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Workshop to improve Food Security for Small Farmers



EVENT DATE: Feb 17, 2014


Sub-Sarahan Africa has 218 million people who are food insecure, the most in the world. India has 600 million small farmers that struggle to handle and store their foods after harvest.  And almost 40% of food in Sub-Saharan Africa and India is lost every year!

Why? Because of poor agrictultural practices after the harvest. 

How to solve? Train farmers and extension workers in proper Postharvest techniques and save up to 50% of these loses!

The Postharvest Education Foundation (PEF) is organizing a Postharvest Training Workshop in Tanzania to train some of the developing world's future agricultural leaders and our Global e-learners from 15 countries in training methods for promoting improved post-harvest practices.

Your contribution will change his/her life for generations and make the world more food secure. 

Founder of PEF, Dr. Lisa Kitinoja, has co-written the book on Small-Scale Postharvest Handling Practices*. She and her team have been working in Africa, India and other developing regions since the 1990's. 

*Kitinoja, L. and Kader, A.A. (2003). Small-Scale Postharvest Practices: A Manual for Horticultural Crops, 4th edition. University of California, Davis. 196 pp. This manual has been translated into Arabic, French, Spanish, Punjabi, Chinese, Vietnamese, Afrikaans, Indonesian and several other languages. (You can download the small scale postharvest manual in English:

The Postharvest Education Foundation is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to horticulture, education and reducing global food losses.

In Dr. Lisa's words: 

"Postharvest handling involves all the steps along the foods system from harvesting to marketing – we teach about when to harvest, how to keep foods safe to eat, how to clean, pack and store fresh foods, how to process perishable foods into products with longer shelf life, and much more. You can learn more about our foundation, this postharvest training event in Tanzania and our project by visiting our website and by reading the description below."


Food loss is one of the biggest agricultural and environmental problems that you have never heard about. The amount of food that is thrown away in the world is simply staggering. I have been working since the 1980s on improved postharvest handling practices for small scale farmers, and lately with a variety of think-tanks and international organizations to document the problem of postharvest losses and food waste and figure out what we can do about it. In the USA we generate more than 34 million tons of food waste each year. Studies that I have worked on in recent years have shown that developing countries lose 30 to 80% of their perishable foods (fruits, vegetables, root crops) before consumption, and with these enormous losses, we also waste a lot of the land and water, fertilizer, labor and money that went into food production. Watch this short UN FAO video for a quick explanation of global food losses and waste and what we can do about reducing the waste of the food we grow.


The Postharvest Education Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is training young people in developing countries to tackle these problems in their own countries, by working directly with farmers, food traders and marketers, and providing information, demonstrations and education in their own local languages. So far, in the 3 years we have been in existence, we’ve provided long-term, intensive training for more than 50 people from 17 different countries. We use a written training manual (available in 11 languages) and fieldwork assignments to make sure our trainees gain practical, hands-on experience.

Our innovative “Global postharvest e-learning” program takes more than a year to complete, and the reward that we would like to offer the trainees who successfully complete this year’s PEF 2013 Global program is the chance to attend a hands-on postharvest workshop in northern Tanzania.

We are training these young people via low cost internet based programs, with assignments, readings, fieldwork and written reports that can be submitted by email, with the hope that the knowledge and skills they gain will go a long way toward solving food loss and waste problems. Last year’s e-learning program graduates already have been providing training in their own countries (see below for some examples from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana and Bangladesh).

This year’s e-learners are located in 12 different countries, from Bhutan to Uganda. The workshop we are planning to hold in Tanzania will give our trainees the opportunity to meet one another in person for the first time, and to work with me and with Lizanne Wheeler, who is one of our fantastic PEF volunteer postharvest trainers. Last year’s two workshops, held in Arusha and in India, cost more than $35,000 for 22 participants. This year, in order to pay some of the high costs for the training materials and travel expenses, we could really use your help.

WORKSHOP in TANZANIA we need your help to make this happen

We have developed a 5 day program to be offered February 17-22, 2014. The first three days will be held at the wonderful Mkuru Training Camp (MTC) about one hour away from Arusha, Tanzania. Mkuru is in the Maasai lands in Northern Tanzania, near Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru. The people of the community enjoy a variety of learning experiences at the MTC, from nutrition classes and animal raising programs to hosting beading retreats for tourists. There our PEF trainees will review their e-learning experiences, get their postharvest tool kits (a set of simple tools for quality assessment, training and loss assessment, valued at $400). Then we will set up and provide a one day practical training program for a group of Maasai women who are learning via an OIKOS sponsored project (an Italian NGO) to grow, handle, pack and market organic vegetables. The last two days of the workshop will be spent in and around Arusha, where we will visit the Postharvest Training and Services Center (PTSC) at AVRDC, the Njiro postharvest shop and training center (managed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security), the Tanzania Farm Association store and the local produce markets (wholesale and retail).

Here are some details on some of our top past postharvest e-learners. Eight of our Global e-learners came from African countries (Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia) and attended a workshop in Tanzania in Feb 2013. Fourteen of our e-learners from South Asian countries (India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal) came to India for a postharvest workshop in August 2013. But many of our e-learners could not attend, since we didn't have enough funds to bring them all to these workshops.

Mekbib Seife Hilgebrile (Ethiopia)

Mekbib works on farmer training programs in the Afar region of Ethiopia. This past year he was awarded a grant for his research and extension work on par-boiling rice to reduce losses, and a fellowship that provided him with the opportunity to visit UC Davis in June 2012

Pamela Anfu-Babington (Ghana)

Pamela is working with a team of her fellow e-learning graduates from Ghana on designing and implementing a new postharvest workshop for fruit and vegetable farmers in Accra.

Theavy Srey (Cambodia)

Theavy Srey works at the Royal Agricultural University in Cambodia with 3 of her fellow PEF e-learning graduates – together they’re developing a variety of postharvest demonstrations and training programs for local hort producers and extension workers.

Faruq Bin Hossain (Bangladesh)

Faruq works at BARI in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where he specializes in developing tools and equipment for improving postharvest handling, pest treatments and storage practices. He is currently making plans to develop a “postharvest village” where farmers can learn about improved food handling, storage and marketing.

We have more than 20 e-learners enrolled in this year’s program and we would like to be able to invite them all to the Feb 2014 workshop in Tanzania.

This year’s PEF 2013 Global e-learners include:

Vumilia Zikankuba (Tanania)

James Armachius (Tanzania)

Odeyemi Olubukola (Nigeria)

Xiangchun Meng (China)

Jacinta Nyaika (Malawi)

Fanny Ipinge (Botswana)

Jimba Dorji (Bhutan)

Passang Wangdi (Bhutan)

Radegunda Kessy (Tanzania)

Muyomba Wilberforce (Uganda)


For the past three years we have been providing a variety of educational programs without any compensation for our time (and often our instructors have had to travel at their own expense). This year we’re in need of funds to help us to pay for the travel expenses (hotels, food and airfares) for some of our trainees, who will be coming from many different developing countries to Tanzania.

You can help by clicking "DONATE" and pledge your donation. 


Support us by spreading the word about our project. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or send an email with the site URL to your friends and family.


Tweet @PostharvestOrg

Have more questions? Send Dr. Lisa an email at


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In memory of Adel A Kader 6 years ago