TCTP on Rice Post Harvest Processing Technology for Afghanistan
Monday, 17 March 2014 07:57

"Study Visit to East Java: The Centre of Paraboil Rice Production and Factory of Agriculture Equipment"

The Third Country Training Program -or commonly called TCTP- on Rice Post Harvest Processing Technology for Afghanistan was held for the second time. The background of the training program related to the needs of Afghanistan to improve its rice post harvest technology. The consumption of rice in Afghanistan is increasing, while the Afghanistan’s farmers are facing difficulties, such as lack of improved rice varieties, micronutrient deficiency, post-harvest losses, processing, and marketing. Therefore, Indonesia which has experience in producing and managing distribution of rice as main staple food to feed its people, has sufficient capacity to assist Afghanistan regarding this issue.

Before the implementation of the second batch of the training, the Government of Indonesia had evaluated the implementation of the first batch. Based on the evaluation, the Indonesian stakeholders which consisted of Ministry of State Secretariat, Ministry of Agriculture, and Japan International Cooperation Agency (so called JICA) Indonesia agreed to improved the training in terms of substance and participants. The committee tried to accommodate the need of Afghanistan. The Ministry of Agriculture had improved the curriculum of the training program based on the request from Afghanistan to learn paraboil rice technology. In term of participants, last year, most participants were from policy level. As for this year, we have mixed participants from policy and technical level.

 

 

The training was joined by 15 participants who were accompanied by 1 Group Coordinator. The participants are from national and regional office of Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, while the coordinator, Mr. Muhammad Yama is the advisor of Rice-based Agriculture Development in Afghanistan (RIPA) Project, that is an agriculture technical cooperation project between  the Government of Japan through JICA Afghanistan and the Government of Afghanistan.

The training program was held for approximately 2 weeks, from 27 October to 9 November 2013. In class-theory and practical session were taught at the office of Ministry of Agriculture of Indonesia in Jakarta,Indonesian Center for Rice Research (ICRR) and Agricultural Post Harvest Research Center in Subang, Purwakarta and Karawang, while 4 days study visit was conducted in East Java Province.

The training was officially opened by the Mr. Surachman Suwardi, Head of Centre of Agriculture Training of Ministry of Agriculture of Indonesia on 28 October 2013. At the opening ceremony, there were several representatives from related stakeholders who gave their remarks, such as from Ministry of State Secretariat of Indonesia, Japan Embassy in Indonesia, Afghanistan Embassy in Indonesia, and JICA Indonesia Office. Mrs. Rika Kiswardani, Head of Bureau for Foreign Technical Cooperation of Ministry of State Secretariat of Indonesia highlithed the expertise and knowledge owned by Indonesia specifically in the area of rice post harvest processing technology that might meet the needs of Afghanistan, therefore it was highly expected that the participants may gain appropriate benefits from the training. While the Ambassador of Afghanistan, His Excellency Mr. Ghulam Sakhi Ghairatconveyed his gratitude for the extended support and assistant from the Government of Indonesia to the development of Afghanistan.

Unlikely the first batch, this year, the participants had opportunity to visit East Java in order to have depth-understanding about food processor in home industry scale, agriculture tools and machineries, and paraboil rice processing.  The participants went to Gresik to meet Ibu Muzanah, the owner and founder of food industry based on rice; visited PT. Rutan/PT. Agrindo to see directly the manufacture of agriculture tools and machineries that could support rice post harvest processing technology, and proceed to Petro Kimia Gresik which already implemented the technology of paraboil rice processing.

Previously, most participants did not know that rice could be a basic ingredient for other kind of food. Beside becoming staple food in Indonesia, rice could be produced into other forms of food such as snacks and beverages. The experience on visiting the home industry owned by Ibu Muzanah had broaden the perspective of participants in term of food processor. Most of them started to consider that this experience might be applicable in their home country. Therefore, in order to learn furthermore about this matter,  it will be good to involve female participants for the next batch of the training program, considering that women do have important role in supporting food home industry.

The participants had an interactive discussion with the CEO of PT. Rutan/Pt. Agrindo during their visit to the factory. They wanted to learn furthermore about the production and utilization of tools and machineries that could support rice post harvest processing technology. At this moment, there is no specific manufacture company which produces the variety and specific tools and machineries of agriculture in Afghanistan. Therefore, Afghanistan may consider to import those tools from Indonesia, or might be Indonesia may consider to give assistant to Afghanistan in the form of equipment, not only in the form of capacity building program.

Since the theory of technology on paraboil rice is one of the request from Afghanistan, the participants also had opportunity to learn about the issue not only in-class theory, but also field visit to the Petro Kimia Gresik, the company which already produced paraboil rice in Indonesia. Paraboil rice is a special rice which has lower level of glucose that might suit for people who suffers from diabetes. It is a healthy rice, yet it has not been common for people to consume this kind of rice since the price is quite expensive. However, it was worthy for participants to learn the technology to produce paraboil rice.

The training was closed on 8 November 2013 in Jakarta. The participants felt they had a lot of benefits and advantages from the training program. They wished that they could implement the lesson-learned they gained from Indonesia in their home country. Although most participants thought that the schedule of the training was quite dense, yet they enjoyed their time in Indonesia. They highlithed the opportunity to visit East Java since it was a valuable experience to have a trip to the centre of paraboil rice production and factory of agriculture tools and machineries. Hopefully, based on the recommendation of this year participants, the implementation of the next batch of the training program will be improved, so the three parties, Indonesia, Japan, and Afghanistan might gain significant objectives from this training program.

 

Bureau for Technical Cooperation

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