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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 699: I International Symposium on Improving the Performance of Supply Chains in the Transitional Economies

IMPROVING QUALITY OF PHILIPPINE VEGETABLES THROUGH AGRICULTURAL TRAMLINE AND COLD CHAIN SYSTEMS: STATUS, PROSPECTS AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER INITIATIVES

Author:   R.P. Estigoy
Keywords:   semi-temperate vegetables, cold chain systems, agricultural tramlines, technology transfer
Abstract:
Post-harvest losses in horticultural crops that range from 40-60% continue to beset the Philippine vegetable industry. The short shelf life of fruits and vegetables and poor post-harvest handling practices negate the gains achieved in production. These are aggravated by the long distance between production areas and poor roads. Tramline and cold chain systems are logical solutions to these perennial problems. The Bureau of Postharvest Research and Extension has been implementing the National Cold Chain and Tramline program to promote the adoption and utilization of cold chain and tramline systems. This is in line with the modernization of agriculture as a national thrust of Government under the Agriculture and Fishery Modernization Act (AFMA) 1997. To date, the program has established three cold chain facilities in three major vegetable producing areas in the country namely; Benguet (Northern Philippines), Cebu (Central Philippines) and Bukidnon (Southern Philippines.) These are being implemented in collaboration with the private sector. The agency assists the private sector to set-up viable enterprises. It provides support to train the beneficiaries, it provides a cold chain technology databank and a market linkage program. The components of the cold chain include a packing house, pre-cooler, cold storage, refrigerated transport and refrigerated stalls and chillers. Tramline systems were also established in the highland areas where temperate vegetables are grown. Traditional systems were replaced with two types; mono-cable and bi-cable systems. The tramline is an alternate transport system in isolated areas providing a hauling facility using cables and pulleys. It minimizes the drudgery in manual hauling temperate vegetables to the roadside. The prospects of these systems continue to grow because of the technology transfer initiatives promoted by the government and other participatory methodologies.
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