Reducing rice losses after harvest

  • The need

  • What IRRI has done

  • The impact

  • How you can help

  • Resources

rice sorting

Having enough rice to feed the world is not just about hitting the harvest targets. Most of the time, it is about what happens to rice after it was harvested. There are two kinds of losses that put hard-earned rice to waste: physical and quality. Physical losses in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa reach up to 30%, while reduced quality decreases the price of milled rice by 10-30%. This not only puts farmers on the losing end in terms of income, but it also negatively affects the supply of rice in the market.

using IRRI Super BagsAn airtight, reusable plastic bag that protects stored rice from moisture, pests, rats, and keeps rice seeds viable. The IRRI Superbag is now available to Filipino farmers in selected retails stores.

The IRRI Super Bag works by blocking the flow of both oxygen and water vapor from the outside to the grain. When the bag is properly sealed, farmers can safely store their seeds for 9-12 months without reducing germination rates. IRRI Super Bags also keep away insects and rats without using chemicals and improve the percentage of whole rice grains recovered after milling by around 10%.

Developed by the Institute's postharvest experts in collaboration with GrainPro Inc., the IRRI Super Bag is meant for small-scale rice farmers to protect the viability and quality of rice stored in their homes. The IRRI Super Bag is manufactured by GrainPro Inc. and is marketed as SuperGrainbag™. IRRI, through its national partnerships, has verified the benefits of the IRRI Super Bag with tens of thousands of farmers throughout Asia.

interview with Philippine farmer Manuel Luzentales Jr.

Philippine farmer Manuel Luzentales Jr. has always wondered how to deal with rats and weevils gnawing their way into his paddy (unmilled rice) stored in ordinary sacks in his house. After attending a seminar in a nearby town introducing the IRRI Super Bags to farmers in the Philippine Bicol region, he decided to test the bags.

"Before, a 7-month storage caused my rice grains to break from moisture and pest infestations," Luzentales recalls. "I tested the IRRI Super Bags on my harvest for the second planting season of 2010. After keeping my harvest in the IRRI Super Bags for 10 months, the seeds were 100% viable, and none was wasted."

Good postharvest practices, like using the Superbag, improve management of postharvest yield which help farmers become more efficient with their resources by getting the most out of their rice harvest. In a bigger scale, this contributes to sustained provision of rice to the community.

IRRI Super Bags

Despite the successes that IRRI had achieved and continue to achieve, there’s still a lot of work that needs to get done and the Institute can’t do it alone. Funding plays a very important role on whether or not we could do more. This is where you come in.

Help us continue this project by donating to IRRI. The donation you give will enable us to continue our important research and, ultimately, help eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

More than just money, we encourage you to share these stories on social media and in your personal networks. Spread the word.

Your support can help turn this vision of a bright tomorrow into a reality.

Give to IRRI through the following:

  • Direct bank deposit

Bank Account Name: International Rice Research Institute
Bank Account Number : 6212-56654027
Bank Address : Bank of America, N.A., OUE Bayfront#14-01 50, Collyer Quay, Singapore 049321
Swift Code : BOFASG2X

A rice farmer from Bicol, Philippines, shares the benefits he has gained from using airtight plastic bags to store his seeds and grains safely.

IRRI references


External links