Officer in Charge of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), Dorian Etienne has said the agricultural market continues to demand produce that is safe and of high quality.
He said that demand should drive the adoption of alternative methods of handling and storing agricultural produce.
“The market is demanding produce that is safe and of high quality and that demand should drive the rapid adoption of alternative methods of handling and storage during and post-harvest, that protects the commodity, reduce loses and improve product presentation and acceptability,” Etienne said.
He was speaking at a function where Stackable Field Crates were presented to farmers at the Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA) Multi-purpose Packhouse in Goodwill.
“Our practise in using bags in handling and storing produce is something that we need to phase out and the sooner we do that is the better if we are serious about improving product quality,” he added.
Ettiene also stated that depending on the location where fresh produce is made, transportation may be necessary at several points of the supply chain.
“Such as from the field where the produce is harvested to the farm shed, from the farm shed to the pack-house, from the pack-house to the market,” he explained. “And each time the produce is transported from one point to another, it is handled, subjected to vibration, placed under pressure and subjected to a variety of conditions that may negatively impact on its quality and therefore its marketability.”
He encouraged farmers to use the field crates properly and ensure that they are managed appropriately.