Grain farmers who have been losing up 30 percent of their yield to post harvest insecticides in Kenya can now rest easy, thanks to the successful test achieved by the first ever insecticide incorporated storage bags that completely curb pest infestation.
Dubbed Zero Fly, these unique storage bags has an active deltamethrin, a FAO and WHO certified pesticide that is incorporated into the individual yarn and slowly released onto the surface of the material in a controlled and sustained manner. Grains stored in the bag is therefore continuously protected against insect infest station for the lifetime of the product.
The bags which are produced by Vestergaard and have been tested in various global markets including US, India, Senegal, Ethopia, Nigeria and Ghana are capable of killing all types of granary weevils, borers, beetles and moths that normally attack common grains including maize, rice, sorghum, groundnuts, beans and millet.
According to Vestergaard, deltamethrin is released to the surface of the yarn for a minimum of two years; hence these bags can safeguard cereals against pest attacks for at least the same period. Unlike other forms of post harvest pest control in cereals that include regular application of pesticides, which is not only hazardous but also expensive and time consuming, Zero Fly bags are self sustaining and long lasting.
These insecticides incorporated storage bags is expected to help reduce the rampant post harvest loses in the continent and perhaps help seal the continent’s huge food deficit. Currently, at least 1 in every 5 Africans go without food, even as the continent struggle to match the world in realization of post Millennium Development Goals.
According to the World Bank, a 1 percent reduction in post-harvest losses corresponds to a gain of $40 million, with farmers as key beneficiaries. The value of post-harvest losses in Sub-Saharan Africa alone is nearly $ 4 billion a year out of an annual grain value of $27 billion. An estimated 10 to 30 percent of worldwide annual food production is lost during post-harvest processes. This impacts the farmer with loss of profitability and has a detrimental effect on global food security.
Poor grains storage like the use of the same bins or bags year after year without proper hygiene provides a continuous chain of infestation, this according to Vestergaard. It explained that Insects can hibernate or even continue to feed on wooden structures of the store or hide between holes and cracks in the walls. They can then rein fest the new crop in the same store and resume feeding.
The company has already released 50kg bags in the market and are retailing at sh800. For more information about these bags, 0204444758/9 or visit www.vestergaard.com/our-product/zerofly.