The training program on Postharvest practices opened today with 25 participants from 5 GMS countries of Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Dr. Suchat Katima, the MI Director, warmly welcomed the participants, the two Resource Persons from the Volcani Center in Israel, and the two representatives from TICA who graced the occasion. The training course will run from March 28-April 8 at the MI Residential Training Facility in Khon Kaen, Thailand.
In his welcome remarks, Dr Suchat stressed the importance of improving both the pre- and postharvest handling practices to minimize product loss. He mentioned that about 30-40% of the value of the commodities is lost due to improper handling from the farm to the consumers table. The training program hopes to provide the participants the knowledge and skills to reduce postharvest losses, share experiences and best practices in Thailand, Israel and the GMS, and build a network of postharvest practitioners who would continue to impart the knowledge to interested parties in their respective countries.
Mrs. Varinda Thongchai, the Director of Thai Cooperation Branch II from Thailand International Development Cooperation Agency (TICA), in her opening address, reiterated the importance of reducing postharvest losses to improve the overall quality and safety of food, improve the livelihood of farmers, and promote food security. She extended her best wishes to the participants and expressed hope that they will continue to build postharvest information and technology, share market intelligence, and disseminate the knowledge learned especially to small producers.
The training program was organized by Mekong Institute and jointly sponsored by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs in Thailand and Israel. Dr. Yoram Fuchs and Dr. Ron Porat of the Volcani Center of Agriculture Research Organization of Ministry of Agriculture, State of Israel, are the main trainers for this course. Participants will also have an opportunity to visit Swift Company and Talad Thai to observe the postharvest technologies and practices in Thailand.