Rice industry actors in Thailand learn about better post-harvest management

On September 26-29, IRRI postharvest experts held trainings in Chainat and Uttaradit provinces in Thailand. These trainings seek to improve rice quality through better postharvest technologies and practices. Participants were contract growers, rice mill owners, and machine operators.

Mechanization and Postharvest experts, Engineers Caling Balingbing and Joseph Sandro, conducted a 4-day training course for key stakeholders of the Kellogg’s-funded Postharvest loss reduction project. This initiative aims to ensure high quality of rice in the company’s products. Techniques in rice harvesting systems were relayed through lectures and hands-on exercises, including basic operation and setting up the combine harvester to get an efficient output. They also discussed factors that affect the drying process.

Engr. Balingbing showed the participants how to operate combine harvesters and explained the importance of correct machine settings in achieving the desired output. He also taught them how to measure losses from combine harvesting by using grain loss collection pads in the field. “We hope that this training will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge about the important principles of postharvest management of rice, particularly on combine harvesting and dryer operation. This knowledge will help you avoid huge losses of rice along the value chain. It will also help you maintain the quality of milled rice products that reach the market, especially Kellogg’s customers”, he noted.

Engr. Sandro discussed drying principles and talked about technical and environmental factors that affect drying. He also conducted a simple experiment that illustrated how different drying conditions affect rice quality.

Participants of the training were thankful for the initiative. Noppadol Saenpo, Managing Director of Asia Seed and Grain Production Co. Ltd., expressed his appreciation for the knowledge they gained, and emphasized its role in enabling his staff to apply techniques in harvesting rice and minimizing losses in the field. “This training complements the one that the Thai Rice Department conducts whenever we have new staff onboard”, he said.

The owner of Korat Yongsanguan Rice Mill remarked, “I am very much delighted upon knowing the process and conditions as to temperature and humidity to dry paddy with mechanical dryer to attain best quality of paddy for milling and storage”. He added that the knowledge he gained will be cascaded to his staff that are involved in rice mill operations.

In November and December, IRRI’s Mechanization and Postharvest Team will conduct two more training courses about storage and milling. For more information about this initiative, you may contact the Mechanization and Postharvest Team at postharvest@irri.org.

Authors: Reianne Quilloy and Caling Balingbing

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