How can we better deliver food aid from a farmer’s field to communities who need it most?

psundar's picture
04/04/2016 | Prithvi Sundar

The MIT CITE team has been working with USAID's Food For Peace to conduct a technology evaluation of packaging solutions to increase the cost-effectiveness of delivering food aid. So far the team has drafted an experimental design and begin procurement of commodities to put the design into action. We welcome all feedback on the methodology and overall approach to the study which is explained in additional detail below. For more information on the work we have conducted thus far, check out our recent blog post.

Goal: Evaluate the cost effectiveness of transportation and storage of food aid commodities.

Hypothesis: New bag technologies (such as hermetic and insecticide treated bags) offer the potential to cost effectively improve the quality of food aid commodities transported and stored in prepositioning warehouses as a substitute to current fumigation processes.

Effectiveness Experimental Factors Descriptions:

  • Bag Technologies (i.e. hermetic, insecticide treated)
  • Commodities
  • Storage Locations
  • Shipment/Storage mode (i.e. bulk, containerized)

Cost: Data from commodity and shipping contracts solicited in study will be used to determine cost of procurement and shipment of commodities under various treatment options.

Failure Modes:

  1. Mold Damage: Inadequate control of the moisture content in the commodity can lead to the growth of mold.
  2. Insect Infestation: Improper storage or handling may lead to introduction pests into the commodity being shipped. If infestation passes a predetermined threshold the commodity is unfit for human consumption.

Response Variables: The response variables are the metrics used in this study to gauge the quality of the shipped and stored food aid commodities. Each commodity has its own set of response variables that are important in determining quality such as moisture content.

Data Collection of Response Variables:

  • Before US bagging or end of production
  • Before US exit
  • Upon foreign arrival or after foreign bagging
  • 1 month intervals in prepositioning warehouse for up to 3 months

Study Design Matrix (Last Updated April 4, 2016):

 

Code

Type of Bag (Domestic)

Type of Bag (Foreign)

Type of Container Liner (Transit)

Fumigation?

Bagged

L1

Untreated WPP or MWP

Same as Domestic

N/A

BAU

L2

Untreated FIBC

Untreated WPP or MWP

N/A

BAU

L3

CPES

Same as Domestic

N/A

No

L4

TCPES

Same as Domestic

N/A

No

L5

IGR Treated WPP or MWP

Same as Domestic

N/A

No

L6

FIBC with PE

CPES

N/A

No

L7

FIBC with PE

TCPES

N/A

No

L8

IGR Treated FIBC

IGR Treated WPP or MWP

N/A

No

L9

Untreated WPP or MWP

Untreated WPP or MWP

GP TSL

No

L10

Untreated FIBC

Untreated WPP or MWP

GP TSL

No

Bulk

L11

N/A

Untreated WPP or MWP

N/A

BAU

L12

N/A

CPES

N/A

No

L13

N/A

TCPES

N/A

No

L14

N/A

IGR Treated WPP or MWP

N/A

No

 

Notation:

WPP

Woven Polypropylene Bag

MWP

Multiwall Paper Bag

FIBC

Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container

TCPES

Thick Continuous Polyethylene Sheet Bag

CPES

Continuous Polyethylene Bag

IGR

Insect Growth Regulator

PE

Polyethylene liner

BAU

Business as Usual

 

Vote up!
Vote down!

Points: 1

You voted ‘up’

Comments

You should give me a call sometime.  I have worked in providing packaging for PL-480 Food Aid commodities for over 35 years.  John W. ManchesterThe Manchester Company, Inc.810-599-1595 (cell)

Add new comment

Facebook account Youtube account Twitter account