Saturday, July 2, 2022

CAR Farmers To Be Trained On Proper Handling, Washing Of Veggies

CAR Farmers To Be Trained On Proper Handling, Washing Of Veggies

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The Department of Agriculture in the Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR) said on Tuesday that they will be training farmers on the proper handling and washing of highly perishable vegetables to improve their shelf life.

“We are waiting for the list from the farmers’ organization so that we can schedule the training for the first batch on proper washing and handling,” said Cameron Odsey, regional director of the DA-CAR, in an interview on Tuesday.

He said the training will be conducted by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), the training arm of the DA.

Odsey said that research has shown that improper washing of vegetables, especially those with sensitive flesh or damaged skin, causes blemishes and perforations that make them rot faster.

This is because of the bacteria entering the flesh from an open skin.

“Example niyan ay ‘yung carrots. Kapag hinuhugasan kahit maputik na ang planggana hindi pa rin nagpapalit ng tubig. Kailangan din binabanlawan ng maayos para ‘yung sugat sa balat na caused ng pag scrub hindi papasukin ng bacteria at nagiging dahilan na mas mabilis masira (An example is carrots that are scrubbed and washed in a basin with water that is not replaced even when it is muddy. Without rinsing, bacteria enters the lesion that causes faster deterioration of the vegetables),” Odsey said.

He shared that as a boy, he grew up with the same system of washing carrots at the Hangar Market in Baguio City, a style that continues to be practiced today.

“We need to evolve. Hugas lang sabi natin pero may effect pala at kung papalitan natin ang sistema baka mas gumanda ang kita ng farmers at traders kasi ang presyuhan depende ‘yan sa quality (We say it’s just washing but it has an effect and if we change how we do things, our farmers and traders might earn more because the prices of vegetables also depend on the quality), the director said.

He cited as an example the PHP10 carrots that became a trending issue on social media over the weekend.

“Medyo matagal na yung carrots at habang hindi nabebenta, mas pumapangit at bumababa ang quality kaya bumababa rin ang presyo. Kung maganda yung produkto kahit matagal na, mabibigyan pa rin ng mataas na value (The carrots were old and no longer look good so their prices will also drop. If a product is in good condition even if it is not freshly harvested, it will last long with the same appearance and it can be sold at a good price),” Odsey added.

Odsey said that proper handling, washing, and storage, as well as simple processing and packaging, would prolong the shelf life of vegetables.

“We have to change the old system we grew up with and adopt new ones if we want to improve our products and eventually our income,” Odsey said. (PNA)

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