Profitability of Hermetic Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) Bags for African Common Bean Producers

Bruchid species like Acanthoscelides obtectus (Coleoptera) and Zabrotes subfasciatus (Coleoptera) cause significant storage losses for African common bean producers. The value of storage protection to a market-oriented farmer is a function of price seasonality, value loss prevention, and their respective opportunity costs of capital. Evidence suggests that hermetic technologies like Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bags could be effective against key legume storage pests, but sustainable technology introduction requires that it be profitable for producers. While PICS bag effectiveness against these specific common bean bruchid species is still under investigation, this analysis references dry weight loss figures from life science articles and builds on previous value loss research to provide a model for potential competitiveness and technology adoption. PICS bag profitability with one and two years use are compared with estimated profitability of leading insecticide Actellic Super (permethrin (0.3%) + pirimiphos-methyl (1.6%)), weekly solar disinfestation and sieving, and the botanicals A.indica, T. minuta, C. lusitanica, and C. ambrosiodes. The Tanzanian market regions of Mbeya, Songea, Arusha, and Kigoma are analyzed. Results show competitive profitability of PICS bags with conservative loss estimates for alternative storage technologies, with high potential for adoption in Mbeya, Songea, and Kigoma.

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Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
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Total Pages:
29 pages
JEL Codes:
Q16; Q13; O33
Series Statement:
Working Paper

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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