Hatsayfong, Vientiane, Lao PDR, December 24, 2015 - To bring on board different stakeholders at different levels who aim to raise awareness and uptake the best practices of postharvest handling of fresh produce, a dissemination workshop on "Improving the Postharvest Handling of Lettuce in Lao PDR was organized by the Department of Agriculture (DOA), Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) in close collaboration with Mekong Institute (MI). Twenty Lao government officials and farmer representatives participated as part of the training program on postharvest practices organized in MI last May 2015. The workshop also included providing knowledge on the importance of the vegetable value chain.
Mr. Vilaysack CHANTHAVONG, Head of Hatkunsa Village, presided over the workshop and stressed the importance of sharing knowledge on postharvest management since one of the major concerns currently faced by Lao farmers is postharvest losses. Farmers and concerned stakeholders need to have a better understanding on how to improve lettuce handling management to reduce the losses. Posters and brochures were disseminated to raise awareness of postharvest best practices. Some challenges were highlighted and addressed during the workshop, such as the role of the collector/middleman who plays a major part in the postharvest management. The workshop was conducted under the support of New Zealand Aid Programme.