POST-HARVEST TECHNOLOGY APPLICATION CENTER (PTAC)
Post-harvest sector is the sub-sector inagriculture covering such activities to process crops, ie: harvesting, threshing, cleaning, grading, drying, storage systems,pest control and management, quality control, standardization, transportation, milling, processing, packaging and handling.Post-harvest technology means methods or facilities to preserve food at and after the point of harvest to increase food availability and to prevent or minimize food losses using such methods or facilities to maximize the benefits derived therefrom. Quantitative and qualitative losses could occur from the time of harvest till it reaches to consumers.Referring to the study conducted by the''South East Asian Regional Centre for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA)''post- harvest losses were generally assessed as follows;
PTAC in brief
Initiated as the R&D unit of the Myanma Agricultural Produce Trading, MAPT, under the Ministry of Commerce, Post-harvest Technology Application Centre, PTAC was established in 1979. Food and Agriculture Organization, (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) prepared and drafted a Project Document on the establishment of PTAC and financial assistance had been sought. In 1981, Asian Development Bank, ADB agreed to provide US$ 150,000 for consultancy services, training and procurement of laboratory equipment and technical books.
For further development, the Government of Japan was requested and eventually extended a grant aid of 1,550 million YEN for full fledged implementation. Construction was started in 1983/84. PTAC was officially handed over to the Myanmar Government on 23rd March 1985.
PTAC undertakes as the main function, research & development activities with regards to food crops in order to minimize post-harvest losses and maintain the quality of products.
1. To disseminate technologies extensively to improve post-harvest practices of procurement, storage, processing and quality control of food crops.
2. To conduct applied research continuously in order to maintain the quality of products and minimize losses at and after the harvest.
3. To initiate low cost post-harvest facilities by tapping indigenous resources.
4. To develop post-harvest activities with regards to quality control, pest control, storage, milling, processing, by-products utilization, technology transfer and economic appraisal.
5. To study and evaluate technologies prevailing within and outside the country and apply those technologies which are appropriate under Myanmar conditions.ORGANIZATION
PTAC is constituted with the following division.
1. Quality control and standardization division.
2. Storage technology & pest control division.
3. Processing research divisions.
4. By-products utilization division.
5. Training extension division.
6. Administration and finance division
7. Economic research and planning division.
PTAC is now staffing with a strength of 38 permanent staffs. As post-harvest technology is based on various disciplines such as Biochemistry, Zoology, Entomology, Agricultural Science, Agronomy, Food Technology, Engineering, Microbiology, Computer, Statistics and Economics, PTAC has been constituted with professional whose qualifications are related to the respective disciplines.
For effective execution of the daily task and to fulfill the objectives, supported laboratories, testing plants, workshops and modern sophisticated facilities are equipped under each section.
1. Grain (Physical) Laboratory)
2. Grain (Chemical) Laboratory)
3. Milling Test Laboratory
4. Oil and Fats Laboratory
5. Aflatoxins Laboratory
6. Pesticides Laboratory
7. Pest Laboratory
9. Design and Drafting room
10. Parboiling Laboratory
11. Rice Mill (1 ton per hour)
12. Comparative Milling Units
13. Oil extraction plant
15. Storage facilities and silos
16. Lecture rooms and boarding house for (50) trainees.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
PTAC's research programmes are geared towards solving technical problems confronted in the post-harvest operations. Since 1985, PTAC has been undertaking several research projects in the problem areas of grain quality, pest control, storage, processing and by-products utilization.
1. Effect on milling quality of paddy on prolonged exposure of paddy piles to different humilities in procurement depots.
2. Quality evaluation studies on various varieties of Myanmar paddy.
3. Study on arthropod pests infested in grain storage warehouses.
4. Study on pesticides residues in food grain and establishment of pesticides residues laboratory in PTAC.
5. Incidence and control of Aflatoxins in Myanmar maize.
6. Pilot processing of edible oil from soyabean, capsicum oleoresin from chillies and essential oil from lemon grass.
7. Production technology on rice husk ash cement.
8. Design, construction and testing of farm level paddy drier for drying off-season crops.
9. Preliminary study the Effects of Packaging on quality of Myanma Pamela (2005-2006)
10. Study on Physical Properties and storage life of some Myanma Mango Varieties with different Packaging (2005-2006)
11. Study the effects of different types of storage on Hydrogen Cyanide content of Myanma Butter Beans.
12. Study on Quality of Region-wise Sein Ta Lone Mango in Myanmar (2005-2006)
13. Study on Noni Fruits and Plants (2005-2006)
14. An Investigation on Pest Infestation on green chilli and dried chilli Capsicum SPP in pre-harvest and post-harvest period.
ANALYSIS AND TESTING
Another function of which PTAC has been engaged in to provide quality assurance services to exported foodgrains. Analysis and testing of qualities of foodgrains such as chemical compositions, pesticides residues, aflatoxins have been undertaking in PTAC since 1990. PTAC assists foodgrain exporters in product certification and testing to ensure the quality and safety of the products.
The undermentioned table indicates the amount of samples analysed and tested in PTAC's laboratories.
TRAINING & EXTENSION
Since its inception, PTAC has been carrying out training activities in liaison with other concerned government departments for efficient application of improved post-harvest practices in various fields. Training programme conducted in PTAC are shown below:
1. Training programmes on Grain Quality Control
2. Training courses of Grain Storage
3. Basic training courses on Rice Processing
4. Basic training courses on Control of Pests in Grain Storage
5. Training programmes for Exportation of Pulses and Beans
6. Training courses for Storage Warehouse Operators
7. Mobile training courses on Rice Post-Harvest Technology
8. Management training courses for Township Managers
9. Training courses for Depot Supervisors, Paddy Procurement Depots
10. Basic training course on Management & Operation of Rice Mills
11. Training courses on Rules and Regulations of Store Accounting
12. Store accounting (ledger) Course
13. Training courses on Financial and Accounts Control
14. Training for Basic Management Course
15. Basic Training Course on Post-harvest Application Technology of fruits
16. Training on Data Information and post-harvest Technology of various crops.
To disseminate improved post-harvest technology, PTAC publishes a monthly journal ''Post-harvest Technology'' and several extension leaflets for training and extension activities. Some are:
1. Do's and don'ts for obtaining maximum recoveries of rice.
2. Facts about sun-cracked and yellow grains.
3. Improve grain storage methods at farm level.
4. The use of pesticides on stored product pests.
5. Facts about ''Celphos''.
6. Facts about ''Aflatoxins''.
7. Rice husk ash cement technology.
8. Plastic mobile silo.
9. Stored product pests.
10. Platform weighing scale.
11. Storage manual.
12. Collection of radio broadcasting articles of MAPT functions and activities.
13. Facts about Pesticide Residues.
14. PTAC Internet News.