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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture

Integrated Postharvest Extension Program for Cambodia and Vietnam

Photo slideshow of this project or see the album on Flickr.

Target Countries: Cambodia and Vietnam

Principal Investigators: Robert E. Paull and Nancy Jung Chen; University of Hawai’i at Mānoa


Project Description

Postharvest losses of fruits and vegetables in Vietnam and Cambodia are very high. In Vietnam, postharvest losses range from 20 to 25 percent for fruits and more than 30 percent for vegetables. Cambodian vegetable losses have been reported higher than in Vietnam. The most common causes of postharvest losses are quantitative, losses in quality caused by improper handling, and microbial and pesticide contamination significantly influences the nutritional value and safety of fresh produces.

The goal of this exploratory project is to evaluate current capacity and needs with respect to postharvest handling and quality, leading to a full proposal whose aim would be to strengthen the capacity of Vietnamese and Cambodian growers and marketers to reduce losses and to improve fruit and vegetable’s postharvest quality. The four objectives are:

  1. To conduct a site visit to Vietnam and Cambodia to meet with potential research and training counterparts to determine capacity building needs that address postharvest losses;
  2. To meet with potential commercial Vietnamese and Cambodian partners to determine their current handling practices and possible approaches to assist them in maintaining quality and safety;
  3. To determine what postharvest publications are available in Vietnamese and Khmer on fresh fruit and vegetables; and
  4. To select postharvest leaders for short course training in the United States and to obtain additional training on postharvest quality evaluation and safe handling training in Hawaii.