CUSTOM CHALLENGE; ETHIOPIA
PROVEN INTERVENTION TO BE DISTRIBUTED
Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bags are a triple-layered plastic bag that serves as an air-tight storage method for harvested crops.
Learn more about the Custom Challenge and why we only fund ideas that focus on distributing proven poverty interventions.
DISTRIBUTION MODEL INNOVATION
Ethiopia produces over 300 million quintals (1 quintal = 100kg) of grain per annum. Post-harvest loss in Ethiopia is estimated at about 22-30%, equivalent to approximately USD $230 million. The most notable causes of this post-harvest loss are attacks from weevils, rodents, and moisture or growth of mold. Farmers use different traditional and modern technologies to control insects. The most popular traditional method is the use of underground pits which can lead to mold growth.
PICS bags are potentially the next revolutionary product for safe grain storage for millions of farmers in Ethiopia. The inner lining of the bags greatly hinders the movement of oxygen across the wall of the bag, killing insects. The overall efficacy of the bags in protecting grain or seed from infestation is reported to be over 99%.
PHK Trading will increase sales and distribution of PICS bags by adoping a youth reseller model. Local youth with close relationships to local shop owners will be a key component of the supply chain. As sales agents, these youth resellers will take PICS bags from local vendors on credit, travel to markets in a particular community in order to bring the bags closer to smallholder farmers, sell the bags, and take home a $.19 margin per bag sold.
The youth resellers will be chosen carefully on recommendations from local elders and will be tested to assess their entrepreneurial spirit. They will also receive training and professional development. PHK trading will hold demonstrations of the PICS bags in targeted villages with clusters of farmers to increase awareness of the product.
PICS technology has been introduced to more than 50,000 villages across Sub-Saharan Africa. The bags are manufactured and sold in 28 countries in Africa and Asia. To date, more than 12 million PICS bags have been sold with the scale up funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and executed by Purdue University. PHK Trading is authorized by Purdue University to commercialize PICS bags. Over a period of two years, farmers will see a 123% return on investment.
PILOT AND SCALING GOALS
Recruit 60 youth resellers by the end of year 1
Distribute 45,000 bags by the end of year 1
Yared Sertse - Project Leader
Yemisrach Getachew - Project Coordinator
Michael Tariku - Project Coordinator