Updated May 24, 2019

NeverIdle Mobile Utility Grain, Pulse and Oilseed Storage


William Lanier

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Reducing grain Postharvest and input Loss like aflatoxin, insects or rats offers a more cost effective and environmentally friendly solution than subsidizing agricultural intensification. PHL is reversed best with grower controled metal breathing roofs, on raised self cleaning floors at control points. For tenure-less growers utility that is mobile between optimal PHL control points replaces Gr...
Reducing grain Postharvest and input Loss like aflatoxin, insects or rats offers a more cost effective and environmentally friendly solution than subsidizing agricultural intensification. PHL is reversed best with grower controled metal breathing roofs, on raised self cleaning floors at control points. For tenure-less growers utility that is mobile between optimal PHL control points replaces Gross loss with marketing Net by leaving stationary behind and parking so a truck can haul loads.
How does your innovation work?
NeverIdleMobile Utility Storage works because it offers land tenure insecure growers, harvest-tenure or control of storage assest by adding wheels to high utility grain storage bins. Background Historically SSA grains are stored in stationary farm or home storage constructed from primitive or traditional mud, grass and wood (locally available materials). Recently some Development projects have framed plastic bags and metal cans that are “air-tight for non-residual fumigation,” family-sized (FAO, 2015) Grain Distribution Logistics and Infrastructure (GDLI).. However, small operations that just store family food are not providing safe nutrition or marketing surplus grain for peace-of-mind like “health care, school fees, retirement, National food security or exports.” The capacity required to store large amounts of grain for food mean AID funded production packages implement collection silos/shed, reserve and distribution centers that are managed by institutions. Family-sized or institution GDLI is designed for the average local harvest. Average harvest is rare and GDLI is often idle or overflowing because weather or crop pests always affect the amount of harvest. If average is not local, distant capacity reduces the net benefits of investment because institutions are unlikely to prioritize grower peace-of-mind so idle GDLI "becomes rusting monuments to inappropriate technology transfer. None of the other institutional storage facilities owned by MoFA, FASCOM, CMB, Action AID or others were being used” (Armah, 2006). Overflowing, idle or distant GDLI has very serious consequences like “An estimated 500 million of the poorest people in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Asia are exposed to mycotoxins [like aflatoxin] at levels that substantially increase mortality and morbidity" (IARC, 2016). “AID Amnesia” (2014) means "benefits from improved storage technologies are seldom systematically compared with their costs” (Kaminski, 2014). Readily available and cost effective storage will reverse PHL just like hand washing with soap prevents ebola. However, Ruxin (2014) advises “Step One to Fighting Ebola - Start with Corruption." Context. "Encouragingly, though, tackling [grain] postharvest loss is not rocket science. It does not require technological breakthroughs or years of high level scientific research as do some of the other challenges we face" (Cousins, 2014). However, Development frameworks lack meaning to growers who need GDLI that scales to stop aflatoxin and other PHL. Dr. Cardwell (2015) presents growers "whose scale of operation is too small to be able to produce SAFE FOOD, are too small to farm maize (or any aflatoxin sensitive staples)." Too store grain, airtight storage needs a well maintained roof and raised platform to stop loss associated with the condensation (caused by day and night temperatures) that aflatoxin producing fungi and insects need. Local artisan constructed airtight metal cans are fragile, difficult to transport and roofs and raised platforms are stationary. How It Works. Breathable storage mitigates condensation and protects many types of grain including paddy rice, inputs like seed or fertilizer with high utility metal roofs, walls and cone shaped floors that are raised above rats and ground water. Robust raised utility allows gravity to ease access, processing and cleaning. Combining breathability, utility and integral wheels creates GDLI that adapts to the amount and location of multiple harvests a year by “parking cost-effectively so trucks can go to haul heavy loads” (Bessonova, 2015). Properly dried and stored in Mobile utility, grain is easy to monitor, handle and fumigate when needed, so grower investment is secure. Minority world stored-grain researchers “recommend utility because it is more effective than other GDLI at reversing food grain PHL” and farmers adopt utility because metal storage is cost-effective for a very long time. However, minority world farmers have “Rights that create incentives for technology adoption” (Easterly, 2015) like land-tenure for investment that is stationary. Currently land-tenure does not suit SSA and “tenure insecurity” (Perez, 2014) allows any change to make stationary utility GDLI a risky investment. Development production packages try to reduce the risk of producing surplus with warehouse receipt systems (WRS). However, the limited utility of metal cans, plastic bags or jute sacks mean “WRS are typically multimillion projects [institutions] that do not work, as the marketing environment is not sufficiently developed to support them. Even if they did work [after support ends], they [WRS] would not help smallholders, which they are often claimed to do" (Ferris, 2013). Never distant - overflowing - idle, mobile utility GDLI is “an innovation that merits demonstration!” (Guay, 2014) and offers growers “harvest-tenure when and where peace-of-mind is needed to invest and scale grower operations to produce safe food optimally.” Harvest-tenure is especially important for those who suffer corruption and the drudgery needed to provide peace-of-mind to rural families. ​- +50 years of research and testing (Butler, 1907), (Proctor, 1999), (Opit, 2016) - Cimbria, African Grain Care, sell and maintain 1000s of stationary metal grain bins and silos (some grower controlled) across Africa. Wheels work on wagons/tractors/trailers/trucks and now utility bins, so it is easy improve stationary utility for tenure-insecure growers to produce surplus grain. However, although utility offers grower Net benefit, mobility disrupts a "political lobby that attract donations for bottlenecks that benefit technocrats" or stationary sack warehouse bias (SSWB). Proving the obvious, that wheels on wagons and now storage bins provide the significant utility needed by tenure-insecure growers to produce surplus grain, attracts chilling repercussions from sensitive African male egos.

