Post harvest improvement is a major opportunity for developing and emerging countries.
Through the use of digital systems the farmers can gain greater reward for growing higher value crops, in turn increasing their ability to invest in more sophisticated, competitive improvements and thus reach further into export and affluent marketplaces.
As soon as produce is harvested the ability to handle, sort, and ship it with precision, temperature, and handling controls is one of the first ways and most impactful ways to add value to agricultural activities.
Consumers pay a premium for well handled food: and as distant urban markets grow more affluent shipping food farther can help it fetch higher prices.
Of particular concern within post harvest challenges in developing countries are the 10-40% food losses incurred between harvest and market.
Take some time to research your own country’s data to set your own context for this course.
Quality of food is another major concern, with incidences of diseases (like salmonella or E-Coli) and safety related issues pertaining to pesticide residues remaining a common woe.
Spoilage is attributable to poor storage, processing, and marketing infrastructure.
It’s worsened when small farmers lack the necessary resources for optimal postharvest handling and marketing, as well as the baseline challenge for many in hot and humid climates.
As demand increases for fruits and vegetables in the region, improving post harvest outcomes must be a priority.
This course will cover the technologies used for post-harvest processes; we’ll learn what a cold chain is and how companies are using technology to keep track of the entire process.