Postharvest Handling of Rice in CBE Farm
Center for Bayanihan Economics (CBE) farm in Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm in Angat, Bulacan sustains the excellence in production of organic rice. Handling of rice from harvesting until milling is important as its cultivation stage because it ensures the good quality of rice. CBE’s rice post- harvest production involves threshing, sacking, weighing, drying, storing, transporting, receiving, packing/labeling, and storage.
Thresher and other accessories should be thoroughly cleaned before threshing. Mechanical thresher is used during this activity. The first five sacks obtained from the thresher should be segregated and shall not be sold to costumers, this is for CBE consumption. White rice is threshed first to avoid mixture of other variety.
After threshing, the rice paddies are placed in clean sacks for storage, it is properly labeled using the lot numbering system for monitoring of varieties and batches.
Weighing is the method to determine the weight of the paddy rice harvested. This is to monitor and document the changes of the rice paddies’ weight as it goes through in stages of post-harvest activities.
Drying is the process to achieve the necessary moisture content (14% or lower) of paddy rice that would be ideal for storing and milling. Initial drying of paddy rice must be done in shaded or covered area because fast and quick drying would result to low milling quality i.e. cracked/ broken grains, especially when the threshed rice temperature is above 50˚C.
Clean the ground/pavement area, placed a canvas tarpaulin (lona trapal) and spread thinly the paddy rice, ideally not more than 5 cm. Duration of drying is one day when in well-aerated or windy areas and mixing it at least every 30 minutes. After that, the paddy rice can now be dry in direct sunlight until the desired moisture content is reached. Person in charge of drying the paddy rice should observe the proper hygiene and no animals within the drying area to avoid contamination.
STORING (PADDY RICE)
Person in-charge of storage room should maintain proper sanitation and prevent entry of insects, rodent, birds, pest to avoid contamination of the paddy rice during the storage . Sacks were placed above the pallets in a window or block stacking techniques which is 50 cm. away from the wall and roof of the storage room and 1 m. away from the door. Cleaning of storage room must be observed thrice a day to prevent the presence of pest and other insects that will affect the quality of rice. Every month, thorough cleaning and rearranging of rice stacking should be done which includes wiping of white vinegar on all surfaces of the storage area. Placing of oregano, turmeric, chili and bay leaf in storage area are also done to repel the pest from paddy rice. The Production Officer, who is in-charge of the storage room, must be keen observant for any sign of damaging insects or pest and micro-organism presence in stacked paddy rice. If ever the pest infestation is detected, the infected sack/s must be removed from the storage area to avoid the spread of infestation and contamination.
TRANSPORTING TO MILLING FACILITY
Milling is being done outside the GK compound and scheduled depending on the consumers demand. CBE prefers to stock the paddy rice than the milled one since the grain with husk is less prone to pest infestation.
Vehicle used during transport is properly cleaned prior to loading of rice paddy. Person in- charge should observed proper loading and transporting of the paddy rice. To avoid contamination, the person in-charge should monitor the milling process and transportation of milled rice. Necessary data must be recorded before and after milling.
Upon receiving, milled rice is being checked and data are being recorded. The stocks (milled rice) were properly turned-over to the marketing officer. The marketing officer should keep and maintain the updating of the record-keeping of rice for monitoring of rice production sales data.
PACKING AND LABELING
CBE do the repacking of milled rice for retail selling. It is repacked in three different weights: one (1) kilo, two (2) kilos and three (3) kilos. The labeling information included the benefits of the product, the quantity, and the lot code which stated the production date.
STORAGE (MILLED RICE)
Packed rice is displayed in shelves in daytime and kept in food-grade bins with tight lids in night time. Frequent checking of stored milled rice is required to ensure the good quality of displayed finished product. Bulk orders of milled rice are packed using clean sacks with proper labeling and lot numbering.