Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

How seed-drying beads can empower farmers in the tropics

Shares
In many developing countries, seeds are still dried under the sun and are not stored properly. Hot and humid climates make seeds deteriorate rapidly, resulting in lower germination rate and lower yields.

Rhino Research, a seed technology firm in Thailand, has developed a fast and easy method for drying seeds and prolonging their shelf life in an efficient and cost-effective way.

The technology uses drying beads made of a zeolite-based desiccant that absorb moisture from the air to dry seeds and other horticultural commodities. When sealed with seeds in an airtight container, the beads lower the moisture content and maintain seed quality during storage.

The drying beads can be reused indefinitely by heating them in an oven, making them a valid investment for cooperatives of farmers.

In this audio slideshow, Patcharin Taridno of Rhino Research explains how these drying beads work and gives a hands-on demonstration of this novel technology.

This article has been produced by SciDev.Net's South-East Asia & Pacific desk.

Republish
We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.