KENYA – Packaging Industries Limited (PIL) has developed innovative hermetic bags with a plastic liner inside that is both water-resistant and airtight, making them the preferred choice for grain storage.
According to Vaishali Malde, the technical sales and product development manager at Packaging Industries Limited, the Mavuno Bora Hermetic storage bag is specifically designed to create an airtight environment that preserves the quality and freshness of stored produce.
This condition suffocates insects and pests, preventing them from compromising the integrity of the stored produce.
This method has been instrumental in reducing post-harvest losses while ensuring a chemical-free organic storage solution and ensuring food security in regions with high agricultural output.
Innovation, she emphasizes, plays a crucial role in ensuring the longevity and safety of agricultural produce, especially in the ever-evolving landscape of food storage and preservation.
One of the most notable enhancements and the first innovation improvement in the region for the Mavuno Bora Hermetic storage bag is the integration of rodent repulsion technology.
According to her, rodent infestations have long been a challenge in agricultural storage, leading to substantial losses. The innovative version of the bag incorporates non-toxic and non-poisonous food-grade additives that deter rodents from approaching or chewing through the bag’s material.
“The NeXgeN Innovative Mavuno Bora Hermetic Bag has a powerful rodent repulsion technology enhanced with non-toxic and non-poisonous additives. This not only enhances the bag’s capabilities but also opens up new horizons in preserving dried agricultural goods, while protecting them from rodents and termites from the outside environment,” she said.
In the past, grain storage bags used to consist of two-liner bags to contain the contents, with an outer sack providing structural support.
Although this design was effective in depleting oxygen within the bag during storage, advancements in technology have led to the integration of a single hermetic liner containing a high-barrier Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol (EVOH) layer.
This advanced liner material, she said, offers several advantages compared to conventional storage solutions with a double liner made of High-density polyethylene (HDPE).
“The EVOH provides superior gas barrier properties, which are 10,000 times better compared to HDPE, preventing oxygen and moisture from entering the bag. This extends the shelf life of stored produce while eliminating infestation,” she noted.
Apart from the rodent-repellent hermetic bags, the PIL company has also specialized bags known as “Mama Silage bags,” designed for the efficient preservation of animal fodder.
These bags have revolutionized the way Kenyan farmers store and protect their valuable silage crops.
Malde explains that with Kenya’s heavy reliance on livestock farming, especially in rural areas, Mama silage bags have played a pivotal role in ensuring that farmers can feed their animals year-round, even during dry seasons when fresh forage is scarce.
“Mama silage bags have not only improved the livelihoods of countless farmers but have also contributed to food security and sustainable agriculture practices in Kenya, making them a symbol of innovation and progress in the country’s agricultural sector,” she added.
Kenya loses between 35 to 40 percent of production to insect pests, especially in maize, at the storage level. Currently, a regular bag that is not repellant to rodents costs between KES 250 to 300 (US$ 1.65 to 1.98), depending on the brand, and has a lifespan of three to four years.
The Rodent repellent bags are available in various agrovet and agro-dealer shops countrywide after commercial production and sale began in September, with a recommended retail price of KES 450 (US$ 2.97).