.



February 9th, 2016
One of the GrainPro Cocoons being used by Babban Gona farmers to store their maize crops in Kaduna, Nigeria. The Nigerian Federal Government is promoting the use of such solutions to reduce food losses and prevent the proliferation of aflatoxin

One of the GrainPro Cocoons being used by Babban Gona farmers to store their maize crops in Kaduna, Nigeria. The Nigerian Federal Government is promoting the use of such solutions to reduce food losses and prevent the proliferation of aflatoxin

Abuja, Nigeria – In February, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, met with Tom De Bruin, President of GrainPro® Philippines, and Daniel Haileselassie, GrainPro Continent Manager for Africa, to discuss appropriate measures to ensure food security in the country. The GrainPro delegation presented modern drying and Ultra Hermetic™ grain storage innovations to the minister and his team.

As a result, the minister is advising stakeholders in the country’s agricultural sector to ensure hygiene in the production and storage of agricultural commodities. The minister stressed the need to use modern grain storage solutions that don’t require toxic chemicals to prevent the proliferation of aflatoxin on all types of dry agricultural commodities.

The ministry is looking to introduce Ultra Hermetic solutions to local farmers as part of its efforts to prevent the threat of fungal contamination. According to Minister Ogbeh, units of GrainPro Cocoons™ are being tested by the agency for the storage of maize in four key states. The tests are conducted in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) Strategic Grain Reserve. The trials proved very successful and Ultra Hermetic technology is expected to be integrated into Nigeria’s agricultural sector where statewide adoption by farmers of products such as the Cocoon will help protect local commodities and increase their incomes.

The Cocoon is an innovative and affordable storage facility for dry agricultural commodities. It is a proven solution that has prolonged the quality and freshness of staple crops It is both gastight and watertight to stop insect infestation and inhibit fungal contamination in stored food without using harmful chemicals. Most importantly, it is able to prevent the proliferation of aflatoxin, which is a major concern among health officials.

In Nigeria, Cocoons are being used by the Babban Gona project in the state of Kaduna to protect the maize of small local farmers. The Cocoons are instrumental in enabling the farmers to sell premium low aflatoxin maize crops at a higher profit margin. Cocoons are also widely used in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Kenya.