Funded by USAID, Horticulture Innovation lab (USA) and UCDAVIS (USA), Reducing Postharvest Losses in Rwanda Project (RPLR) is implemented by 3 institutions: The National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) under the MINAGRI and the University of Rwanda (UR) under the Ministry of Education. RPLR under University of Rwanda has organised a series of trainings from 3rd to 5th April 2018. The training of Trainers (ToT) including 15 University of Rwanda staffs, 5 district agronomists (Rulindo, Musanze, Gakenke, Gicumbi and Burera) and 10 moderate agribusiness entrepreneurs (individual and cooperative representatives) was hold at Western Mountain Hotel, Rubavu - Rwanda.
The main objective of training was to gain understanding of postharvest losses causes, constraints and opportunities in identified horticultural crop value chains and determine the benefits of introducing appropriate postharvest practices and technologies with University of Rwanda stakeholders to reduce post-harvest losses at a considerable level.
Speaking at the opening of the training, on behalf of, the Principal Dr Bitwayiki Clement said that reduction of postharvest losses in Rwanda is important for both food security and nutrition intervention to increase food availability. However, in many countries, basic information on the level of postharvest losses is limited, yet postharvest loss reduction may substantially contribute to improvement of wealth and lives of many rural people. In Rwanda, various estimates say that up to 40% of food is lost in the postharvest stage.
In the course of the training, the following lecturers were introduced
- Postharvest Handling of Horticultural crops;
- Good Agricultural and Harvesting Best Practices;
- Best Postharvest Handling and Appropriate Packaging Conditions;,
- Temperature and Relative Humidity Control, and best transportation of horticultural crops,
- Small Scale Food Processing and Food Safety practices
Speaking at the closing ceremony of Training of Trainers workshop on behalf of, the Principal of the University of Rwanda college of Agriculture Animal Sciences and veterinary Medicine Dr Bitwayiki Clement reiterated the participants the commitment towards the dissemination of technologies to reduce post-harvest losses and expression of gratitude was addressed to RPLR project in partnering with the University of Rwanda to promote this programme. He reminded those who had completed the ToT that a lot is expected from them, and that they have a responsibility to share their knowledge, skills, and expertise in post-harvest losses, constraints and opportunities in the horticultural crop value chains to their respective working areas.