Postharvest in Horticulture:
Reducing losses and improving quality to capture high-value crops
The Horticulture Innovation Lab held a briefing about improving postharvest practices for horticultural crops, July 24 at the UC Washington Center in Washington, D.C.
The event brought together experts on new postharvest technologies, challenges and opportunities in improving postharvest practices, methods for scaling, and an overview of efforts to reduce postharvest losses and improve food safety in developing countries.
The event shared findings and lessons learned from the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s first five years of work. The Horticulture Innovation Lab viewed this event as a chance to share critiques and exchange questions that could shape future research in postharvest practices.
In case you missed it, or would like to share details with your colleagues, organizers have compiled an event summary (PDF) with highlights from the presentations and discussion. Speakers' presentations are also available:
- Horticulture Innovation Lab Overview and Importance of Improving Postharvest Practices (PDF)
Elizabeth Mitcham, director, Horticulture Innovation Lab at UC Davis
- Postharvest Technologies for the Developing World (PDF)
Michael Reid, Horticulture Innovation Lab
- Produce Food Safety: Challenges in Implementing Improved Practices (PDF)
Jeffrey LeJeune, The Ohio State University
- Demonstrated Value of Improving Postharvest Practices (PDF)
James Simon, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
- Regional Centers: Encouraging Adoption and Scaling of Technologies (PDF)
Britta Hansen, Horticulture Innovation Lab
- How Shared-Interest Savings Groups Can Facilitate Technology Adoption (PDF with speaker's notes)
David Miller, UC Davis
- USAID's Agricultural Research Strategy: The Role of Post-Harvest Loss (PDF)
John Bowman, USAID
Additional questions about the event can be directed to Caitlin Nordehn, email@example.com.
Projects: The Horticulture Innovation Lab builds international partnerships for fruit and vegetable research to improve livelihoods in developing countries. While many of the program's research projects focus on improving postharvest practices and food safety (see more postharvest-focused projects), here are some of the research projects that will be specifically highlighted at this event:
- Delivering food safety education through social networks in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua
Jeffrey LeJeune of The Ohio State University leads "Delivering Vegetable Safety Education through Established Social Networks."
- Improving postharvest practices with local market support in Zambia
Jim Simon of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, leads "Sustainable Development of Horticultural Crops in Zambia by Introducing Postharvest Technologies and Practices for Food Security, Income Generation and in Support of the Tourism Industry."
- Creating a market niche for 'food-safe' vegetables in Cambodia and Vietnam
David Miller of UC Davis leads one aspect of this project on "Safe Vegetable Production," specifically focusing on savings groups for farmers that may allow them to select and purchase new agricultural technologies.
Technologies: The event will also include information on select postharvest technologies that have been tested, adapted and promoted by Horticulture Innovation Lab partners in various settings. Here are basic fact sheets (PDFs) about some of those technologies:
- The CoolBot provides inexpensive, effective cooling.
- Our chimney solar dryer design adds value to crop surplus.
- Zeolite-based drying beads save high quality seeds.