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By: Clint Bower
Published: 2023-01-06

Network member Clint Bower in Haiti shares his experience with hermetic sealing: 

Teaching farmers to hermetically seal grain in buckets has probably been one of the most impactful things we’ve done. We’ve taught thousands of farmers about hermetic sealing and it has an extremely high adoption rate because it is effective and accessible. Everywhere I’ve traveled, I’ve seen plastic barrels of different sizes, jugs, and other material that can be used for hermetic sealing.

You can use any item with a lid; any bucket, gallon jug, 20 oz bottle, barrel, or jerry can. Then fill it with dry seed, put the lid on it and seal it. You can use bearing grease to seal containers that don’t have rubber seals. Then store it off the ground because otherwise it will sweat and cause moisture to build up. In my experience, converting from storage in bags to storage in buckets only increases the volume of space taken up by the grain by about 10 to 15%.

We have people who practice hermetic storage that buy grain (corn and beans) to sell in the off season because hermetic sealing is so effective and can get a higher price at market in the off-season. They have rooms full of barrels, stacked up. It requires space and good storage practices but can be lucrative.

Once we had a team meeting and I brought up an infested bag of beans. Then I put it (weevils and all) in a bucket and snapped it shut. The bucket was completely full. At the next team meeting, two months later, we pulled that bucket of beans out and all the weevils were dead. This can be a powerful demonstration.