Stage 4: Transition to Scale

-May 8 - 11, 2017. Lanier presents Mobile utility at "Global Forum for Innovation in Agriculture", Utrecht, Netherlands. - March 2017. NeverIdle/Lanier joins FAO Grain stores CoP -March 28 - 31, 2017. Lanier presents at"1st All African Postharvest Congress and Exhibition" Nairobi, Kenya. - Dec. 2016. Lanier presents "Innovation Conference Ghana (CSIR-STPRI, GLOBELICS). Accra, Ghana. - March 2016. Avnash endorses Mobile utility for GCAP Rice growers. Tamale Ghana - Nov. 2015. GIPC starts monitoring GCAP prejudice for stationary warehouses - Oct. 2015. Lanier presents at "First International Congress on PHL Prevention" in Rome, Italy (Lanier, et al.2015) - Swedish International Agricultural Initiative (SIANI) publishes interview "Post-harvest-loss - low hanging fruitno one wants to pick" - July 2015. Lanier sat on the "Innovations to reduce PHL- EBA role in Africa Postharvest Loss and waste“panel at African Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Conference (EBAFSC, 2015) - 2014 NeverIdle was invited to the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project, Northern Region workshop. ButPHL was not addressed - 2012 - 14 NeverIdle was invited to Annual Northern Ghana Pre-Harvest Agribusiness Forum (ADVANCE).However, the topic of PHL never surfaced - 2011 - 2015 NeverIdle storage is displayed at National and Regional Farmer day celebrations.
Users, Testers, and Collaborators: - WAATCO (Ghana) -FAO Grain store CoP - Ghana Standards Authority - RANSBOAT (12/14 - on going) - Bonzalli (23/8 - 23/12/2014) - UNICOM (12/03 - 12/06/2013) - Ghana Investment and Promotion center SSWB practitioners: - WFP Global PH Knowledge center - ICRISAT - HarvestPlus innitiative - AGRAProgram Markets and Harvest Management Unit, now Lead Program Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda - Eastern Africa Grain Council -SADA requested protocol fees and services - GGC suggested protocol fees and services - JICA at Minister of Food and Agriculture requests protocol fees and services - MIDA with Minister of Food and Agriculture requires protocol fees and services - IFDC requested upfront protocol fees and services. Leased mobile utility contracts are practiced at four Ghana locations to: generate sustainable revenue; level the field to foster meaningful dialogue between governments, citizens and growers; identify skills that connect growers and youth to markets; help the Development Industry at all links in the supply or value chain; and finally enhance the identity of AID. - CSRI-STEPRI (Ghana) lacks stored grain experts as scientific life-cycle-assessments of stationary sack warehouses disrupt a "political lobby that attracts handouts for bottlenecks that benefit technocrats" or stationary sack warehouse bias (SSWB).
It is easy to see that wheels on wagons/trailers/trucks and now utility bins, can improve on stationary utility for tenure-insecure growers to produce surplus grain. - +50 years of research and testing (Butler, 1907), (Proctor, 1999), (Opit, 2016). - Cimbria, African Grain Care, etc sell and maintain 1000s of stationary metal grain bins and silos (some grower controlled) across Africa. Evidence suggest the minority world supply chains (that send Africa significant nutrition) deliver net results because farmers monitor the moisture ingrain determines PHL and so farmers and governments invest in Grain Distribution and Logistical Infrastrucutre. A pilot navigated through Ghana’s agricultural business environment and observed adaptive learning that suggested mobile metal GDLI addresses the needs of tenure-insecure