The Post-harvest Technology and Value Chain of Fruits and Vegetables Training was delivered to 35 fruit and vegetable producing model farmers, postharvest experts, postharvest management personnel, plant science and food science experts, development agents (DAs) and horticulturalists from five Woredas in Eastern Hararghe: Haramaya, Kersa, Meta, Babile and Kombolcha, and East Hararghe Zonal Office experts.

The training was organized by HiT, University Industry Linkage and Technology Transfer Office in collaboration with UILED Director Office and was delivered from April 15-18, 2019 at Resource Center.

“The training was organized to connect the institute’s resources to the community to empower the society taking into consideration the advancement of world’s technology,” according to Mr. Addis Asfaw, Technology Transfer and Technology Business Incubation Coordinator and a lecturer at the University.

Technology Transfer and Technology Business Incubation office motivates HIT community to come up with feasible research outputs and adoption of new technology to be disseminated to the community believing the outcome of the knowledge and technology transfer lead to a better life standard to the society.

Existing literature and observable reality indicate that Ethiopia has a rich bio-diversity in fruits and vegetables. However, the horticultural sector suffers post-harvest losses to the extent of 30-40% particularly in fruits and vegetables. The major constraints of the sector include inefficient handling and transportation; poor technologies for storage, processing, and packaging; involvement of too many diverse actors, and poor infrastructure. Lack of organized production-processing linkages, limited/antiquated processing infrastructure and technologies, and inadequate packaging are also known to contribute to the high loss in fruits and vegetables.  Thus, the sector needs scientific skills to reduce the risks over these perishable fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Mitiku Eshetu, University-Industry Linkage and Entrepreneurship Development Director, in his closing remark said that the training was encouraging to the Experts & Farmers’ to be active in performing their activities and to enhance the knowledge and capacity of the trainees in Post-harvest Technology and Value Chain of Fruits and Vegetables as well as Handling and transporting of sensitive fruits and leafy products require good understanding of their delicate nature and implementation of the recommended practices for handling and transporting to reduce post-harvest losses. In line with this,  trainings in handling and postharvest management of fruits and vegetables and in manufacture of value-added products will encourage enthusiastic farmers, unemployed youth and entrepreneurs to initiate small scale enterprises which can certainly add more cash income to their families and create more job opportunities.

The trainees also visited the different laboratories in the University.The trainees said that the training enabled them to identify the knowledge and skill gap they had in their profession and appreciated the opportunity provided as an input for a better outcome in the future.