|The Postharvest Education Foundation
Founder: Dr. Lisa Kitinoja
Follow us on Twitter @PostharvestOrg
|Visiting an okra farm in Senegal - 1997
Globally, food losses and postharvest waste are estimated at 30 to 40% of production. Losses of perishable foods such as fruits and vegetables can be even higher during the postharvest period, depending upon the weather, access to storage or distance from markets. Utilizing improved postharvest practices often results in reduced food losses, improved overall quality and food safety, and higher profits for growers and marketers. But how can we teach people to use the postharvest handling practices that will best serve their needs?
Do you have questions about where to find information about postharvest practices?
Do your job duties include training others in postharvest handling?
Are you looking for some practical ideas for postharvest demonstrations?
Are you looking for topic ideas or illustrations for a postharvest presentation?
The Postharvest Education Foundation (PEF) is a non-profit public charity that aims to provide training and information to help people around the world to reduce postharvest food losses and food waste. Send an email to email@example.com or visit http://postharvest.tumblr.com and feel free to ask for assistance!
What do we do?
PEF currently offers:
- a variety of postharvest e-learning programs for young professionals who work with small scale farmers in developing countries.
- free postharvest training materials for those involved in extension work and training of farmers, produce handlers, small scale food processors and marketers
- access to postharvest tools and basic equipment for use in applied research and for improving practical field operations
- postharvest workshops for e-learners who successfully complete their online programs
- long term mentoring for participants in e-learning programs via social networking websites
- advice and guidance for establishing local postharvest training centers
LK training e-learners at the PTSC in Arusha, Tanzania
LK awards a certificate of completion to Mekbib Hiligebrile Seife (Ethiopia) at the conclusion of the 2012 Global postharvest e-learning program.
Our current 2013 PEF postharvest e-learning programs are closed, but please let us know if you wish to be put on our email list-- you will automatically receive announcements when future programs open for registration. Send your name and email address to LK at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Directors and staff are available online or via e-mail to serve as mentors or advisors to young professionals, extension workers, farm advisors, and private consultants around the world who are involved in activities related to postharvest handling, packaging, cooling, shipping, storage of fresh fruits and vegetables, and improved storage and processing of all food crops.
The Postharvest Education Foundation is currently working to assist extension workers, scientists, postharvest professionals and graduate students in many countries around the world gain new knowledge, skills and field experience that will assist them to help their local populations to reduce postharvest losses and food waste. We offer a variety of low cost e-learning programs and mentoring services at no charge. Dr. Lisa Kitinoja is the lead trainer, and she also currently works as a senior technical advisor with The World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO) on a HORT CRSP funded project in Sub-Saharan Africa. HORT CRSP Pilot project in East
A presentation on our Postharvest Training Center in Tanzania
How to learn more about the Foundation
Visit our About Us page to read more about our Mission, Board of Directors and Founder. You can find the link at the left side of the homepage.
While donations are always appreciated, as a relatively new Foundation, our tax exempt status is not yet fully established in all the states of the USA, so you will not be able to claim a tax deduction if you make a donation in cash or in kind. We are registered in Oregon, California and New Jersey so we can take donations from these state residents, and from those in a few states where there are no formal registrations required (Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont and Wyoming) and where we have been granted an exemption (New York, Connecticut). We have applied for registration for in Arizona and for an exemption in other states, so we will update our status as applications are processed. An application for 501(c)(3) status is pending with the IRS and we have been informed that the review and decision can require up to a year.
Training in postharvest technology aims to reduce food losses by helping farmers and handlers learn how changing simple practices, such as using better quality packages or not over-loading crates, can protect produce while improving market value and incomes.
Food losses and waste
Global food losses are estimated at 30 to 40%, and occur on the farm, and during postharvest handling, food processing, storage, distribution and consumption. The UN FAO has published a new report that summarizes the issues and highlights the need for taking action. According to the UNFAO media website "The report distinguishes between food loss and food waste. Food losses - occurring at the production, harvest, post-harvest and processing phases - are most important in developing countries, due to poor infrastructure, low levels of technology and low investment in the food production systems.
Food waste is more a problem in industrialized countries, most often caused by both retailers and consumers throwing perfectly edible foodstuffs into the trash. Per capita waste by consumers is between 95-115 kg a year in Europe and North America, while consumers in sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia each throw away only 6-11 kg a year." http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/74192/icode/
Improved postharvest practices
A recent research study undertaken by WFLO with funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provides an great assortment of data on the results of 12 past projects, postharvest losses % for 26 crops, a description of the value chain for 30 crops in 4 countries (Rwanda, Benin, Ghana and India) and 21 field trials of postharvest technologies suitable for helping small farmers reduce losses and improve their incomes. The original project report is 318 pages long (available for download at http://postharvest.ucdavis.edu/datastorefiles/234-1847.pdf ), but you can read a summary here.
Slide Deck WFLO BMGF APT Report 2010
Pilot project for extension of postharvest technologies
Diane Barrett and Lisa Kitinoja are currently working on a Hort CRSP funded project in East Africa where a pilot The Postharvest Training and Services Center (PTSC) was set up in October 2012 on the campus of AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center in Arusha. The PTSC will serve as:
a site for extensionists to meet with growers and others to provide training on improved food handling, harvest, packing, cooling, storage, food safety and processing practices
a location with permanent demonstrations for observing small-scale practices (where local private companies can explain and demonstrate their goods and services related to postharvest handling)
- a shop with postharvest tools and supplies, packages, plastic crates and other goods that can be purchased at reasonable prices
a place where people can come to ask questions or get advice on how to use improved postharvest practices, costs/benefits and marketing options
a place where growers or traders can pay a small fee for services such as having their produce cooled and/or stored for a few days before marketing, leasing a small insulated transport vehicle, or using a solar dryer to produce dried fruit or vegetable snack products, etc.
Mentoring and discussions
Join our discussions on LinkedIn.com to learn more. We currently interact with more than 600 members in our Postharvest Training groups: http://lnkd.in/CB2QfW
What is the cost?
There is no charge for mentoring services or participation in our online discussions. Visit the Foundation's blog (http://postharvest.tumblr.com/) or join our LinkedIn.com discussion groups and we will do our best to answer your question or point you in the right direction. Many training materials are available via as links or downloads from this website, or can be sent to you via e-mail at no charge. A CDRom packed full of practical training materials is available at a small fee (to cover the cost of copying, postage and packaging materials).
Many thanks to those of you who have purchased copies for yourself or your reference libraries-- each purchase helps to pay some of the cost of distributing the free CDRoms that are sent to those who cannot afford to purchase the training materials. Training CD Rom
2013© The Postharvest Education Foundation
TRAINING IN POSTHARVEST TECHNOLOGY