In 2010, Nana Yaw Obeng immediately saw the potential of hermetic technology to safely store grains and seeds. His vision is paving the way to safer postharvest storage and organic preservation, not only in Ghana, but throughout the continent.
A Postharvest Technology graduate of the Natural Resource Institute in the United Kingdom, Nana returned to Ghana upon completion of his degree and worked for the government. He started Agrimat, Ltd., as a trader of agricultural inputs and machineries. It is through his business that he found out about the GrainPro® SuperGrainbag®, a hermetic liner bag with superior air and water barriers to stop infestation and inhibit fungal growth without using chemicals.
Harvest season is a busy time for the Agrimat team when farmers flock to buy these miraculous storage bags. Each farmer buys up to 10 to 15 bags at 8 Cedis, or less than US$2 per bag. Ivy Oduro Donkyi holds Agrimat’s wholesale warehouse, where GrainPro bags are sold to retailers from all over the countryside. Ivy is on her 14th year with Agrimat and she confirms, “our clients are happy with the performance of the SuperGrainbag and they keep coming back.” At the store, we find Dora Bempong who’s been an employee for 20 years with Sophia Turkson, another 14-year employee. Dora says, “I also use the SGB at my house to store rice and since I began using it, I’ve never had any infestation problems.”
The liner bag isn’t the only hermetic solution Agrimat is offering. Tom de Bruin, who visited Agrimat last month, explains that, “as the oldest and most senior partner of GrainPro in Africa, Agrimat also sells Cocoons™, which can hermetically store up to 1050 metric tons.” They are piloting a new government initiative to set up grain warehousing facilities that will help smallholder farmers safely store their crops without the use of chemicals. This puts them and hermetic storage at the forefront of food loss reduction.