Ministry introduces innovation of post-harvest horticultural commodity handling

Mangupura, Bali (ANTARA News) - The Ministry of Agriculture has introduced innovation in the handling and processing of post-harvest horticultural commodities in international conferences in Bali to reduce losses for farmers, communities, and businesses.

"The supply of crops can still be maintained using good storage technology when it is not harvested, so as to avoid price fluctuations," Head of the Center for Agricultural Post-harvest Research Prof. Risfaheri stated after opening an international conference on the process and handling of postharvest agricultural products in Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali, on Wednesday.

According to him, horticultural commodities are products that are susceptible to loss because they do not have long-lasting durability if not accompanied by innovation in the form of agricultural technology development, especially post-harvest.

He explained that the technology to extend durability is the most important element to meet the needs of not only the domestic market but also exports as Indonesian horticultural products have great potential to meet foreign markets.

In some regions, he had already piloted the latest technological innovations in commodities, such as chili products in Magelang and shallots in West Sumatra, he noted.

In addition, several Indonesian horticultural products have also entered the export market, including mangoes, salak, and mangosteen.

In line with Risfaheri, the Main Researcher of the Center for Agricultural Post-harvest Research and Development of the Ministry of Agriculture, Prof. Sri Widowati, added that the developed agricultural technology innovations include "controlled atmosphere storage" (CAS) and "instore drying."

He explained that CAS was carried out with internal modifications to the storage environment of commodities, such as chili, through temperature and humidity control techniques.

"With the CAS technology we have, it can be two months or more," he added.

Other new innovations include "instore drying," which is a storage-drying system by adjusting conditions according to optimal conditions for the onion storage-drying process.

According to him, the "instore drying" room was equipped with para-storage or storage racks made of bamboo for shallots, and there was good air circulation.

He remarked that the onion drying process through the "instore drying" was more effective and efficient than conventional drying done by farmers.

Sri Widowati hoped that this innovation can be absorbed by both domestic and foreign conference participants, ranging from researchers, academics, students, and practitioners from government and private institutions or businesses.

The international conference from Aug 29 to 31, 2018, was attended by a number of speakers who were experts in related fields, including from Indonesia, France, Ireland, England, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, and Australia.

"We, as agricultural R & D institutions, can share information, including those from abroad and business people. We hope that the results of this research can be of interest to the business community," he pointed out.

Source: ANTARA News