PICS bags Kenya Photo by Fintrac.jpg

Purdue University, with Bell Industries

Partnership period: September 2013 – September 2014

Country: Kenya

ACHIEVEMENTS: Local distributor Bell Industries sold more than 1.2 million Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bags to more than 208,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya, including more than 1.1 million bags after the end of the program partnership in September 2014.

PURPOSE: Increase smallholder grain producers’ use of PICS bags to reduce postharvest losses, improve their ability to store grain for household food security, and provide farmers the option to delay grain marketing to capture increased commodity prices between harvest seasons. When properly sealed, PICS bags virtually eliminate insect damage for stored grain and other crops.

APPROACH: The university used local private sector partners to market the product to the smallholder customers. The PICS bags, developed by Purdue University, provide small-scale hermetic grain storage to reduce postharvest pest damage. Made of two high-density polyethylene inner bags that fit inside another bag, PICS bags can be used by smallholder farmers to store either a few kilograms or a full 50 or 100 kilograms of grain.