The feasibility of rice bags as a low-cost and locally available alternative to greenhouse glazing

Shayne T. Bement, Abdalla Ramadan Nassar, Khanjan Mehta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Greenhouses can help farmers increase their yields and improve their livelihoods while reducing spoilage and furthering food security. As farms are getting smaller and access to water is getting more difficult, greenhouses are gradually gaining popularity in the agrarian economies of sub-Saharan Africa. Most greenhouses sold in the market are designed for commercial farmers and are beyond the reach of smallholders. The Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) program at Penn State has developed and commercialized affordable greenhouses that utilize locally-sourced materials. The only exception is the glazing - the plastic covering on the greenhouse structure - which is imported from abroad. The cost of this glazing is too high, and is subject to foreign exchange fluctuations and supply chain anomalies. In an effort to further decrease the cost of the greenhouse, and thereby increase its accessibility in the market, this article investigates the feasibility of locally-available, inexpensive materials that can be used as substitutes for typical glazing materials. The primary emphasis of this paper is on rice bags, which are an abundant, inexpensive material found commonly in developing countries. Three properties of rice bag glazing were tested: light transmission, UV resistance, and water conservation. Results indicated that while rice bags are not an ideal substitute for standard glazing, they may be appropriate as low-cost shade nets. It was also found that common bubble wrap, coated with a UV-absorbent coating, may adequately replace typical glazing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2013
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages254-259
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781479924028
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Event3rd IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2013 - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Oct 20 2013Oct 23 2013

Other

Other3rd IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2013
CountryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA
Period10/20/1310/23/13

Fingerprint

Greenhouses
Costs
Spoilage
Water conservation
Light transmission
Developing countries
Farms
Supply chains
Plastics
Coatings
Farmers
Substitute
Water

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management of Technology and Innovation

Cite this

Bement, S. T., Nassar, A. R., & Mehta, K. (2013). The feasibility of rice bags as a low-cost and locally available alternative to greenhouse glazing. In Proceedings of the 3rd IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2013 (pp. 254-259). [6713690] IEEE Computer Society. https://doi.org/10.1109/GHTC.2013.6713690
Bement, Shayne T. ; Nassar, Abdalla Ramadan ; Mehta, Khanjan. / The feasibility of rice bags as a low-cost and locally available alternative to greenhouse glazing. Proceedings of the 3rd IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2013. IEEE Computer Society, 2013. pp. 254-259
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Bement, ST, Nassar, AR & Mehta, K 2013, The feasibility of rice bags as a low-cost and locally available alternative to greenhouse glazing. in Proceedings of the 3rd IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2013., 6713690, IEEE Computer Society, pp. 254-259, 3rd IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2013, San Jose, CA, United States, 10/20/13. https://doi.org/10.1109/GHTC.2013.6713690

The feasibility of rice bags as a low-cost and locally available alternative to greenhouse glazing. / Bement, Shayne T.; Nassar, Abdalla Ramadan; Mehta, Khanjan.

Proceedings of the 3rd IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2013. IEEE Computer Society, 2013. p. 254-259 6713690.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Bement ST, Nassar AR, Mehta K. The feasibility of rice bags as a low-cost and locally available alternative to greenhouse glazing. In Proceedings of the 3rd IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2013. IEEE Computer Society. 2013. p. 254-259. 6713690 https://doi.org/10.1109/GHTC.2013.6713690