- Editor: Mary E. Reed
- Author: Lisa Kitinoja
On October 12, 2012, the first Postharvest Training and Services Center (PTSC) officially opened its doors. Located on the AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center's Regional Center for Africa Campus in Arusha, Tanzania, the Center will serve as a model for postharvest development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Physical losses of horticulture crops during postharvest range from 30 to 80 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa, and problems with food quality, safety and nutritional value are well documented. Because past projects have identified appropriate postharvest technologies and recommended a variety of training, capacity building and small-scale infrastructure development, but had not integrated these recommendations into local solutions, the Horticulture CRSP awarded a Pilot Project in 2011 to Diane Barrett of the University of California, Davis, Lisa Kitinoja of the World Food Logistics Organization, and Rob Shewfelt of University of Georgia. Drs. Barrett, Kitinoja, Shewfelt and others have been conducting a year-long, online training of 36 agricultural professionals in advanced postharvest technology.
From October 8 to 19, these “Master Trainers” completed their training in-person and officially open the first Postharvest Training and Services Center (PTSC) by participating in a series of training programs for local farmers in Arusha before returning to their own countries with the designs and tools needed to launch new PTSCs and provide similar services and training. This project and the PTSCs will provide access to training programs, adaptive research and demonstrations, and the needed tools and supplies in order to reduce postharvest losses and improve market access and incomes for smallholders and women farmers throughout Africa.
The Horticulture Collaborative Research Support Program (Horticulture CRSP) builds global partnerships for fruit and vegetable research to improve livelihoods in developing countries. The program is managed by UC Davis (directed by Beth Mitcham who is also the Postharvest Technology Center's Director) and funded by USAID. For more information, visit http://hortcrsp.ucdavis.edu.