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USAID and TOPS Award Grant to WFLO to Evaluate Postharvest Capacity-Building in Sub-Saharan Africa

The World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO), a core partner of the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), was awarded a grant by the Technical and Operational Performance Support (TOPS) Program (www.thetopsprogram.org) to evaluate postharvest capacity-building activities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The TOPS Program is the USAID/Office of Food for Peace-funded learning initiative that generates, captures, disseminates, and applies the highest quality information, knowledge, and promising practices in development food assistance programming to ensure that more communities and households benefit from the U.S. Government’s investment in fighting global hunger. Since 2010, WFLO has been working with the University of California, Davis and The World Vegetable Center (AVRDC) on a USAID-funded pilot project to establish a Postharvest Training and Services Center (PTSC) in Arusha, Tanzania.

“We are delighted to receive this important grant because we believe the PTSC has dramatically improved post-harvest food handling and preserved critically needed fresh food for the people of Tanzania,” said WFLO Senior Technical Advisor Dr. Lisa Kitinoja, who has led this program from its inception. “If we can replicate this success across more nations, it will improve the quality of life for millions of people.”

The PTSC model includes 5 interacting components: training of postharvest trainers, local farmer training programs, postharvest demonstrations, services such as cold storage, and a retail shop for postharvest tools and supplies. The original concept for the PTSC model arose from a 2009 WFLO Workshop focused on appropriate postharvest technologies for India, Egypt, Rwanda, Benin, Ghana, Kenya and Indonesia, and a similar project that Kitinoja worked on in Cape Verde for the Millennium Challenge Corporation. In all these cases during the assessment and early fieldwork stages, it was found that the basic postharvest information, tools and supplies most needed for improving postharvest handling, and improving outcomes were difficult to find or completely missing. This grant will give WFLO the opportunity to evaluate the PTSC as a model for postharvest loss reduction in other developing countries.

The TOPS Program Director Mark Fritzler added, “We are excited to support WFLO with this grant and look forward to seeing the outcomes of the PTSC assessment. Once shared with stakeholders, these results will add to the growing body of evidence around postharvest practices and strategies for knowledge sharing.”

WFLO postharvest experts will visit three key sites in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda, where Master Postharvest Trainers are currently working and where the PTSC is located. They will conduct a complete evaluation, make recommendations, and offer workshops for local stakeholders and consultants on project monitoring and evaluation practices.

For more information about this project, contact Nikki Duncan at +1 703 373 4300 ext. 214 or nduncan@nullgcca.org

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Comprised of its Core Partners, including the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, the World Food Logistics Organization, the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration, the International Refrigerated Transportation Association, and the International Association for Cold Storage Construction, the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) represents all major industries engaged in temperature-controlled logistics. GCCA unites partners to be innovative leaders in the temperature-controlled products industry. WFLO delivers education and research to the industry and empowers economic development by strengthening the global cold chain. For more information about GCCA and WFLO, visit www.gcca.org

Technical and Operational Performance Support (TOPS) Program was designed to evaluate postharvest capacity-building activities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The TOPS Program is the USAID/Office of Food for Peace-funded learning initiative that generates, captures, disseminates, and applies the highest quality information, knowledge, and promising practices in development food assistance programming to ensure that more communities and households benefit from the U.S. Government’s investment in fighting global hunger. For more information about TOPS, visit www.thetopsprogram.org

Monday, December 1, 2014