Professional Avocado Conference: "Strategies and methods must be established from pre-harvest onwards ..."

"How far are we? Pretty far! (…) We are approaching almost the total useful life of the product, that is, we can be very close to 55, 60 or even more days, so the challenge is great ”.

An intense international meeting for avocado professionals organized and held Agricultural Seminars. The initiative was very well received by the producers and participants of that industry, who evaluated with excellence the topics addressed and the quality of the exhibitors.

The seminar addressed issues related mainly to the heterogeneity of the product, the production process in all its stages and the various factors involved in productivity, softening, quality or development of diseases, among many other topics.

Comprehensive approach to cultivation

The talks were closely linked to each other, addressing the different aspects or areas of the crop in a comprehensive manner, from the efficient use of postharvest technologies, timing of ripening, bases for understanding firmness and softening, mineral nutrition to improve production and quality; and diseases in post-harvest handling.

The topics were presented by researchers and academics, Bruno Defilippi, Romina Pedreschi, Reinaldo Campos, José Ignacio Covarrubias and Paulina Sepúlveda, from the world of research in plant biotechnology, postharvest, plant pathology and fruit growing, among other disciplines.

Times and shelf life

Professor Defilippi, at the beginning of the meeting, made a reference framework of the state of the crop and the challenges faced by Latin American producing countries to reach distant destination markets with quality fruit.

“Both Chile and Peru, and even Colombia, are quite far from the markets, which greatly conditions the arrival with quality fruit, so strategies and methods must be established from pre-harvest onwards to obtain a good product at harvest.

How far are we? Pretty far! It will depend on the country and the processes of each one, adding harvest, arrival at the packing sites, the time it takes to dispatch that fruit through a container, and then the trip to the destination market, so finally if one adds or averages what it takes for an avocado to reach the consumer, we are approaching almost the shelf life of the product, that is, we can be very close to 55, 60 or even more days, which is close to the useful life, so the challenge is great ”.

When talking about shelf life, we are talking about a product that should have a good appearance, good taste and above all good nutritional contribution, because people consume avocados for the benefit of their health.

Heterogeneity at destination

In this last perspective, referring to the nutritional conditions and intrinsic qualities of the product, Dr. Romina Pedreschi, maintains that it is precisely these qualities that are factors of uneven behavior in the post-harvest stage, resulting in heterogeneity in the quality of the product that is not observed in the harvest stage, not even in packaging, but unfortunately manifests its evidence at destination.

Know to handle

There were many factors and details that the attendees were able to know about the cultivation and the researchers were in charge of delving into detail in each one of them, because for Professor Reinaldo Sánchez, interpreting the objective of the meeting, he maintains that: “If you know what you cultivate and understand it, you can handle it, you can adapt it, you can manipulate it, or otherwise it is a great trial and error that often leads us to quite complex situations ”.

Knowledge and technology

In addition to the topics covered in each talk, multiple other aspects emerged in the question rounds, so this first meeting organized by Agricultural Seminars will surely be just the beginning to support the powerful Latin American Hass avocado industry.

To paraphrase Dr. Defilippi: “The fruit industry is very dynamic and must be prepared to respond to changes, whether in markets or those imposed by the environment. To respond to these changes, having a good knowledge base is the main thing to be able to propose modifications and for the implementation of new technologies or processes ”.

Source
Martín Carrillo O. - Blueberries Consulting

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