Grain farmers in Kenya will not have to worry about post-harvest pest, thanks to the launch of Hermetic bags that do not require the use of insecticides to prevent pests’ invasion.
The bags which were today launched by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in collaboration with other stakeholders will see farmers safely store maize, beans and wheat for two consecutive years
These bags have been piloted for three years in the country and its enrollment into the market is expected to help farmers cut on production costs and limit wastage.
Speaking during the launch event, Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Willy Bett applauded this innovation, saying that it will help the country save 30 per cent of grain lost annually.
“Reduction of post-harvest loss is an important strategy to ensure food and nutritional security and improve farmers’ income in a sustainable manner,” said Bett
It is estimated that over three million bags of maize will be saved from going to waste once farmers adopt the new technology.
Currently, Kenya has a consumption of 3.7 million bags of maize per month against its production of less than 1.5 million bags per month.
At the same time, Bett announced the abolishment of 16% duty charged on the bags to enable small scale farmers for them to acquire them with ease.
He explained that his ministry will now be focusing its energy preventing food wastage than production.
This even as World Bank figures show that 95 percent of research investments in the agricultural sector for the past 30 years focused on increasing productivity, with only 5 percent directed to reducing food losses.
The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimates that 1.3 billion tonnes which is roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption go to waste every year.
US Aid-KAVES, Bell Industries, GrainPro Inc, Elite Innovations, Vestergaard and Agro-Z are key stakeholders partnering with Kenya