International Conference on “Post‐Harvest Management and Technology for Food Security” at Jimma, Ethiopia
This international conference on postharvest management and technology for food security is organized as part of the fourth outcome of the Post-Harvest Management to Improve Livelihoods (PHMIL) – Ethiopia project that is funded by CIDA, and jointly implemented by the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (Canada), McGill University (Canada), and Jimma University College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (JUCAVM) at JUCAVM. The fourth outcome, namely “PHMVA Network of university, industry, government and community groups is established” calls for the creation of a Post-Harvest Management and Value Addition (PHMVA) Network; and it will be officially launched during the conference. Twenty one founding members of the PHMVA Network representing universities, government agencies, the private industry, and NGOs has attended the meeting on May 20 and 21 to approve the governance/management of the Network and formalize its creation. The PHMVA Network will have a physical resource center located within the Post-Harvest Management Department of JUCAVM as well as a virtual resource center (www.PHMVA.net), both created by the PHMIL Project. The virtual resource center will link with other post-harvest management knowledge portals, and hosts innovations from the PHMIL project and beyond. Written publications, fact sheets, video clips, photo galleries, a searchable database, question and answer services, and a discussion forum will also be available at the website.
The major contributing factors for the recurrent food insecurity and malnutrition in developing countries are low agricultural productivity and high post-harvest losses. The post-harvest losses, both in terms of quantity and quality, experienced along the food production and supply chain are extremely high. Proper understanding of the basic science, engineering and management aspects of issues related to the post-harvest value chain is essential in order to reduce these losses, and to maintain the wholesomeness of the foods. These are the issues focused in the conference, which will be held at the JUCAVM campus in the beautiful town of Jimma, Ethiopia.
The conference has been put together with 31 keynote presentations by several distinguished professors, scientists and professionals from Ethiopia, Canada, USA, India, The Netherlands, and Italy. Three poster sessions are also included with 31 poster presentations by researchers and graduate students from several universities, research centers and Industry in Ethiopia, Canada, Belgium and Israel. The conference will address questions related to the developments in all areas of post-harvest management dealing with the food chain and is expected to trigger useful discussions with particular reference to topics and issues of significance to the developing world in general and the African sub-continent in particular. This conference, attended by over 250 participants, will also provide a platform for professionals from academia, government agencies and industry to discuss key scientific, business and regulatory issues.
The organizing committee thanks all the speakers, presenters, attendees, volunteers (especially the students) for making the conference a success. This has been made possible because of the financial contribution of CIDA (through the PHMIL project), and the strong support and cooperation of the three partner institutions, namely NSAC, McGill University and JUCAVM.