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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research » Research » Research Project #426157

Research Project: Alliance for Food Security through Reduction of Postharvest Loss and Food Waste

Location: Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research

Project Number: 3020-43000-033-05-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 1, 2014
End Date: Dec 31, 2018

This project aims to reduce postharvest losses and food waste of durable crops (grains, oilseeds, legumes, root crops, seeds) and their processed value-added products in Feed the Future countries. It is a large multi-institution project headed by Kansas State University and the University of Illinois. This proposal for a 5-year $5 million leader award has the potential for attracting as much as $20 million in Associate Awards from US-AID Missions in Feed the Future countries. The Alliance consists of the leading U.S. and international institutions, organizations, and experts in postharvest grain food safety and quality, stored product preservation and protection, and processing of value-added products. Most of the objectives of this proposal will focus on assessment and building of research teams to pursue additional funding from associate awards, but there are some specific pilot research projects within this broader proposal that will be undertaken immediately. One of these projects will focus on improving stored-product pest management in grain storage warehouses in Ghana and will involve ARS scientists and scientists from Oklahoma State University, University of Kentucky, and Fort Valley State University. The specific ARS research objectives are to develop stored-product insect pest monitoring programs in these warehouses, insecticide-treated packaging to reduce insect infestation, and a low cost moisture meter to better monitor grain condition to reduce insect infestation and aflatoxins. The final objectives will be to collaborate on the implementation of these tactics and tools.

The proposed project will implant both practices and technologies targeted to postharvest loss reduction in key Feed-the-Future settings and establish technology-enhanced capabilities to directly address the complexity challenge that has severely retarded widespread progress in this area of work. Four pilot projects are proposed in Guatemala, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh. ARS is involved in the research in Ghana. In year 1, activities will focus on assessment of in-country situation, identification and start up of initial project sites, finalization of in-country partners, and the first round of data collection from research trials. For ARS, this year 1 activity will involve trips by two people twice during the year to assess conditions under different environmental conditions. Initial pilot projects will be scaled up during project years 2 and 3, with travel to Ghana by two scientists in year three of the project to evaluate progress. The ARS research approach during years 2 and 3 will focus on (1) designing pest monitoring programs to assess stored-product insect infestation that will be conducted by collaborators in Ghana, and identifying and developing cost-effective monitoring tools and tactics to provide critical information from which to make pest management decisions; (2) evaluating the effectiveness of insecticide-impregnated bags at preventing insect infestation of stored cereals and pulses using both laboratory tests conducted at ARS and field testing conducted by collaborators; and (3) designing and building a cost-effective moisture meter and field testing it in Ghana. ARS scientists will provide technical support to projects in Ghana and training to two graduate students who will visit ARS laboratories. The approach in the final two years of the project will be on training and outreach programs and involve two trips to assist with train-the-trainer and other programs.