Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Improved multilayer hermetic grain storage technology launched in Nyahururu

By Bob Aston
November 18, 2015 Laikipia County achieved a key milestone as A to Z group in collaboration with Cereal Growers Association (CGA) and Laikipia County Government launched AgroZ bag at Thompson Falls Lodge in Nyahururu.
Mr. Bhubhinder during the launch of AgroZ bag

Laikipia County Agriculture Director Mrs. Elizabeth Mwangi and Laikipia West Sub County Agriculture officer graced the launch. 

Others included Ward Agriculture officers drawn from the six wards of Laikipia West Sub County, Laikipia Maize Value Chain Development Network, Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN), and farmer representatives.
Speaking during the launch, AgroZ Group Marketing and Sales Manager Mr. Bhubhinder Singh noted that Post-harvest losses of grains and pulses are extensive and a major threat to food security in the Country.
He said that the hermetic bags kills insects and preserves farm produce for three seasons. He noted that the water-resistant and gastight storage solution is ideal for grains and pulses like maize, dry beans, peas, rice, sorghum, millet, soybeans, seeds, wheat, cocoa, and coffee.
He noted that bag has an inner multilayer polyethylene (PE) liner of five barrier layers and an outer woven polypropylene (PP) raffia sack.
“The hermetic bag can store commodities for a long period of over a year without the risks of moisture gain or loss, insect pest infestation and fungal growth,” said Mr. Bhubhinder.
He added that bag deprives insects of oxygen that kills them and stops mold growth, preventing food losses and aflatoxin contamination.
AgroZ staff showing farmers how to tie the bag
Other benefits of the AgroZ bag include prevents post-harvest losses from insect pests, no fumigation or chemical application required, effective against all insect storage pests, reusable for up to 3 seasons, and no loss of weight during storage.
He said that farmers have to ensure that the inner liner is not holed or damaged when acquiring it or before use.  
During storage, it is advisable to remove all air pockets from the top of the grain then twisting the remaining part of the inner liner and after that bending it using the provided smooth tie.
The final step is to close the outer polypropylene (PP) bag and store in a dry cool place for at least one month before opening it in order to ensure suffocation of any insects introduced in the grain.
“The eco-friendly and pesticide-free hermetic storage bag preserves the quality and germination capacity of stored grains. It is ideal in preventing aflatoxin accumulation during storage,” said Mr. Bhubhinder.
He noted that the bags would help farmers reduce the high cost of chemicals used in preserving cereals. Transglobal Distributors Ltd. is distributing the AgroZ bag. Each is retailing at Kshs 250.

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