POKHARA- Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Directorate of Post-Harvest Management, Department of Agriculture, Nepal government jointly organized a 3-day Training of Trainers in Horticultural Chain Management.
Twenty government officers working in District Agriculture Development Offices, Regional and Central level offices under the Ministry of Agricultural Development participated in the ToT.
According to a press release issued by FAO, Shabnam Shivakoti, Program Director, Rituu Singh, SHDO and Madhav Bhatta, PPO facilitated the ToT.
Sharat Chandra Shrestha, Director at the Regional Agricultural Development Directorate, presided over the opening session of the ToT.
In the sessions of the ToT, the participants and the facilitators actively discussed and shared their experience on fruit and vegetable production and consumption focusing on livelihoods and the food security and nutrition. A majority of farmers, particularly the landless and marginal, are engaged in fruit and vegetable production in the SAARC countries. Between 20 and 44 percent of total fruits and vegetables produced in these countries, however, go to waste owing to spoilage at various steps of the post-harvest chain.
Small farmers in these countries lack resources and are unable to implement suitable post-harvest handling practices and market their produce effectively.
Post-harvest losses are largely the result of poor organization, improper handling, transportation and packaging, poor storage and weak rural infrastructure, resulting in seriously diminished returns to producers and reducing the net availability of these commodities in local markets. An underlying cause of these losses is limited awareness and knowledge of stakeholders in fruit and vegetable supply chains. Spoilage of fresh produce is also accelerated by the hot and humid climates in these countries.
Considerable losses in traditional horticultural chains in these countries, and the high rejection rate of produce in organised chains in export markets, result in a negative economic impact for stakeholders in horticultural chains.
The training of trainers (TOT) aims at capacitating the participants with the necessary knowledge and skills in food safety and quality management during harvest, post-harvest handling and trading including collection, wholesaling and retailing.