BRIEF DESCRIPTION / BACKGROUND
Driven by rising incomes, an expanding middle class worldwide, and increasing demand for exotic products, global trade in fresh fruit and vegetables has substantially increased. For many Asian exporting countries, this trade may account for a significant share of their foreign earnings. The horticultural export industry offers an important source of employment for developing countries.
Asian producers have, however, been losing up to 40% of the value of their fruit and vegetables due to inadequate postharvest handling. Besides, consumers are increasingly concerned about the quality and safety of produce they buy. International markets have rejected shipments of fruit and vegetables containing unauthorized pesticides, with chemical residues exceeding permissible limits, and/or with inadequate labeling and packaging. Appropriate approaches and technologies are needed to reduce postharvest losses in quantity and quality, as well as assure food safety between produce harvest and consumption.
Obviously, postharvest management determines food quality and safety, competitiveness in the market, and the profits earned by producers. Postharvest management in most developing Asian countries is however, far from satisfactory. The major constraints include inappropriate harvest techniques, inefficient postharvest handling and transportation, inappropriate technologies for storage and packaging, inefficient logistics, and poor infrastructure. The concerted efforts of all actors including the public and private sectors in the supply chain are required to address these constraints.
The course aims to: 1) review and assess the emerging postharvest technologies for fresh fruit and vegetables, 2) share the best practices of postharvest handling of fresh fruit and vegetables for small and medium sized farms and enterprises, and 3) formulate strategic action plans for promoting adoption of the best practices.
OBJECTIVES FOR PARTICIPATION
Postharvest engineering is gaining important ground in the light of recent development in world trade. Postharvest technologies are needed to support the horticultural industry towards becoming more competitive in domestic and export markets by reducing losses and ensuring quality of the produce. My participation in the workshop will greatly enhance my skills and capability on postharvest system development, in the horticultural industry in particular on postharvest aspects, e.g. transportation, storage, packaging, temperature management and establishment of packinghouse facilities and equipment.
PROFILE OF PARTICIPANTS
There are 24 participants from Bangladesh (2), Fiji (1), India (2), Iran (2), Malaysia (1), Pakistan (2), Philippines (2), Sri Lanka (2), Thailand (2), Vietnam (2) and Indonesia (6). The other Filipino participant is Jocelyn Beray, from AMAD, Bureau of Plant Industry, Baguio City, Philippines.
SCOPE, CONTENT AND METHODOLOGY
Presentation 1. Global trends in postharvest management of fresh fruit and vegetables and way. Issues include designing marketing strategies, understanding the special characteristics and needs of the market and consumers. Understand consumers’ buying process of a product. Strategic marketing approaches and fresh fruit and vegetable promotion of small producers and SMEs.
Presentation 2. Emerging and novel technologies and approaches for improving performance of FFV chains. Issues include understanding the markets, what do buyers and consumers want and the potential market. Quality accreditation for all parties (GAP).
Presentation 3. Preharvest technologies. Important knowledge on preharvest modifiers of quality are: a) a large number of preharvest diseases, insect problems and some physiological disorders have their beginnings before harvest, b) no amount of postharvest treatment can transform a poor quality produce into a good quality one and c) any factor that affects the quality and safety at harvest will also affect the quality and safety of produce after harvest. Conventional breeding and biotechnology approaches are therefore generally aimed at developing varieties resistant to pests and diseases.
Presentation 4. Harvest technique. In any postharvest technology, the ultimate objective is to maintain the quality or potential quality of the commodity from harvest until consumption. The quality of fruits and vegetables in turn, is established at harvest. Harvest at the proper stage of maturity, the harvesting techniques and the time of harvesting are important in the determination of quality.
Presentation 5. Novel postharvest handling tools, techniques and technologies and best practices. After harvest fruits and vegetables are subjected to different operations in preparation for marketing. These operations are called packinghouse operations which include field sorting, trimming of unwanted parts, cleaning, grading and sizing, waxing with edible coating, postharvest disease control, precooling and packaging.
