According to a report shared by Asian Development Bank Pakistan can save up to $1.3 billion annually in post-harvest losses. Inadequate storage facilities is the primary reason for losses in staple commodities such as rice, corn, wheat, red chilies, pulses, and Canola. Pakistan produces approximately 27 million tons of wheat per annum which is valued at US$7.4 Billion. However, the country has less than 6 million tons of storage capacity, which means that the remaining quantity of wheat is stored under unregulated conditions leading to a minimum 10 percent loss of the remaining commodity which is accounted for at $740 Million.

The stockists and middlemen try to stock the commodity but eventually due to inadequate storage facilities, abrupt weather changes, and high Humidity due to the monsoon leads to growth of fungus, aflatoxin, and infestation. Due to high infestation, excessive phosphine tablets are used as fumigants which are poisonous in nature and has been a leading cause for health issues such as Anemia and diarrhea specifically for women in Pakistan. If the farmers were able to store their commodity for an additional two-to-three-month they can increase their income by 20-40 percent. Moreover, a saving of 15-20 percent on post-harvest losses can decrease the cost of production for end consumers considerably.

To solve this problem Kissan Gudam launched Hermetic technology. Hermetic technology is developed by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and International Maise and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) along with University of Hohenheim. Hermetic technology works on the principles of airtight jar.

Hermetic properties allow no exchange of moisture or any gases from the ambient environment. This creates a high CO2 and low oxygen environment which prevents life inside the cocoon without any use of chemicals and allows to store commodity organically for up to 12 years consistently. The condition of the commodities in the cocoons can be monitored remotely from anywhere using a smart phone.

FARHAN TAHIR,

Lahore.