Event summary: Postharvest in Horticulture


The Horticulture Innovation Lab held a forum “Postharvest in Horticulture: Reducing losses and improving quality to capture high-value crops” at the University of California Washington Center in Washington, D.C., on July 24, 2014. This in an 11-page event summary (PDF) from the presentations and discussions. Find other event details and presentations on the event page.

The event aimed to provide stakeholders with an introduction to Horticulture Innovation Lab’s projects related to postharvest technology and gather input on knowledge gaps in the field on which new research is still needed.

Since its inception in 2009, the Horticulture Innovation Lab funded 38 collaborative research projects in 30 countries, 14 of which are current Feed the Future countries. This is an exciting time for horticultural crops, because they are high value and nutritious; however too few people eat the daily recommended amount, often due to lack of access. The Horticulture Innovation Lab does research that takes into account the entire value chain and social aspects including gender issues. It is committed to promoting a diet rich in vegetables, gender equality, and a better life for those most in need, while at the same time building capacity in students and institutions. Through collaborative research with 15 U.S. and nearly 100 host country partners, it is addressing its research goals by improving the production of fruits and vegetables and increasing availability of horticultural crops. The Horticulture Innovation Lab has emphasized improving postharvest handling through specific projects on this topic as well as incorporating strong consideration of postharvest challenges in its value chain projects. Projects have also focused on food safety and improving market linkages.

See highlights from each of the presentations at this event in the full event summary PDF.

The event summary also includes notes from participant discussion on these topics:

  • What postharvest challenges do you see in your work and projects?
  • How have you solved them? Have you?
  • Do you have good examples of success?
  •  What challenges remain?
  • Why do you think we’ve made so little progress in reducing postharvest losses?

Value Chain

Postharvest practices