Piloting Durable Household Hermetic Storage Systems In Bangladesh
ADMI-sponsored research indicates that Bangladeshi farmers suffer losses of 6% of their grain stored at home over three months following the Boro harvest. Grain stored in permeable jute sacks or traditional bins is susceptible to various forms of infestation as well as variation in moisture content leading to quality degradation. Research further shows that use of hermetically sealed 50 kg plastic bags can reduce storage loss in households to near zero over the same period.
Storage losses are a significant cost to smallholders, who typically hold about 300 kilograms of harvested grain for home consumption after each harvest. While use of hermetic bags has been effective in some developing country settings, they face serious impediments in Bangladesh due to absence of a distribution system and more importantly, government restrictions on use of plastics emerging from environmental concerns.
Understanding that hermetic storage is valued by farmers, but that hermetic bags may be inappropriate in the context, the Advanced Storage Laboratory at Bangladesh Agricultural University developed a durable metal bin that can be locally produced and achieves the benefits of hermetic storage in laboratory settings. This was done by adding galvanizing clips, wrapping paper, and putty to commonly produced household metal silos (pictured above).
The experiment compared storage outcomes for paddy stored for eight months in four different containers: traditional jute bags, improved plastic containers, improved metal bins, and improved plastic drums.
At the conclusion of the experiment, the maximum storage loss was found in the jute bag, with 11.38% losses. The metal bin performed the best, with only .92% storage losses. The highest germination rate, 84%, was recorded in the metal bin.
Based on all results, the metal bin showed some characteristics of hermetic and improved performance in terms of gas permeability, germination, insect infestation, moisture content, and storage losses.
More details about the research are available in Dr. Md. Abdul Awal’s presentation, available below.