Monday, October 24, 2011

Philippines: More Learning Alliance activities rolled out in Butuan

by Reianne Quilloy, Trina Mendoza, and Rica Flor

The Postharvest Learning Alliance (LA) members in Butuan, Agusan del Norte met and conducted more activities in time for the town's harvesting season. Typhoon Ramon left the participants unfazed as about 40 people signed up for the Training on Reversible Airflow Flatbed Dryers and Hermetic Storage Systems in PhilRice RTR, Agusan del Norte last October 11 and 12. The project team from IRRI and PhilRice took turns to orient the Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs), farmer-leaders, and farmers' group cooperative members about the latest postharvest initiatives in the Philippines. Farmer participants lauded this effort wherein these new technologies can benefit big and small holder farmers in Agusan.
Engr. John Eric Abon of PhilRice conducts lecture on Reversible Airlow Flatbed Dryer

Shortly after the training, the LA technical working group (TWG) held its quarterly meeting at Amontay Beach Resort, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte last October 13, 2011. Partners who attend this meeting are those who have direct interest on hermetic storage. Rica Flor, the Project’s impact specialist facilitated the discussion between PhilRice, GrainPro, IRRI, DA-RFU, Caraga State University and Santo Niño Multipurpose Cooperative (SNMPC). Case study write-up, including trial protocols and data collection tools was introduced. One of the outputs of this meeting was a draft business case study for Super bags and cocoons which successfully demonstrated an increase in profit of a farmer-user.

The last activity was the Video Production Training for Learning Alliance Partners which was held on October 14. For this activity, project communication specialists Trina Mendoza and Reianne Quilloy took turns into facilitating the session with 40 information officers and staff from the CARAGA Region, Davao City, and DA- RFU 13. Reianne presented the importance of making videos and basic information, while Trina presented the basic principles of scriptwriting and Digital Green.

In the afternoon, the participants conducted a hands-on exercise in Digital Green. The participants were able to successfully follow the process of creating storyboards and produced short edited videos that showcased their creativity, innovativeness, and sense of humor.

Ms. Rebecca Atega of DA-RFU 13 and one of the learning alliance partners in Agusan, took the initiative to organize the three activities. The efforts are part of the outputs of the ADB-IRRI Posthavest project to address the postharvest challenges in Asia, including the Philippines. More learning alliance activities are expected to pour into the CARAGA region, as the project’s efforts in reducing postharvest losses through technology innovations, best management practices, and intensive information dissemination are slowly coming to fruition.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Philippines: IRRI postharvest staff participate in farmcasters meeting in Agusan Province

Curbing postharvest losses through information is in the front line of the IRRI-ADB project, Addressing the Pre-and Postharvest Challenges in the Rice Supply Chain.
Information officers, farmcasters, regional agricultural engineers, and staff members of some local government units were introduced to advocacy efforts of the project made through various activities, technologies, and adaptive research in project sites in the Philippines and Asia.

Members of the project team from IRRI and PhilRice served as resource speakers during the 3rd Quarter Meeting of Regional and Provincial Information Officers and Farmcasters at Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, on 19-20 July 2011.
Caesar Tado, IRRI-ADB project country coordinator, and Trina Mendoza and Reianne Quilloy, communication specialists at IRRI, took turns elaborating on the objectives and activities of the project.

Danilo Unson, on behalf of the provincial agriculturist, said that reducing postharvest losses could be an important driver of the Philippines’ goal to achieve rice self-sufficiency in 2013.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vietnam: Workshop held on paddy storage for the Mekong Delta

A  workshop on paddy storage was conducted in Can Tho, Vietnam, on 30 June-1 July to raise the quality of Vietnam export rice through an updated postharvest system.
Vietnam is a major rice-producing country and the second largest exporter with milled rice exports reaching 6.8 million tons in 2010. However, due to lack of dryers and insufficient storage facilities, physical postharvest losses average 13.7%.

