The food security challenge
It is estimated that by 2040 the world's population will reach 9 billion people. To feed such a population, food security is key. Food security is a term that describes a situation that a household or alternatively a private individual has direct and daily access to food. Even today, there are people who do not have access to enough food.
Wheat, corn and soy are basic nutritional components for many people worldwide. Global demand is increasing. To feed the estimated population of 9 billion people, the world would need to produce 3.3 billion tons of grain annually. To answer this growing demand, growers need to consider not only increasing their yields and crop quality, but also efficient storage of grain and how to safely distribute it around the globe.
In the last 20 years, Alessandro L. Mangetti has worked at Ginegar Brazil, We talked with him to learn about the need for a long-term grain storage solution, and about the advantages of SiloGar – Ginegar’s innovative dry grain storage product.
Why is it so important to dry-store and conserve grains?
Good grain quality is achieved not only with a good crop, but also with a good storage facility. Storage is needed for optimizing profitability for growers (the harvestseason is not always the best time to sell the grain) and it is also important for transporting grain. Handling, grading and packaging needs to be undertaken is a clean facility that is free of rodents, bacteria and insects. The right temparture and ventilation will ensure dry storage, so that no harmful pests can attack the harvested grain.
What is the storage deficit?
To offer some perspective, Brazil is currently the second largest grain producer in the world, and in 2019 we produced 246 million tons of grains. The fixed space capacity for grain storage in metal silos in Brazil is only 168 million tons. In other words, we have a grain storage deficit of 78 million tons (about a 31% deficit). We estimate that by 2028 we will reach 358 million tons of grains, with static grain storage of 261 million tons (a deficit of 97 million tons). So we need a huge capacity to store grains.
How to cope with the deficit? - Match a storage solutions to the grower?
Growers need to find a storage system that fits thier needs and thier budget. Considerations include size, accesability, term of storage, durability and cost. The system must be flexible enough to allow for volume surplus on a good season but not too expensive for the grower.
For small to medium size farms, bags, such as Ginegars new storage slution SiloGar, are a cost efficient solution for storage. In Argentina, for example, more than 30% of the grain harvest is stored in silobags as an effort to combat the storage deficit. For countries with colder climates, Silobags can be also used to store silage and fodder to feed animals.
Basically, what is SiloGar?
SiloGar is a multiple-sized storage bag system for agricultural products. It is designed to preserve grains, silage and fodder under optimal conditions at the harvest site or in dry-storage. It was developed in an extended R&D process that inclued field trials with growers in Brazil to adapt the product to growers’ requirements.
It’s a flexible tube made of 100% virgin LDPE (low-density polyethylene), with anti-UV additives in 5 layers to ensure higher mechanical resistance and elasticity. It includes a two year warranty against UV light damage.
SiloGar provides an anaerobic and hermetically sealed environment that protects contents from fungi, insects and disease. The quality of any type of grain or silage is maintained, thanks to SiloGar’s white outer coat that deflects sunlight, while its black inner layer prevents any light infiltration.
SiloGar is installed more quickly and requires less initial investment than any other storage product on the market. Easily used and extremely efficient, SiloGar is the ultimate alternative to conventional storage systems.
• Economical viability
Silogar requires a lower initial investment and shipping costs, so that the storage cost per grain back can sometimes be reduced ten fold (storage cost in metal silos represents 10% of the cost of each soybean bag, whereas using silobags, the storage cost represents only 0.6% of the cost of each soybean bag)
• Harvest optimization
By eliminating the needs to trasnport grain to a silo storage facility, growers can make more vehicles available for harvesting. This makes a big difference especially in peak harest season and in countires in which bad roads and long distances make trasnport difficult.
• Lower fire risk
Metal silos have a higher fire and explosion risk due to natural release of certain types of gases and the volume of the crops stored in one place.
• Harvest appreciation
The harvest season is not always the best time to sell the grain. Good storage conditions, such as created by SiloGar, allow the farmer to store products in order to sell during the most profitable time.
• Better storage efficiency
Farmers depend less on large storage facilities than tend to prefer the more profitable crops. Silobags allow for separation and segregation of grain types for optimization of storage conditions (different grain types require different temperature and moisture conditions for for ideal storage) and efficient transportation to the custoner. Storage can also be easily expanded, thus Silogar enables surplus production and easy storage volume management.
• Protection against internal and external agents
Due to it’s hermetic character, SiloGar acts as a barrier against pest and insect development in the stored grains, thus reducing additional costs of chemical control, compared to storage metal silos.
• Grain quality preservation
Since it is sealed hermetically, the grain mass consumes all the oxygen inside the bag, thus inhibiting proliferation of insects and fungus, providing a controlled environment and reducing oxidation.
What do customers think of SiloGar?
Ginegar Brazil continues to grow its operation in the country with SiloGar, parallel to making contact with customers also in Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Alessandro states that the product has received positive reactions from customers. At the same time, customers need guidance to help them choose the right product size and bag material/ characteristics for their needs.
Alessandro emphasizes the unique qualities of SiloGar: "Our product is more flexible that the local competitors. We have analyzed diverse requirements and developed suitable materials, additives and solutions using laboratory testing. We are able to supply a higher quality, of a stronger, more uniform product that fits precisely to the growers’ needs.