Increasing Farmer Food Security and Incomes: Grain Storage Solutions
Phase Two

We are conducting a second experiment to test the effectiveness of several storage solutions to reduce crop losses.

Hermetic Bags/Airtight Drums
Grain Storage Solutions
  • Protects crops from weevils and rats 
  • Airtight to prevent moisture damage
  • Affordable solutions for smallholder farmers
Airtight grain storage drums

This project has been completed.
Thank you to all who contributed.


Two of the major crops in East Nusa Tenggara province are sorghum and maize. However, farmers in this region lose between 30-70% of stored grain because the traditional storage methods in use do not provide adequate protection against weevils or rodents.

To address this issue, our phase one experiment, conducted from August 2016 to January 2017, tested three methods of storage, each using 20kg of sorghum:

  • the traditional method (in plastic woven bag),
  • airtight plastic drum, and
  • hermetic storage plastic bag (Kantong Semar) inside a plastic woven bag.

In this experiment, we learned that both an airtight plastic drum and a hermetic storage plastic bag (Kantong Semar) inside a plastic woven bag were proven ways to reduce crop losses. Rodents cannot get into the drums and weevils cannot live or reproduce without oxygen inside the hermetic bags.

While the number of weevils in the storage containers reduced in comparison to traditional storage methods, we saw that a significant number still survived. We believe that this occurred because the drum was only 30% full, creating space for oxygen, which may have assisted the weevils to survive even when the drum was sealed. We also considered that each time the containers were opened for testing (once per month over six months), that oxygen entered the drum and could have assisted the weevils to survive.

Therefore, in this second phase of the project, we will test a completely full and airtight drum that we will not open for a full six months.

What we want to test: 

We will test the same three methods of storage from Phase 1, each using 20kg of sorghum:

  1. Traditional method (in plastic woven bag).
  2. Airtight plastic drum.
  3. Hermetic storage plastic bag (Kantong Semar) inside a plastic woven bag.

We hypothesise that the number of surviving weevils will be further reduced by completely filling the container with grain and keeping it sealed for six months, restricting the amount of oxygen in the containers.

What will we measure: 

We will fill each of the three storage methods with sorghum. At the end of the six month period, we will open each container and measure the following:

  • Number of weevils - dead
  • Number of weevils - alive
  • Appearance and quality of the sorghum

We will compare the results with the findings from the first phase of the project.

Who are we working with: 

We are working with traditional grain farmers in Larantuka, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, who currently store their crops using inadequate methods, resulting in crop losses. This project is part of Kopernik’s experimental projects, a series of small-scale, low-investment tests of simple ideas with the potential to reduce poverty.

Project timeframe: 
Seven months
Location :
Project Costs: 
Cost TypeCost DescriptionCost Amount
Project Implementation & Technology
Costs associated with project coordination and the technology
Monitoring & Evaluation
Costs associated with data collection and analysis
Administration Fee
Cost of transferring payments internationally, processing online donations (5%) and a contribution to Kopernik's operational costs (15%)
Fluctuations in currency exchange rates and shipping costs may change the final quantity of technologies we ship for this project.

A huge Kopernik thank you to the 24 people who pitched in $1,110.00