BEIJING, CHINA — Cargill has donated 200,000 Yuan ($29,000) to two villages in China’s northeastern Jilin Province for granaries to be built to help farmers solve the “ground-piled grain” issue facing the region.

In 2009, China started a project to promote scientific grain storage. As part of the project, the Jilin Province has built 469,000 units of modular granaries, and more than 1.5 million farmers have built homemade granaries that are off the ground. As a result, a number of cities and counties in Jilin Province have almost eliminated the “ground-piled grain” issue.

With Cargill’s donation and help from the Jilin Provincial Grain Bureau, 250 households from the two villages in Qian’an County will be able to build scientifically-designed modular granaries to achieve cubic storing of grains and prevent mold growth on grains, thereby increasing grain quality and farmers’ income. Cargill said the new granaries may be able to decrease grain damage to 3% compared to the “ground-piling” method.

The granaries also allow farmers to store the grain for a longer time and then sell it later at higher prices.

“Cargill is committed to helping farmers in China increase production efficiency, carry out safer and more sustainable agricultural and grain production,” said Robert Aspell, president of Cargill China and managing director of Cargill Agricultural Supply Chain Asia. “We are very happy to work together with local governments on this important initiative in Jilin to help corn farmers reduce waste in storage and increase income, especially in a more market-oriented environment.”

Cargill started to cooperate with Jilin Provincial Grain Bureau to help local farmers build granaries in Jilin Province in 2015. In 2015, the company donated 200,000 Yuan and helped 150 households with safe and more efficient corn storage.

“This is the second year that we work with Cargill on the grain storage program,” said Feng Xizhong, deputy director of the grain storage department for the Jilin Grain Bureau. “Last year, our cooperation has effectively helped reduce 150 households’ loss in Da’an County. We are glad to see that Cargill is continuing its effort with this donation to another 250 households targeting the ‘ground-piled grain’ issue. We hope to collaborate more with Cargill on safe food storage in the future.”