DENPASAR – To extend the shelf life of agricultural products, the Provincial Government of Bali plans to build a post-harvest handling facility for agricultural products with gamma irradiation systems.
Governor of Bali Wayan Koster said he did not want to waste time to realize the plan, because it was an effort to solve downstream agricultural problems.
“This development plan (gamma irradiation facilities) is an empowerment of agricultural products and the resolution of downstream agricultural problems,” said Governor Koster.
He conveyed this to the auditors with a team from the National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) in his office on Tuesday (2/4/2019) morning.
According to Governor Koster, the construction of post-harvest handling facilities from agricultural products with gamma irradiation is one of the absolute manifestations of the enactment of Governor Regulation No. 99 concerning the Utilization and Marketing of Agricultural, Fisheries and Local Industry Products in Bali.
This governmental regulation, he said, has the main goal to empower and improve the welfare of farmers in Bali.
“So (with the gamma irradiation system) the product can last longer, fruits and vegetables are durable and durable, and free of bacteria,” said the Governor from Sembiran Village, Tejakula District, Buleleng.
To implement this gamma irrigation system, the Provincial Government of Bali is estimated to need funding of around Rp. 160 billion.
In an audience accompanied by the Head of the Agriculture and Food Crops Office, Ida Bagus Wisnuardana, Governor Koster stated that he would immediately find the best solution, including by seeking budget allocations from the center.
Previously in discussions with the community of Buleleng, Governor Koster said that his party was currently only thinking of a financing scheme, because the land that would be used as the location for the construction of gamma irradiation in Buleleng was available to be used for the proposed project.
The land belongs to the Bali provincial government with an area of 22 hectares in the area of Patas Village, Gerokgak District, Buleleng.
“The land for the construction of Gamma Irradiation is ready, just use it. “Land needs are extensive, because there must be warehousing, packing space, and sorting, before entering into the gamma irradiation processing machine,” said Koster
On the same occasion, a nuclear energy researcher from BATAN , Prof. Yohannes Sardjono revealed the advantages of applying gamma irradiation to agricultural and livestock products that are able to extend the shelf life of the product.
“Exposure to gamma rays will help minimize bacteria and other causes of decay so that the shelf life can be longer. However, the process does not damage the nutritional content of food ingredients and remains safe and hygienic for consumption, “said Prof. Sardjono.
He added, with a long shelf life, agricultural products can automatically be marketed and distributed more freely because it minimizes the risk of decay.
“So it will greatly reduce the risk of products being wasted, farmers can also get an economic impact because the products can be marketed longer,” he added.
Sardjono also said that gamma ray irradiation facilities have been widely applied in other countries, especially those that have agricultural commodities.
“For example, Japan has dozens of gamma irradiation facilities for handling agricultural products, as well as China and Australia. The hope is that with the construction of this facility Bali can lead to food sovereignty, handling agriculture from upstream to downstream and providing quality products for both the local market and foreign tourists, “concluded Prof. Sardjono. (*)