GrainPro grain cocoon
Grainsafes/cocoons are made of tough gas-proof plastic sheeting and are closed using a gas-tight zip. Once filled and closed they are hermetic so that when filled with grain a modified atmosphere is created after some weeks that will kill insect pests. They are available in capacities ranging from 1 to 300 tonnes and can be purchased with a shelter to screen them from direct sunshine.
Storage Period: 3-24 months
Capacity: 1t - 300t
Lifespan: 5 year - 10 year
Initial cost: US$ 152 - 350
Cost per tonne per year: US$ 12 - 28
Any cereal grains or pulses
Materials used: UV resistant PVC sheets with air tight zipper for sealing. The cocoon kit includes a sun shade to protects against heat. The PVC sheet is reflective which reduces heat accumulation if installed outdoors.
Locations made: GrainPro, The Philippines
Life span: 5 year warranty, but lifespan depends very much on how well they are maintained. Could easily last 10 years. Damage by rats, cigarette holes etc. But there are repair kits so small holes can be sealed.
Marketing and promotions: There have been worldwide marketing campaigns by GrainPro and in Zimbabwe since 2014. Sales are reported to have increased annually, although no figures were shared.
Success and nature of marketing: Sales are reported to have increased annually, although no figures were shared.
Training as part of the campaign: As for the SuperGrain bags, IRRI did a lot of training of first adopters and NARES partners. GrainPro now provides their own training (via practical demonstrations of ~3hrs), but at a limited scale. The IRRI training included: safe storage conditions, grain – surrounding air relationships, moisture content, how to set up a cocoon, how to seal it and to check that it is sealed, principles of hermetic storage, and how to measure moisture content.
Degree of adoption: In most countries it has been mostly adopted by the grain industry and distributed through government programmes. First adopters were seed producers, but it is also used for commercial grain. GrainPro have for sales data.
Reason for adoption:
- Flexibility/ mobility, can be set-up outside in the yard.
- Insect control without pesticides
Weaknesses of this store:
- Labour intensive
- Can be damaged by rats if not managed properly
- Fire can damage the roof
- The zipper is the weakest point which needs regular checking as it may open resulting in leakage of carbon dioxide and entry of oxygen
Barriers to adoption:
- High price
- Little buy-in of some national systems that want locally produced solutions
- Too big for farm level storage because cannot take out small amounts without disturbing naturally produced modified atmosphere
- High cost and lack of training as the sellers cannot cover the whole country while extension staff are not yet familiar with this technology (Zimbabwe)
- Changing some official rules / guidelines
- More training on hermetic storage, advantages and cost
- Use the cocoon with farmer groups
Use by institutions: Community grain storage with support from WFP in Zimbabwe. Would be ideal for relief organisations.
After uses: No comment yet
What to like: Relatively cheap, no pesticides, flexible use…
What to dislike: Not certain if it would be damaged by LGB and rodent attack from outside. The sunscreen can easily be damaged if there is a strong gust of wind.