Bio-Plastics triple bags

Triple layer bags consist of two gas-proof inner bags, one inside the other. For protection against physical damage these are placed inside a much tougher, open weave polypropylene (PP) bag. After filling they are tied shut with string. The inner bags are gas-tight (hermetic) so that some weeks after being filled with grain and tightly closed, a modified atmosphere is created that will kill insect pests. Triple bags usually have a capacity of 50 or 100kg.

Pest Control Status: Pest control is native
Storage Period: 3-24 months
Capacity: 50kg - 120kg
Lifespan: 2 year - 3 year
Initial cost: US$ 42 - 70
Cost per tonne per year: US$ 14 - 35

Commodities stored:

Ghana: Maize, cowpea, sorghum, millet, groundnut in descending volume

Materials used: Plastics (Polyethylene), this is biodegradable.
Locations made: Bio-Plastics, Ghana (Accra)

Life span: In practice 2 to 4 years, variations partly due to rodent attacks, cuts by old carting trucks and excessive exposure to sun. Under ideal conditions - 7 years.

Marketing and promotions: Ghana: 2011 to 2013 (mainly by NGOs in collaboration with MoFA e.g. Concern Universal, FARA, Sattifs project) Nigeria: 2011 to 2014 Cameroon: 2012

Success and nature of marketing: In Ghana the promotion campaigns were considered successful, and took the form of radio adverts, durbars (leaders events), focus group discussions (FGDs) at the community level involving agricultural extension agents in Northern and middle belt of Ghana.

Training as part of the campaign: Training (~2 hours) had involved demonstrations on: how to use the bags and minimise the air in them, and how to avoid damage/ punctures to them. Demonstration trials were set-up and grain was stored in the bags, which were then opened 6 months later during a community open-day.

Degree of adoption: No adoption survey undertaken. Bags being promoted mainly in the Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions of Ghana and seem to be quite widely adopted where cereals and pulses are commonly grown.

Reason for adoption:
  1. Effective control of major insect storage pests
  2. Easy to use
  3. Cost effective

Weaknesses of this store:
  1. High initial cost
  2. Damage by rodents and sharp objects makes them ineffective
  3. They are not yet widely available on local markets

Barriers to adoption:
  1. Not widely available at the time they were being promoted to farmers.
  2. Poor technical knowledge with regards to proper usage
  3. Rodent damage
  4. Inadequate training and promotional campaigns/publicity especially by Ministry of Agriculture
  5. Relatively expensive for smallholders

Overcoming barriers:
  1. Increase publicity and build capacity of users through regular training
  2. Make bags available all year round especially during harvest
  3. Ministry of Agriculture should take the lead in the promotion and include bags in normal extension service delivery to farmers
  4. Support for companies producing bags so that they can be made widely available through local input shops
  5. Provide credit facilities for bag purchase at designated rural banks

Use by institutions: In Upper West and Brong-Ahafo regions of Ghana, community grain storage, schools, but currently at only a low level.

After uses: As sheeting for sun-drying grain, flour and vegetables. They are also used to cover food or as a table-cloth. Sometimes used to cover water-carrying drums.

What to like:
  1. Easy to use
  2. Cost effective

What to dislike: NA


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