Prof. Werner Mühlbauer, a renowned postharvest expert, presented state-of-the-art warehouse storage and silo technology, and shared his experiences on grain storage in Europe and the US, and paddy storage in tropical countries like Thailand, Korea, and the Philippines.

The IRRI team, led by Martin Gummert, visited processing and storage plants to further evaluate the problems in quality of milled rice and storage systems.

The participants actively shared their observations and views on how to improve the postharvest system in their country.

One participant mentioned that introducing good agricultural practice can aid stakeholders to provide market incentives to enable producers come up with better rice quality.

The outcome of the events will become recommendations for strategies to improve postharvest processing and storage for minimized losses contributing to food security and increased quality for local consumption and exports.

The seminar was conducted through the Vietnam Postharvest Learning Alliance, which is funded through IRRI by the Asian Development Bank with co-funding form the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. It was coordinated by the Vietnamese collaborators spearheaded by the Nong Lam University.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ADB-IRRI collaboration showcased in New Delhi conference

Efforts to address pre and postharvest challenges in the rice supply chain, through a collaboration between the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), were showcased in a side session at the International Food and Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Conference, “Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Health and Nutrition”, being held in the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi, India last February 10-12, 2011.

The side session, titled “Pre and Postharvest Technologies: Keeping you healthy and rice bowls full”, featured the latest efforts and technologies on improving health and nutrition from the ADB-IRRI project titled, “Addressing the Pre and Postharvest Challenges in the Rice Supply Chain”.

 Dr. KL Heong and Engr. Martin Gummert, IRRI scientists and principal investigators of the project, mainstreamed the importance of improving rice pre-harvest and postharvest practices and management towards better nutrition and healthier life.

 The pre-harvest component of the project, spearheaded by Dr. KL Heong, promotes good management practices that maximize ecosystem services to prevent pest incidence growing into epidemic proportions, help reduce pesticide use and conserve biodiversity.

 Engr. Martin Gummert, lead investigator of the postharvest component, talked about good postharvest practices and technologies designed to minimize crop losses and increase grain quality.
The conference was attended by experts from renowned international organizations and advocates of agriculture, nutrition, and health to forge possible collaboration and linkages to enhance human well-being.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cross country learning on combine harvesters commenced in Vietnam

Binh Dinh, Viet Nam- 11 Private and public sector officials from Cambodia flew in to Viet Nam to visit a combine contest organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Binh Dinh province from 5 to 12 April 2011 and to attend the “Round Table Discussion on Rice Combine Harvesters” last April 10, 2011. This was initiated by the ADB Project “Strategic research on sustainable health and nutrition in Asia” to link the Cambodian project partners to the Vietnamese project partners and combine manufactures. Participating through this event would foster learning from two countries, establish links between the Vietnamese Combine manufacturing industry and combine users in Cambodia and help the Cambodians ramp up their postharvest initiatives.

The team was led by Mr. Alfred Schmidley from IRRI and Dr. Meas Pyseth from MAFF in Cambodia who linked the Cambodian collaborators to the Vietnamese organizers led by Dr. Pham Van Tan. Viet Nam is one of the countries who are in the forefront of promoting postharvest machinery development and commercialization in Southeast Asia. The activities included sharing of information on the Vietnamese combine harvesters, Viet Nam machineries and their mainstreaming efforts to leverage their postharvest initiatives in and outside their country.

Aside from being the ADB project collaborators, Cambodia and Viet Nam are also part of the Postharvest Learning Alliance member countries. .

Thursday, March 3, 2011

LA Story: Echo seminar from Mariphil Foundation

Ms Grace Cabaguing of Mariphil Foundation shared the latest activity, an "Echo Seminar on Postharvest" conducted last March 3, 2011. The seminar included demonstration on the use of Superbags. She also intends to assess the performance of the stored palay in the coop’s rice mill building using the IRRI Moisture Meter. Ms. Grace Cabaguing is one of the LA members who were trained on postharvest technologies.