UNAPCAEM, in collaboration with the Agricultural and Food Engineering Department of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), organized a regional training workshop on rice post-harvest technology on 10-13 October 2011 at the AIT facilities. This training of the trainers programme was conducted to build the capacity of agricultural technicians and extension workers in rice producing countries in the Asia-Pacific region, with a particular focus on LDCs, in an effort to address an acute challenge of post-harvest losses in rice production.
Rice is the major crop for millions living in Asia and the Pacific, and 90 percent of the world's output of rice is produced and consumed within Asia. With limited land, huge population and food insecurity exacerbated by the effects of the global financial crisis and climate change, a viable option is to create food surpluses by increasing land productivity and reducing post-harvest losses through the introduction of efficient and adaptable good agricultural practices, practical on-farm techniques and skills into rice production farming systems in the region.
Post-harvest grain losses across all Asian countries have been estimated at 10-15%, and, when combined with the loss of quality, represent a potential market loss of between 25-50%. Conservatively, this means farmers are losing about $50 per ton.
During the training, good agricultural practices, harvesting, drying, storage, milling techniques and rice quality evaluation methods were introduced. Sixteen participants from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam joined the training.