Agricom.id, JAKARTA – Drying is mostly done in agricultural products to reduce the water content. The goal is to create a horticultural product in better quality longer. In general, the farmers or the drying businessman in Indonesia do dry the products by advantaging sunshine. Though it is a cheap method, the products to dry could always be broken because of rain, pest, bird, and fungus.
Indonesia lays on an equator with good sunshine in every single year. The usage of solar dryer done could be the promising solution to drying issue.
Led by Minister of Agriculture, Syahrul Yasin Limpo (SYL), Ministry of Agriculture tries to design farmers’ side starting by the upstream sector in the cultivation, breeding, until the post-harvest process.
Since 2019, Ministry of Agriculture facilitates the solar dryer dome building to the businessmen which use traditional one, such as, in empty space, or on the side of road next to the surroundings. The goal is those who process the horticulture would not face the issue about dust, water, and ultraviolet.
Director of Horticultural Product Marketing and Process, Ministry of Agriculture, Bambang Sugiharto reminded the farmers to maintain the quality and hygiene of a products.
“Solar dryer dome would always be boosted so that the farmers/horticultural businessmen could produce the qualified ones and could be sold to other countries,” he said, as in the official statement to Agricom.id.
In the webinar Teknologi Pengolahan Hasil Hortikultura Sistem Pengeringan Dengan Tenaga Matahari (Solar Dryer Dome) held some days ago, General Directorate of Horticulture introduced solar dryer dome and the advantages to the farmers and horticultural businessmen.
One speaker, Mentari Sanda told, solar dryer dome is the drying system advantages sunshine not electricity. “The drying system uses polycarbonate material that could last 10 to 30 years. It would be very helpful for the farmers and others because it would be easier to dry,” Mentari said.
She also mentioned, the farmers should put the products to the dome in the morning. The sun would shine and the heat would be absorbed into the dome because it is constructed by concrete and the heat would be equal and there should be no leak.
“The advantages using it are that the drying system would be twice faster than it in traditional one, the farmers do not need to put out the products of the dome, the products would be more hygiene, and would avoid the pest attacks,” she said.
The horticultural farmer of Karangasem, Bali, Mandi told his experience using solar dryer dome which helps him to dry chili.
“The inner parts of chili are dry and there is no fungus, and it red,” he said.
The other speaker, Lisda S Damanik said, Mandi is really helped by the infrastructure. “He used to spend 7 to 10 days to dry chili. Some should be getting rotten and thrown away. After using solar dryer dome, it spends 5 days only and the dry level reaches up to 90 to 100 percent. The outcome could be used because there is no waste at all.
Lisda also mentioned, polycarbonate in solar dryer dome plays the important roles to maintain the quality of the horticulture. “The products after being dried would be having longer quality, strong taste, flavor would exist, and it is more qualified,” she said.
The participants in the webinar, starting from the farmers, businessmen, and the academy did appreciate it. “As one actor and trying to do horticultural business, this event would be very useful for micro, small, and medium businesses to dry horticultural products and would not depend on the electricity. This would support us and hopefully there would be other webinar and I would depend on,” a lecturer of STIP-YAPI Bone, Andi said.
As the closure, coordinator of horticulture product process, Diah Ismayaningrum told that the participants should do the best to make their products more hygiene when drying process happens.
“It is suggested to use solar dryer dome so that everyone of use should not dry the products on a floor, or land. Just like good manufacturing practices, the product process of horticultural products should be food grade to be safe to consume and after the products have been harvested, there is no much change in taste and color. They should be in good looking too,” she said. (A2)