Improved Cowpea Storage Technology Introduced
4/25/2012 8:02:13 AM -
More than 132,626 cowpea farmers and vendors in 2,300 communities across the country have been introduced to a new grain storage technology that enables farmers and grain vendors to store their produce without using pesticides.
The new technology known as Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage (PICS) was developed by the University of Purdue in the United States of America and introduced to Ghanaian cowpea farmers and vendors by World Vision, a child centered charity organisation.
The technology applies the Hermetic Triple Bag technology where the grains are stored in a bag made up of three layers.
The bag has been designed in a way that prevents oxygen from getting into its inner layer where the grains are kept and this makes it impossible for any weevil which might find its way into the bag, to survive.
At a ceremony in Gushegu to demonstrate the effectiveness of PICS bags in the storage of cowpea after some vendors had stored the grains with the bags for six months, the Savelugu Operations Base Leader of World Vision, Mr James Asedem said the technology had been tried and tested for more than 25 years.
He said the huge benefits of cowpea at both the household level, where it provides nutrition to families and the commercial sector where it contributes significantly to income levels of groups and individuals, made it imperative for the crop to be preserved.
He said it was in view of this importance of cowpea that World Vision decided to partner Purdue University and other partners including the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute and other stakeholders for the promotion of the new storage technology.
He said that although the bag was specifically designed for the storage of cowpea, Ghanaian farmers and produce vendors had adopted it for the storage of maize, millet and other grains with the same success.
The Northern Regional Director of MOFA, Mr Joseph Faalong expressed optimism that deaths associated with the misuse of pesticides in the storage of grains would be minimised with the adoption of the technology.
He described the post harvest loss associated with cowpea as very high and was hopeful that the new technology would ameliorate the problem.