SAVE FOOD: Initiative mondiale de réduction des pertes et du gaspillage alimentaires

The National workshop on post-harvest fish losses in Indonesia

02 Dec 2015

The National workshop on post-harvest fish losses in Indonesia (Fish Loss Assessments: Causes and Solution Case studies in the Small-scale Fisheries in Indonesia) was organized on 3rd November 2015 under the partnership between Koperasi Artha Mina (KAM) of the Research and Development Center for Marine and Fisheries Processing Product and Biotechnology (RDCMFPPB), Agency for Marine and Fisheries Research and Development (AMFRD), the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), and FAO as an implementation of “Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction. It was  attended by approximately 50 participants from key national institutions and the communities which were involved in the field research case studies as well as FAO HQ and FAO Indonesia. Dr. Achmad Poernomo, Senior Adviser for the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fishery for Public Policy opened the event.

Using the food loss assessment methodology outlined by the Save Food in 2014 and mainstreaming  specific issues of importance in fisheries (market force loss, a significant erosion factor of income of the value chain actors, ghost fishing), four case study assessments in different locations in Java (Muara Angke, Tegal, Gunung Kidul) & Brondong) were undertaken by RDCMFPPB.

The KAM loss assesssment team then provided a summary of the case study findings before participants and resource persons formed 3 working groups which validated the case study findings and discussed loss reduction solutions. Very interesting points and issues came out of the group discussions that will be captured in the technical report, some snapshots are:

  • the magnitude, types, hotspots and causes of losses vary from one site to another one. Snapshots of 28% value loss but up to 90% of a consignment occurring a downgrading in quality (quality loss) have been reported;
  • confirmation of the overriding importance of quality losses where fish quality and safety is compromised with issues of mishandling, availability and quality of ice, storage facilities, poor technology;
  • the significance of losses from harvesting linked especially to abnormally long soaking time of the gillnet and the level of bycatch namely in lobster fisheries,
  • the mindset of small-scale fishers which undermines the adoption of good practices. More sensitization or openness to change in practices would benefit demonstrated incentives, a shift in training styles, the access to credit to enable actual implementation of what has been learned and at a last resort, the enforcement “stick” measures;
  • the issue of considering market force losses in this case study since the root causes of oversupply  are intricate with subsequent downward price but also at times quality or physical losses, they should be understood and addressed both for food security and income of the fishers hence their giving great attention to it. For instance a public security-led market force loss and the one occurring during specific festive periods because of low demand for fish would need different interventions; 
  • considering of actually measuring the quality losses as regards to the nutritional and safety status of “quality lost fish” yet consumed. A discussion was held with the Department of Aquatic Products Technology of the Bogor Agricultural university who expressed interest in being part of future case studies to appraise these factors. 
  • the existence of good practices in other locations in the country that can be shared, such as the Shorter soaking times of gill-nets  in Gunung Kidul or Lessons learnt from the “resi gudang” (warehouse receipt or “cheque and store”) as mentioned in UU No. 9/2006 (Law No. 9/2006)  to be  understood for application  in the fishery sector as part of the interventions.

Potential loss reduction solutions have been identified and going forward. Any loss reduction interventions must consider a broad range of issues or building blocks which include policy, legislation, technology, infrastructure, skills and knowledge and the market, with due attention to the social dimension. Therefore, addressing just one of these important factors in isolation is unlikely to result in an effective, sustainable solution.