Editor’s note: Michael Reid shares highlights from a five-day short course on postharvest handling of horticultural crops, funded and led by the Horticulture Innovation Lab in Tanzania this summer.
In July, Angelos Deltsidis and I travelled to Tanzania along with Marita Cantwell, our colleague from the UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center, to provide a training in postharvest handling of horticultural crops. The five-day short course was conducted at the Postharvest Training and Services Center on the World Vegetable Center (AVRDC) campus in Arusha. Ngoni Nenguwo, the AVRDC postharvest technologist, and Juma Shekidele from the Horticultural Research and Training Institute in Tengeru (called HORTI Tengeru) provided invaluable assistance in organizing and hosting the course. Ngoni also taught some of the course modules during the five-day course.
Thriving vegetable plants, new experiments in progress, visitors exploring agricultural tools, and an upcoming gardening contest have been keeping the team behind the Horticulture Innovation Lab Demonstration Center busy recently.
Here’s an update about what we’ve been cultivating at our center on the UC Davis campus.
Exploring postharvest technology demonstrations
About 65 visitors from 12 countries toured through the Horticulture Innovation Lab Demonstration Center on campus last week, as they participated in the UC Davis Postharvest Technology Short Course. The group of researchers, students and agricultural professionals were participating in a two-week course to learn about the science behind caring for fruits and vegetables after harvest, to increase quality and reduce postharvest losses.
The visitors rotated through demonstrations of some of the low-cost technologies that Horticulture Innovation Lab researchers use with farmers in developing countries—including a solar-powered CoolBot, the UC Davis chimney solar dryer, and the zero-energy cooling chamber.
Angelos Deltsidis and I traveled to Bangladesh in January for meetings related to a collaborative project we’re working on with the Nutrition Innovation Lab and other partners. While we were there, we had a chance to work with faculty and students at Bangladesh Agricultural University to build a chimney solar dryer for drying fresh produce.
Though I have been to Bangladesh many times before, this was my first time visiting Bangladesh Agricultural University and the nearby city of Mymensingh. As you can see in the photos, the weather was surprisingly cold during our visit!