growers. Ground-proofing at 4 locations observed rights shifted control to growers, away from patriarchs wielding land-tenure, opportunistic traders setting prices or institution that are unresponsive (Easterly, 2016). Initially mobile GDLI can be leased to offset end-user-cost, then at harvest it breathes to mitigate condensation, rises above rats and groundwater so storing is optimal and reduces the hard labor of primary processing at markets. GDLI with mobility to scale at problem control points is optimal for tenure-insecure SSA growers and soon the net benefit of marketing quality surplus compensate for the lease or purchase price. However, Stationary Sack Wrehouse Bias (SSWB) dictates SSA supply chains are based on stationary primitive materials and institutional warehouse receipts. Growers lack thetenure needed to overcome SSWB and "All the GFDC institutional storage facilitiesand others owned by MoFA, FASCOM, CMB, Action AID have become rusting monuments to inappropriatetechnology transfer" (Armah, 2006). Mobile utility tests offer evidence that: - optimal storage means safer surplus quality food or animal feed at more profitable prices (UNICOM) - leases navigate pest, low prices and institutions by scaling across time and space regardless of landownership (Bonzali) - the "airtight plastic bag (WFP, 2014) or "family-sized" (FAO, 2015) metal cans do not store paddy rice and need impractical stationaryinfrastructure to stop the condensation caused by day and night temperatures that promotes fungi and insects (Avnash) - grower owned infrastrucutre and moisture meter calibration levels the field so prejudice means lesss protocol fees and services (GSA) -monitoring grain moisture connect youth to the labor market(DMt&S) Context for the qualitative analysis. Protecting harvest, against loss is more sustainable than merely intensifying agriculture to increase grossproduction because: - PHL wastes harvested crops — and the inputs, especially disadvantaged labor that contributed to producingthe wasted crop - eco-system services and food availability improve "without further use of land, water and other agriculturalinputs" (APHLIS, 2015) - protecting high calorie grains can safely power the human labor and animal work that produces fruits,vegetables and livestock - "Empirical studies that show commodity [safe food] trading presents enormous benefits to economies" (Narh,2015) - a logistical platform that monitors PHL would positively impact projects related to health, water and soil - regardless of tenure, protecting grain in mobile utility storage sustains the rural communities that bear thecost of grain production by decoupling economic growth from land degradation.
Registered in United Statesin United States

Focus Areas:

Agriculture, Food Safety and Standards, Livestock & Agriculture and 32 MoreSEE ALL

Agriculture, Food Safety and Standards, Livestock & Agriculture, Post Harvest, Processing & Production, Seeds & Stock, Rule of Law and Human Rights, Economic Growth and Trade, Entrepreneurship, Financial Sector & Investment, Land Tenure, Microeconomics, Private Sector Competitiveness, Social & Micro Finance, Trade, School-to-Work Transition, Parent & Family Engagement, Energy Efficiency, Solar, Environment, Waste Management, Natural Resources, Watersheds, Economic Empowerment, Gender Equity, Health, Response Technologies, Displaced Persons & Migration Management, Physical Development, Human Centered Design, Public-Private Partnerships, Resilience, Technology, Inclusion and Social and Behavior ChangeSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Ghana and Australia

