Updated Jul 11, 2019

Dry Chain concept

Part of Rhino Research

1/3 of the total food produced is lost before reaching the consumers. The concept of a Dry Chain is in analogy to the Cold Chain. The dry chain focuses on safe storage of seeds, grain and spices, without growth of food spoilage organisms (aflatoxin).

https://horticulture.ucdavis.edu/project/scaling-drying-beads

Shakeel Imran

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Stage 4: Transition to Scale

We trained many seed companies professionals in drying and storage of seeds, who trained more than 100 trainers and subsequently greater than 800 farmers which dried up more than 20,000 kg hybrid tomato and chilies seeds of high quality in a year.

Focus Areas:

Post Harvest, Seeds & Stock and Processing & Production

Post Harvest, Seeds & Stock and Processing & ProductionSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Thailand and Bangladesh

Thailand and BangladeshSEE LESS

2
Countries Implemented In
Verified Funding
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Problem

Up to one-third of food produced is lost after harvest. Primary cause of such losses is poor storage conditions, especially high moisture contents that enable growth of food spoilage organisms (including Aspergillus that produce aflatoxin). The solution to this problem is to implement our “Dry Chain” concept for dried commodities. We focus on enabling drying of commodities after harvest and packaging them in moisture-proof containers (plastic bags, metal bins, etc.) for storage and distribution.

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Solution

The concept of a Dry Chain in analogy to the Cold Chain. In a “climate-smart” application of the Dry Chain, commodities sufficiently dry at harvest are simply packaged to capture the dryness and kept in hermetic containers throughout storage and distribution. In rainy seasons and humid climates, facilitating access of farmers to heated-air or desiccant-based driers enable products to be dried before packaging. It focuses on safe storage of seeds, grains, spices and many more for several years.

Target Beneficiaries

Our innovation is highly dynamic and can be successfully used for smallholder farmers, private industry, large-scale agriculture, governments, NGOs, research organizations, etc.

Mission and Vision

Elevated moisture contents of stored foods is the primary factor that promotes growth of storage molds and insect infestation. About 4.5 billion people are affected by mycotoxins that have been linked to tumors of the liver, kidneys, urinary and digestive tract, and lungs, as well as birth defects and nervous system problems. We will implement the dry chain simply by replacing porous storage containers with impermeable ones having drying beads, in cases where sun or air drying is insufficient.

Innovation Description

The concept of a Dry Chain in analogy to the Cold Chain. The dry chain focuses on storage of commodities such as seeds, grains, spices and other valuable products without spoilage for several years. We know that heated-air drying with mobile equipment is feasible, but has relatively low efficiency in hot, humid conditions in various developing countries. In this context, we introduced a powerful desiccant (Drying Beads) that can be used to dry commodities and then be activated for reuse by heating (with greater energy efficiency than heated-air systems). The desiccant is only required for a short period by a given user, enabling its repeated and continual reuse through community-based Dry Chain Centers. We implemented the Dry Chain simply by replacing porous storage containers with impermeable ones in cases where sun or air drying was insufficient. We provided hermetic plastic and metallic containers of variable capacities to the farming communities which they used repeatedly to deliver/sell their seeds to the companies. We incentivized traders and end users higher up of the value chain to provide these resources to farmers. It helped to maintain the integrity of the containers through distribution and then recycled them back for reuse by other farmers.

Competitive Advantage

The combination of preventing accumulation of aflatoxin in both field and during postharvest storage provides a comprehensive solution to a problem that affects 4.5 billion people around the world. Sun drying is often insufficient for storage especially in rainy season. Our innovation relies on Drying Beads and DryStore technology. Drying beads are the best available desiccant with multiple drying applications, having higher performance & much longer lifetime than other desiccants with unique sense of economics, food graded, reusable & environment friendly Drying Beads are very hygroscopic (only absorb water), having swift water absorption even in low relative humidity conditions. They exhibit strong water binding up to 20-30% of their weight and could be reactivated at temperature 230°C with in 2 hours. Moreover, drying beads conserve quality and nutritional value of the commodities for longer duration. It results into substantial savings when compared to cold storage systems.

Planned Goals and Milestones

We intend further scaling of our innovation through which we aim to develop an industrial equipment (based on drying beads and dry chain concept) that would be used on large scale by rural & progressive farming communities, commercial entities, public and private organizations.
Funding Goal1,000,000
New Implemented CountriesDominican Republic, Guatemala, Ghana, Ethiopia, Philippines, Panama, Nigeria, Nepal, Laos, Bhutan, Vietnam, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Pakistan
RecruitBoard=1, Managers=2
New FeatureCurrent innovation will be upgraded and equipped with industrial applications that would be linked to Drying Beads/Dry-Chain for better food, feed and profitable agriculture system for all the stakeholders.

Milestones

Dec 2017
New Country Implemented In
Bangladesh
Nov 2015
New Country Implemented In
Thailand
Date Unknown
Funds RaisedVERIFIED
TITLEScaling up seed-drying technology in Bangladesh
TYPEGrant
FOCUS AREAS
Agriculture, Post Harvest, Processing & Production and 1 moreSEE ALL
Agriculture, Post Harvest, Processing & Production, Seeds & StockSEE LESS
IMPLEMENTED INBangladesh and Thailand