Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bags have been designed for effective storage of grains even as they also have the capacity to reduce the incidents of food poisoning, reports NaijaAgroNet.
PICS was designed by the Purdue University, United States of America to provide a simple, effective low-cost method of reducing post-harvest losses in cereal crops due to insect infestations in West and Central Africa.
NaijaAgroNet learnt through PICS media consultant in Ghana, David Babayara, who was interviewed by Daily Graphic, that using the PICS bags to store foodstuff also reduced the incidents of food poisoning.
“This is because PICS bags employ the hermetic system of storage, hence food stored in them does not need to be treated with chemicals before storage,” Mr Babayara stated.
Effective storage of grains such as maize, beans, cowpea, groundnuts and rice has always been a major challenge to smallholder farmers in the whole Africa. Grains are mostly destroyed by pests and insects within three months of storage due to the lack of proper storage methods for farmers and food dealers.
A PICS bag consists of two layers of polyethylene bags surrounded by a third layer of woven polypropylene. This oxygen-deprived environment proves fatal to insects and pests and therefore prevents them from causing harm to stored grains, NaijaAgroNet gathered.
PICS technology was developed in the late 1980s by Professor Larry Murdock of Purdue University with support from partners in Cameroon and funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
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Pix: David Babayara,