Shallot is the second major horticultural crop after hot chillies in Indonesia and a crucial food item in the traditional diet. The Government of Indonesia aims to increase the shallot area to meet the increasing demand for shallots and to reduce imports. In addition to area expansion, increasing the productivity (i.e. yield per unit area) and reducing post-harvest losses are two important strategies to increase the availability of shallot in Indonesia. Therefore, activities in this Track ‘Shallot production and post-harvest technology’ will focus both on increasing the productivity of shallot and reducing losses in the post-harvest chain.
Current shallot production systems use saved bulbs of the previous season as starting material (farmer-saved bulbs). One of the problems in these systems is that the bulbs are a major source of diseases, which are transferred to the next season. As a result, yields are much lower than potential yields.
Recently, alternative shallot production systems have been developed based on True Shallot Seed (TSS). Benefit of TSS is the potential higher yield and lower costs for planting material. A major disadvantage of TSS systems is that they require a longer growing season than systems based on bulbs. The longer growing season may aggravate production losses due to the caterpillar Spodoptera exigua. New methods need to be developed that depend less on agrochemical control agents and more based on integrated pest management methods.
Introduction of TSS may result in specialisation of farmers towards new seed supply systems , for example, for producing high quality (certified) seed bulbs, transplants and sets. To guarantee the quality of these different planting materials new post-harvest technologies need to be designed and developed in addition to those for consumption bulbs. Post-harvest technologies involve technical innovations but also needs to address organizational and logistical aspects of value chains whether for consumption bulbs or TSS-based planting material.Back