The history of the chair:
Agriculture is the main contributor of Ethiopia economy and at the national level it is considered as the vehicle for addressing food security problems. In addition to the relatively low agricultural productivity, there is a huge burden on food security because of postharvest losses that is relatively high compared to the other developing countries.
To reduce the postharvest losses there is a huge need for the development of postharvest strategies and technologies in developing countries like Ethiopia. Training, knowledge and experience sharing is highly important to adopt and understand the developments in postharvest area for sustainable development.
The post-harvest Technology chair was established under the Faculty of the Chemical and Food Engineering. The major goal and objective of the chair is to train the required postharvest professionals at different levels, to conduct research and development on postharvest related topics and to develop and disseminate different postharvest technologies.
The M.Sc program of postharvest technology offers courses to interested bachelor holders from different programs related to postharvest technology. This program is designed to give knowledge on methods to determine postharvest losses, postharvest physiology of perishables, storage of the durable and perishable products, postharvest systems (such as refrigeration, packaging, drying, …), mathematical modeling of postharvest systems, predictive quality models, etc.
The PhD program is focused on multidisciplinary research topics that are related to postharvest technology areas. This program has been running since 2015. There are 7 currently active students, one student graduated recently (first PhD graduated in Faculty of Food and Chemical Engineering). Our PhD students are supported with different research grants that are secured by the postharvest chair.
Research and community service:
The students (M.Sc and PhD) and staff members are committed to the research that are related to the postharvest problems of the communities. Different projects on storage of durables, storage of perishables, mycotoxins, solar drying technology, cold storage systems, characterization and nutritional evaluation of different durable and perishable products have been conducted. Our research mainly focused on crops that are cultivated at the Amhara region, Ethiopia.
In the case of the Community research, different projects are under taken by the staff members of the chair. The projects mainly concentrated on solar drying of different products and storage of durable, perishable commodities and some of the traditional cheeses.
ü VLIR-UOS, Belgium
ü BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria, Vienna.
ü Kansas state university, USA,
ü The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)
ü University of Greenwich, London
ü World Food preservation Center, West Virginia, USA
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