Moving forward from the First International PHL Congress

portrait: Elizabeth Mitcham
Beth Mitcham, director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab

In October, I was fortunate to gather with colleagues from around the world in Rome for the First International Congress on Postharvest Loss Prevention (PHL Congress). It was rewarding to see the worldwide attention that is now being given to reducing food losses, a topic I have been passionate about for many years.

This event was organized by the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss; I serve on the institute’s external advisory board and was part of the planning committee for this first-ever PHL Congress event.

During the event, I spoke on how Continue reading Moving forward from the First International PHL Congress

Visiting Tanzania: Postharvest Training and Services Center

Editor’s note: As our management team members visit Horticulture Innovation Lab partners and research sites in developing countries, we are sharing with you glimpses into their visits, with travel updates and photos.

Graduate student researcher Elyssa Lewis and I were invited to observe a refresher training course in Arusha, Tanzania, hosted by the World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO) and the TOPS Program.

When we visited, the WFLO was also in the process of evaluating a pilot project that trained experts in postharvest handling of fresh produce and established a Postharvest Training and Services Center in Arusha. This project was originally funded by the Horticulture Innovation Lab and led by Diane Barrett, of UC Davis. As a program officer for the Horticulture Innovation Lab, I work with these researchers and others to evaluate and disseminate their research and new technologies.

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Merius Nzalawahe, right, purchases materials from the store at the Postharvest Training and Services Center, from Odette Ngulu with Tanzania’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Cooperatives.

The Postharvest Training and Services Center is so much more than a training center. It aims to combine extension-type services with a sustainable business model. The small store pictured here is open every day to sell plastic packing crates, tree clippers, jars, buckets and other materials that local growers and processors can use to better handle fruits and vegetables after harvest. Continue reading Visiting Tanzania: Postharvest Training and Services Center