OPPORTUNITIES FOR INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION IN POSTHARVEST EDUCATION AND EXTENSION ACTIVITIES
One of the key strategies for reducing postharvest food losses and waste is to inform all those involved in marketing about the best food handling practices for use between the production sites and the retail markets and to inform consumers about proper food handling at home. Through the ISHS postharvest workgroups we should develop standard contents and teaching materials for online postharvest biology and technology courses that would serve the needs of students in Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Food Science and Technology, Horticulture, and Plant Biology. We should also collaborate on developing learning modules that can be included in appropriate courses at the secondary school and junior college levels. We need to collaborate on extending relevant information via modern communication tools, including applications for smart mobile telephones and use of various social media and the internet to reach the largest possible audience. There is a wealth of information about postharvest quality and safety maintenance on the internet, but the challenge is to identify those science-based, unrestricted sites that have the most useful and regularly updated information (http://postharvest.ucdavis. edu/Most_Useful_Postharvest_Websites/). I recommend selecting and translating the most relevant information from these resources into the language of the target audience in each country or region. One excellent example of international collaboration is the 2004 edition of the US Department of Agriculture Handbook 66 (http://www.ba.ars.usda.gov/hb66/index.html) on Commercial Storage of Fruits, Vegetables and Florist and Nursery Stocks. Another example is the translation of the Small-scale Postharvest Handling Practices Manual by Kitinoja and Kader into 10 languages (http://postharvest.ucdavis.edu/libraries/). Also, the translation of the UC Postharvest Technology Centers Produce Facts into Arabic, French, and Spanish (http://postharvest.ucdavis.edu/PF/) has expanded availability of such information. It would be useful to translate these Produce Facts into other languages. We should support the training activities of the Postharvest Education Foundation (http://www.postharvest.org/), including those through Linkedin.com (http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Postharvest-Training-3770124) to help train the next generation of food quality and safety professionals.
Kader, A.A. (2013). OPPORTUNITIES FOR INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION IN POSTHARVEST EDUCATION AND EXTENSION ACTIVITIES. Acta Hortic. 1012, 1363-1370
capacity building, distance learning, information technology, training