Five postharvest loss-related research projects totaling $128,000 were selected recently for funding through ADM Cares, ADM’s social investment program, which directs funds to organizations that drive meaningful social, economic, and environmental progress around the world.
- Postharvest loss experimental training hub at Njala University, Sierra Leone, AgReach: This grant will be used by AgReach to establish the PHL Experimental Training Hub at Njala University, Sierra Leone, which will provide research and capacity building support, linking to private sector partners for long-term sustainability. The hub will expand local access to postharvest technology and information services, and provide a site for pilot testing best practices and PHL technologies. The hub will also establish an alliance for research organizations, policymakers, and private business to work together on PHL issues. This grant will fund phase one of the project.
- Storage stability and sensory evaluation of soy-fortified Ghanaian staple foods, Juan Andrade (University of Illinois) and Francis Amagloh (University of Development Studies, Ghana): This research project will examine uses for a byproduct of soy milk production, okara, and its potential uses as a protein-enriching ingredient by processing it into flour. The research will include evaluating the nutrient stability of the fortified flour and whether or not traditional local products made with the flour would be acceptable to consumers.
- Multi-crop thresher trainings in four African countries to reduce postharvest loss, Soybean Innovation Lab: The Soybean Innovation Lab’s (SIL) multi-crop thresher can be used on soybean, rice, beans, sorghum, and other crops, and reduces postharvest losses by increasing efficiency, reducing labor time and costs, and preserving seed quality. The multi-thresher is in its fourth year and demand for the thresher and for training seminars has only increased. In 2018, ADM Cares funded a thresher training program in Malawi, and other countries have also been added since. SIL is using a “train the trainer” model, training people who will then train others. ADM Cares funds will pay three trainers to conduct 6-day training sessions in Mali, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe, and for the materials used in the sessions. Three threshers are constructed during each training.
- Sustainable literacy for agriculture in Tanzania and South India, Sustainable Marketplaces Initiative, Madhu Viswanathan: The specific two-fold objectives of this proposal will be to design and deliver sustainability literacy, with an emphasis on post-harvest loss prevention, for farmers in South India and Tanzania. The program will use insights from primary research at the intersection of agriculture and sustainability in subsistence marketplaces and secondary research on the environment and climate change to create sustainability literacy education that can help farmers manage uncertainties. Instruction will emphasize post-harvest loss prevention, such as from storage, processing, packing and transportation, as mechanisms for greater climate resilience.
- Overcoming constraints to scaling up small-scale dryers in Bangladesh, Bangladesh Agricultural University: Continuing a productive ongoing research relationship with BAU, this project will build on the work BAU and Illinois researchers have done to modify and improve the BAU-STR low-cost grain dryer for use in Bangladesh. Since the small-batch dryer can now be completely produced and maintained in-country, full scaling of the technology is now possible. With ADM Cares, funds, the BAU team will produce training materials for and facilitate training sessions for manufacturers who wish to produce the dryer, conduct a gender assessment of the technology, and complete technical work necessary to convert the dryer to run on LPG power.