NATION

Workshop Targets Post-Harvest Production

A workshop on im­proving the quality of post-harvest han­dling of pineapples har­vested from major pineap­ple producing Vulagi Estate at Dawasamu, Tailevu, was recently held at the set­tlement to better improve
28 Jul 2018 11:00
Workshop Targets Post-Harvest Production
Pineapple farmers during the post-harvest handling of pineapples workshop in Vulagi Estate, Dawasamu, Tailevu. Photo: DEPTFO News

A workshop on im­proving the quality of post-harvest han­dling of pineapples har­vested from major pineap­ple producing Vulagi Estate at Dawasamu, Tailevu, was recently held at the set­tlement to better improve product quality and its shelf-life.

The workshop, organised by the Ministry of Agricul­ture in collaboration with the Fiji National University, University of Queensland, Australia, and the Austral­ian Centre for Internation­al Agricultural Research (ACIAR), and the Univer­sity of the Sunshine Coast, ensured Vulagi pineapple farmers were taught the ideal post-harvest handling practices and its positive implications on the produce for longer shelf-life.

ACIAR Pacific Fruit Pro­ject Horticulture leader, Professor Steven Underhill said the project was intend­ed to provide support for the Vulagi community to im­prove their pineapple post-harvest product quality.

“Early last year we came to do a series of post-harvest trials and were trying to understand what the farm­ers are doing and why they do it and most importantly, what are the consequences of that in terms of quality and post-harvest losses,” Mr Underhill said.

“The purpose of the work­shop is for us to come back, share and discuss post-har­vest pineapple research in­formation to the farmers, to raise awareness of the im­plications of current post-harvest practices.”

Last February, an inten­sive pre-harvest and post-harvest workshop with an emphasis on sustainable production practices and off-season production was undertaken in the commu­nity.

Principal Research Officer (Horticulture) Shalendra Prasad said the Ministry of Agriculture at present was conducting a lot of research on pineapple.

“The ministry is also into the process of introducing new international pineap­ple varieties to farmers apart from the cultivated two types, the smooth cane, and Ripley queen,” Mr Pras­ad said.

Pineapple farmer Gurday­al Singh said: “The work­shop has enlightened me more on the importance of the post-harvest period and the benefits of the harvest loss, chemical application and weather patterns and this is something that can move the pineapple farmers forward,” he said.

The Ministry of Agri­culture is also conducting rapid multiplication of planting materials with the recorded supply of 150,000 pineapple plant materials to farmers each year, with the roll on effect of pineap­ple sucker replacement to increase production quality and quantity.

Source: DEPTFO News

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