Rural Health Care Initiative
  • Partnering with Sierra Leone to save lives

New Technology Introduced to Tikonko Farmers

PICS Bags and a Groundnut Grinder were two new improvements introduced to the Tikonko farmers by Dr. Gary Johnson while he was still living in Tikonko in early 2017.

The PICS Bags, or Purdue Improved Crop Storage bags, were suggested by agronomist Steve Clarke, retired from U of MN. These bags provide a simple, low-cost method of reducing post-harvest losses due to insects in west and central Africa and reducing crop loss. 

A PICS bag consists of two layers of polyethylene liners and a third layer made from woven polypropylene. When each layer is tied and closed separately, it creates a hermetically sealed environment for storing harvested grain. This oxygen-deprived environment proves fatal for postharvest insects. Find more information here.  

Women farmers trying the new grinder

Dr. Johnson also introduced the Groundnut Grinder to women farmers in Tikonko. The Grinder was developed by Compatible Technologies Inc., a Minnesota based nonprofit. The Grinder was designed to help farming families in rural areas process crops for home consumption or for small enterprises. Find more information here.
Find more information here

Carol Nelson

Board Chair

Carol Nelson MD is a retired physician from the U of MN Boynton Health Women's Clinic and St. Paul Primary Care Clinic with 38 years of primary care experience. In 2013, 2015 and December 2016-January 2017, she traveled to Tikonko in Sierra Leone. During the recent trip, she facilitated a Helping Babies Breathe training session for the Traditional Birth Attendants in Tikonko Chiefdom. Dr. Nelson is currently pursuing her Master's of Public Health at the U of MN School of Public Health, with a focus on Global Health.

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