Members of our Board of Directors have been providing postharvest training for many years (sponsored by a variety of organizations and funding bodies), and starting in 2012, PEF has been offering these programs via e-learning (low cost distance education) for a wide range of young horticultural professionals in more than 25 countries.

Many of those we have trained in extension of postharvest technology have gone on to use their knowledge and skills for their Master's or PhD research studies, to design extension programs for local farmers, and to develop their own postharvest handling "train the trainers" programs in their own languages.


2nd All Africa Postharvest Congress and Exhibition

African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia  (September 17 - 20, 2019)

2nd AAPHCE was a huge event with representatives from different African nations as well as several regional and international economic communities. Representatives from regional and international economic communities, government and non-government development organizations, policymakers, academia, researchers, innovators, private investors and several traders, as well as farmers groups, were also among the invited speakers and attendees.

The congress was divided into six different themes namely: 1. Public sector initiatives in postharvest management, 2. Financial models, 3. Science, technology and innovation in postharvest, 4. Capacity development and outreach programs, 5. Youth and women empowerment and 6. Public-private-partnerships (PPP). Each theme had an interesting plenary session and informative panel discussions, followed by the oral presentations by the presenters from different parts of Africa and the world.

Dr. Lisa Kitinoja, Senior Advisor of GCCA provided a keynote presentation in the Plenary session on “Designing a Postharvest Training and Services Center”, with examples from a WFLO project with the Hort Innovation Lab and UC Davis in Tanzania. Vijay Yadav (PEF board member) co-edited the book of abstracts of the conference. Twenty PEF ‘postharvest specialists’ were in attendance and presented oral or poster presentations as well as chaired different sessions in the congress. PEF also had an expo stall shared with ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss, USA.

PEF has funded the e-learning graduates Olubukola, Irene, Wilberforce, Albert, Hadijah and Esa for the flights and stay during congress. Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) via the Hudson Global Fund provided financial support for the Vijay’s trip.

- Communique of the 2nd All Africa Postharvest Congress and Exhibition [Download]
PEF postharvest specialists under the African Union seal in the lobby of the AU headquarters.
L to R: (Front row) Irene, Albert, Olubukola, Lisa, Gerefe, Mekbib, Esa. (Back row) Hadijah, Vijay 
Short Course/Study Tour
February 2015 in Arusha, Tanzania

In association with local partners, we launched a new program “Small-Scale Postharvest Horticultural Technologies Short Course/ Study Tour” to be offered for up to 45 participants in Arusha, Northern Tanzania. This program was successfully completed in February 2015, with participants from Tanzania, Burundi and the USA.


  • Program leaders (Lisa Kitinoja, Diane Barrett and Lizanne Wheeler) plus invited regional and international experts and practitioners.
  • Invited speakers: Jacqueline Mkindi (TAHA, the Tanzania Hort Association), Bertha Mjawa (MIVARF) and Ngoni Nenguwo (AVRDC – East and South Africa Region).

 Participants visiting a packinghouse in Arusha, Tanzania (2015).

Course/Study Tour
August 2014 in Bali, Indonesia

In association with Udayana University, we launched a new program “Small-Scale Postharvest Horticultural Technologies Short Course/ Study Tour” to be offered for up to 45 participants in Bali, Indonesia. This program was successfully completed in August 2014, with participants from Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and the USA.


  • Program leaders (Lisa Kitinoja, Diane Barrett and I Made Utama) plus invited regional and international experts and practitioners. 

 A few of our participants in Bali with their certificates of completion (2014).


2012-2014 in Arusha, East Africa

Diane Barrett and Lisa Kitinoja worked together during 2010-13 on a Horticulture 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 serves as:

  1. A site for extension agents to meet with growers and others to provide training on improved food handling, harvest, packing, cooling, storage, food safety and processing practices.
  2. 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.
  3. A shop with postharvest tools and supplies, packages, plastic crates and other goods that can be purchased at reasonable prices.
  4. A place where people can come to ask questions or get advice on how to use improved postharvest practices, costs/benefits and marketing options.
  5. 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.

This pilot project was used as a model for future proposed projects in many regions of the world. If you would like to host a similar PTSC, feel free to contact us and ask for advice or assistance. During 2011-12 we trained 36 young professionals from 7 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa using an e-learning program developed and provided by PEF-- these postharvest specialists trained more than 13,000 Africa farmers, traders, processors and marketers during 2012-13 in a wide range of improved postharvest handling and appropriate food processing / food safety practices.

Read the final report: PTSC Pilot Project Final Report for Hort CRSP (2014)

Read an article based on the evaluation report on the PTSC pilot project (funded by USAID TOPS and implemented by WFLO):
Kitinoja and Barrett (2015) Extension of Small-Scale Postharvest Horticulture Technologies—A Model Training and Services Center. Agriculture 2015, 5, 441-455; doi:10.3390/agriculture5030441
PDF Version

Read a case study by the Global Knowledge Initiative on the PTSC concept:
Rockefeller Foundation Global Knowledge Initiative (2014) “Reducing Food Waste and Spoilage: Assessing resources needed and available to reduce post harvest food loss in Africa.”

Read about the Opening of a Regional Postharvest Training and Services Center


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