Purdue Improved Crop Storage

The Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS2) project carries out research to explore the usefulness and value of PICS triple bags for controlling storage insect pests of other crops including maize, sorghum, wheat, rice, peanut, common bean, hibiscus seed, mung bean, pigeon pea and bambara groundnut. In addition, PICS bag are being evaluated to determine whether they maintain the viability of the seed for planting and if they minimize mold growth and accumulation of mycotoxins. If PICS bags prove technically effective for other crops they must also be economically feasible and thus likely to achieve widespread adoption and impact. Economic research under PICS2 will assess the cost-effectiveness of PICS triple-layer bags for promising crops. Preliminary economic analyses will be also conducted to estimate the benefits of the technology compared to returns on other storage options and to other investments available in rural areas.

The PICS2 project aims to:

  1. Identify agricultural commodities or other food products that suffer losses to insects during storage in developing nations for which PICS technology – in the current or modified form – might serve to prevent losses, reduce insecticide use, and add value.
  2. Test the technology through collaborative projects with scientists in developing nations, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  3. Implement economic analyses to estimate the benefits that might accrue if the technology were optimized for the commodity in question and manufactured and adopted.
  4. Develop plans to disseminate the technology for those commodities where effectiveness and economic feasibility are evident.

Dissemination will focus on grains, grain legumes, oilseeds and other crop products shown to have high potential to benefit from PICS technology. Potential agribusiness partners will include agricultural input suppliers, sack vendors, millers, food processors and grain traders. Extension partners will include NGOs, national extension services, women’s groups and farmer associations.