Ghana and AustraliaSEE LESS

Lives Impacted to Date
Countries Implemented In
Funds Raised to Date

Mission and Vision

Competitive Advantage

Simply, investing (lease or purchase) half the value of PHL and missed marketing would significantly improve grower Net benefit and sooon African Foreign exxchange reserves. Context Grain provides most of the calories that power animal and human hard labor to “plant, grow, harvest, thresh, clean, dry, aggregate, store, monitor and process” grain and densely nutritious food. At farm level, especially in the field, many factors that influence loss post-harvest are environmental, and difficult or impossible to control without effective grain storage. Assessments that merely compare the end-user-cost per unit stored (Amaizz, 2015), assume that all GDLI listed were full for the same period and therefore provide similar net benefit. Assessing the cost of recycling, handling and additional Grain Distribution Logistics Infrastructure (GDLI) per unit per number of months stored is recommended to progress grower net benefit, agriculture’s triple bottom-line, and foreign reserves. Any discussion will conclude it is PHL that is expensive, not optimal GDLI as “amidst decades of grain net benefit increases in other parts of the world, current SSA grain agriculture stands out as less mechanized, lownet-yielding, and insecure” (Juma, 2016). Mobile metal GDLI awards rights to democratize food chain decisions, so policy progresses and growers set, or modify, their own goals, so two farms with identical climates and soils may be managed with different aims to achieve a different mix of net benefit (FAO, 2015).

Planned Goals and Milestones

Farming profitably is about getting as much as possible from the soil and water, while degrading the ecosystemas little as possible. Regardless of land tenure, mobile utility storage generates sustainable revenues becauseit is: ​- scaleable, traceable and transparent grain production logistical platform for entrepreneurs to scale across time and space - leases are tactical risk mitigation without upfront investment so harvests navigate pests, rain events, groundwater, wildfires, theft and annual low prices to become assets with grower net benefits - purchases are for strategic risk mitigation so a grower or regional business plan can reduce drudgery and market quality - a logistical platform that improves PHL monitoring to provide transparent and traceable data needed for learning and collaboration among development partners - appropriate for AID to empower the human component to determine where the net benefits of food productionshould accrue. So it is feasible to expand by partnering with for examplecitizens that work for government who know the innovation and can replicate it in the field to tackle a most pressing socialand economic problem. Some examples are: - FAO Grain stores CoP - Ghana Investment and Promotion Center (GIPC) who initiated monitoring partners forprejudice - Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) who calibrates affordable hand held moisture meters to initiate reduction of aflatoxin - African Regional Standards Organization (ARSO) who over sees the applicationof practical standards for people in emerging SSA economies - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA Ghana) who is interested in monitoringand responding to changes in the environment by mitigating ecosystem degradation caused by PHL - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA UpperWest Region Ghana) who is interested in monitoring and responding to changes in the environment bymitigating the soil, water and cultural degradation caused by PHL - MoFA PP Seed unit, (Northern Region Ghana) and hear how to sensitize growers and industry tobetter foundation and certified seed storage - West Africa Agro-Tech Company (WAATCO Ghana) who wants to improve the rate of returnon tractor investment so grower net income improves - Association of Church-based Development NGOs (ACDEP Ghana) wants to sensitizedevelopment partners about the social and net benefits of replacing PHL with marketing - Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA Ghana) staff and donors whoappreciate how calibrated moisture testing will level the field and create dialogue between governments andcitizens at all links of the grain value chain - Ghana Commercial Agriculture Program and GIPC partner) who wants to link growers to thegrain value chain - Warehouse builders who wants to improve on the use of Northern Rural Growth Program (GIPCpartner) warehouses - Banse Tropical Foods Ltd (GCAP Investor) who emphasizes that merely raising gross yields in SSA does notmean increased grower net benefits - RANSBOAT (Ejura, Ghana) who wants to equip other young people with skills and ways toconnect to the labor market - Avnash Industries, Northern Region Ghana who presents that mobile utility storageinfrastructure would ease quality rise procurement - JK Tech (Tamale) wants to procure quality rice for Avnash but lacks appropriate infrastructure - Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA Ghana) who were unable to discuss how theeconomies of scale MEDA promotes could alleviate afaltoxin or other PHL and sustain Greater RuralOpportunities for Women (GROW) - Small input dealers who struggle to finance calibrated grain moisture meters so they canevaluate safe grain for storage and seed shelf life - Micro-finance, cooperatives, banks who struggle to provide affordable loans to small or medium input dealersthat want to replace PHL with a business plan.
Foster additional dialogue with African government and Donors about Stationary Sack Warehouse Bias and improving secure food production,distribution and data analysis by touring primitive infrastructure and politically correct bottlenecks like institutional "warehouse receipt systems that do not work. Even if they did they would not help growers"(Ferris, 2013).
Funding Goal1,000,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted500


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New Country Implemented In