Presentation 6. Key factors impacting FFV quality and safety at the preharvest, harvest and postharvest levels. Customers seek a fresh produce that is safe to eat, look fresh, clean, well packed and appalling on the shelf. Also, no quarantine pest or diseases, no residue of prohibited PPP, no exceeding the MRL. GAP and GMP approached.
Presentation 7. Application of modern food safety concepts: experience of Indonesia/Bali. Discusses food safety regulations in Indonesia: HACCP, ISO22000 and food tracability. Implementation of food safety in fresh fruit and vegetable chain: GAP, GHP, GMP.
Presentation 8. Building an efficient and effective cold chain for FFV. Implementation of cold chain management throughout to ensure food safety and good quality.
Presentation 9. Technologies for efficient logistics of FFV cold chain. Understanding a typical export food supply chain and the breakdown of logistic activities and the agribusiness supply chain.
Presentation 10. Emerging trends in promotion and marketing of FFV. Discussed the trends changing and shaping the Asian food market systems; globalization, changes in consumer demands and the rising income.
Presentation 11. Application of ICT and e-commerce in marketing of FFV. Discussed the “market potential” and knowing the information and communication technology, information technology and supply management. Also the e-business application architecture and the ‘tools’ in making supply chain work in e-business.
Presentation 12. Innovation in handling of fresh cut fruit and vegetables: food quality and safety. Fresh cut fruits and vegetables are those products that have been subjected to cleaning, various size reduction operations and packaged to offer consumer convenience, high nutrition and flavor while maintaining freshness. Fresh cut are also known as minimally processed. Fresh cut have short life since the process of peeling and cutting are forms of wounding that eventually result in increased respiration rate and ethylene production that triggers other biochemical reactions leading to softening and discoloration.
All presentations are in the form of powerpoint and by discussions through experiences. A site visit to a rural cooperative that caters to domestic markets is done. Farmers produce mostly vegetables, they also have a plantation of ‘salak’ which they export.
Philippines – In 1990 42% losses is estimated in fruits and vegetables. But in 2009, a quantitative and qualitative loss assessment of high value crops was conducted and as a result, about 7-30% is the loss assessed. These losses were attributed mainly to preharvest management and handling of products. We highlighted the tramline that is being used by farmers in the highlands to transport there produce. Two postharvest technologies were presented also, the hot water treatment protocol and the extended hot water treatment for mangoes.
OUTCOMES AND EVALUATION
The topics are very helpful especially the presentations by Dr. Elda B. Esguerra regarding preharvest, harvest and postharvest technologies and techniques. Also, the novel postharvest handling tools, techniques and best practices. Drs. Kit Chan and Rodney Wee, regarding the global trends in postharvest management, food safety, cold chain particularly the precooling equipment that we can adopt here and can be useful for research, the logistics of FFV cold chain and also the emerging trends in promotion and marketing of FFV. The workshop’s objective and my objective were met by the topics presented, the resource persons were very knowledgeable and effective in their respective presentations.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTION STEPS
One recommendation regarding the workshop is to have more field visits, market visits, company visits, packinghouse facilities, hands-on postharvest technologies modules. To have a thorough evaluation and help from government for the postharvest research and development to lower the losses of our fruits and vegetable that costs about one billion pesos. As for me, I will make a comprehensive presentation on what I received in the workshop to my colleagues in my organization and other stakeholders (farmers, cooperatives, consignees, traders). Actually, I will have a trainor’s training on November 27-29, 2013 in Guimaras and on December in General Santos City regarding postharvest handling of mangoes. I will share to them new technologies that I received here in the workshop. And, make myself available to DAP/APO as resource person to some and share my technical expertise as part of the NPO pool of productivity experts.
Engineer II, PHTRC
University of the Philippines Los Baños