Developing Practical Technologies for Smallholder Farmers
In addition to larger featured projects, the ADM Institute also funds several small projects and research efforts. Although these projects are small in scale, the information and innovations they produce have the potential to be widely applicable in worldwide postharvest loss reduction.
Additional Research Projects
Integrated Stored Solar Dryer and Cooker – Drying is a crucial step in the postharvest processing of grain crops but the process is highly energy intensive. The traditional drying methods used in developing countries cause significant quantity and quality losses. This project led by Dr. Bruce Litchfield at the University of Illinois focuses on developing an integrated dryer and cooker using solar energy on a small farm/household scale. The product uses low-cost, readily-available salts that store large amounts of thermal energy when they are heated and change from solid to liquid.
Wireless Grain Moisture Sensors – Measuring grain moisture is important in preventing postharvest losses. Dr. John M. Hart at the University of Illinois is working on a number of technological innovations to help farmers in rural areas track moisture levels more accurately. One of these is a wireless in-the-bag sensor, which uses Bluetooth to send humidity readings from grain bags wirelessly to a data hub.
Postharvest Green Technologies for Urban Farms – This project has been initiated for specialty food crops in the Prosperity Gardens and Chanute Fields near Rantoul, Illinois. Prosperity Gardens is a community garden project on reclaimed urban property in a low-income food desert. The project will demonstrate low-cost solutions and best practices to postharvest loss prevention that can be adapted in multiple settings across the globe.
Reduction of Postharvest Losses in Soybean in Northeast Mexico – The project focuses on determining the causes of postharvest losses of soybean during the harvest, transportation and storage in the main producer municipalities of San Luis Potosi and Tamaulipas. This comprehensive analysis will help in designing the technical recommendations, and dissemination of economically viable technologies for postharvest loss reduction in Northeast Mexico.
Postharvest Loss Reduction Project in China – The ADM institute partnered with the Research Center for Rural Economy (RCRE) in China and generated new data on postharvest losses from various interventions and provided recommendations to reduce losses.
An Overview of Postharvest Losses in Rice in APEC Economies – In December 2015, the ADM Institute submitted its final report to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on the status of the rice postharvest losses in 21 APEC countries and recommendations to reduce these losses based on the literature reports and analysis of the comprehensive baseline surveys designed by the ADMI.