The Postharvest Education Foundation (PEF), a non-profit organisation, was founded in 2011 by Dr. Lisa Kitinoja, with an aim to provide motivation, training and mentoring for young postharvest professionals around the world. As a volunteer for the Foundation, she currently works with a wide range of clientele including trainers in NGOs, horticulture companies, extension workers, research scientists, postharvest professionals and graduate students in Africa, South Asia, SE Asia and the Middle East.



Dr. Lisa Kitinoja (Founder)

Dr. Diane M. Barrett

Ms Cathy Kitinoja

Mr. Patrick D. Brown

Dr. Symantha Holben

Dr. Adel A. Kader

Dr. Devon Zagory

 Dr. Adel A. Kader, Dr. Diane M. Barrett, Dr. Lisa Kitinoja, Dr. Devon Zagory, Mr. Patrick D. Brown (March 2011)


Dr. Lisa Kitinoja (President, Treasurer)

Dr. Diane M. Barrett (Vice President)

Dr. Deirdre Holcroft (Secretary)

Dr. Majeed Mohammed

Mr. Vijay Yadav Tokala

Dr. E. V. Divakara Sastry
Ms. Bertha Mjawa
Ms. Cathy Kitinoja
Dr. Devon Zagory
Ms Lizanne Wheeler 
Ms. Bertha Mjawa  Dr. Deirdre Holcroft Ms. Lizanne Wheeler Dr. Majeed Mohammed Mr. Vijay Yadav Tokala

Dr. Lisa's CV and experience details can be found on the website; http://www.postharvestinnovations.com/

Dr. LISA KITINOJA has been involved as a private consultant in international horticultural development work since the 1980s, and has been specialising in postharvest technology, food loss reduction and the extension of information on small-scale postharvest handling practices since 1992 as Principal Consultant of the firm Extension Systems International. She is currently serving as Senior Technical Advisor for WFLO, as the lead of the HORT CRSP pilot project in East Africa (2010-13). Also for WFLO, in 2009-10, she led a BMGF funded Appropriate Postharvest Technology planning project for Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and in 2007-08, she designed and implemented a series of Cold Chain Management Workshops for USTDA in India.

In 2011, Dr. Kitinoja founded the non-profit The Postharvest Education Foundation, whose purpose is to provide motivation, training and mentoring for young postharvest professionals around the world. As a volunteer for the Foundation, she currently works with a wide range of clientele including trainers in NGOs, horticulture companies, extension workers, research scientists, postharvest professionals and graduate students in Africa, South Asia, SE Asia and the Middle East.


Dr. DIANE M. BARRETT is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in the UC Davis Department of Food Science & Technology. At U.C. Davis, Diane conducts extension educational courses for the fruit and vegetable processing industry and carries out applied research. She is currently the lead PI of a USAID-funded HORT CRSP pilot project for development of a Postharvest Training and Services Center in East Africa (2010-13). Extension courses include the Advanced Process Technologies Course, Better Process Control School, Freezing Technology Workshop, Juice Processing Course, Tomato Processing School, Fresh-Cut Products Workshop and Aseptic Processing & Packaging Workshop. Her research focuses on the effects of raw materials and processing conditions on the quality of fruit and vegetable products. Dr. Barrett is particularly interested in the relationship between endogenous enzymes and the colour, texture, taste, aroma and nutritional quality of fruits and vegetables. She currently directs the Center for Advanced Processing & Packaging. When she is not harvesting tomatoes or processing fruit, Diane enjoys swimming, kayaking and travelling with her family.

PATRICK D. BROWN is co-owner of Sonora Pacific Group, Inc. From 2008-2010, he served as Assistant Project Manager under Agland Investment Services, Inc. for Millennium Challenge Account-Cape Verde, West Africa. His responsibilities included managing a Training of Trainers program for 53 Ministry of Agriculture Extension Agents on three outlying islands in the Cape Verde Archipelago. The modular training courses included: Postharvest practices; Drip irrigation design, installation & management; Agronomic aspects of growing under drip irrigation; Access to micro-credit; Starting small agri-businesses; Market Information Systems. This MCC-funded project included the introduction of a cold chain in Cape Verde with the construction and start-up of a postharvest training and services centre and the privatisation of the facility.

Dr. DEVON ZAGORY has a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of California, Berkeley and has worked extensively as a consultant to the produce industry for more than 20 years. Dr. Zagory is an internationally recognised scientist in the fields of food microbiology and postharvest handling of fresh fruits and vegetables. He has been the co-chair of the Technical Committee of the International Fresh-cut Produce Association and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Third Edition of the IFPA Food Safety Guidelines for the Fresh-cut Produce Industry. A veteran speaker and author, he wrote the chapter on Modified Atmosphere Packaging for the Wiley Encyclopedia of Packaging as well as numerous scientific publications and industry bulletins dealing with fresh-cut microbial safety, packaging, quality, and operations. He has served as the Executive Director of the Center for Produce Safety at the University of California, Davis, and is currently Senior Vice President, Food Safety & Quality Programs, NSF Agriculture.

Dr. DEIRDRE HOLCROFT has a Ph.D. in Postharvest Physiology from University of California, Davis, and B.Sc. Agric. and M.Sc. Agric. degrees from University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. Born and raised on a farm in Zimbabwe, she has worked in academia and industry. Her academic experience includes ten years as a lecturer, researcher, and professor at the universities of KwaZulu Natal, Stellenbosch and Michigan State. Her ten years of industry experience include a Product Development Scientist for Dole Fresh Vegetables and a Senior Researcher and Site Manager for AgroFresh (Rohm and Haas/Dow Chemical Company). Deirdre formed Holcroft Postharvest Consulting, Inc. based in Davis, CA, in 2011. HPC specialises in postharvest biology and technology of fruits, vegetables, fresh cut produce and ornamentals. The company mission is to provide the most cost-effective technology to monitor and improve quality and shelf-life of perishable commodities, based on state-of-the-art scientific research.

Deirdre has authored some fifty scientific and technical articles and presented countless papers to academic and industry audiences. Her experience includes applied and basic research, product development, and technical and educational consulting. Her projects have included launching fresh-cut fruit for Dole Fresh Vegetables, adapting 1-MCP technology for new crops, assessing and perfecting new delivery systems for agricultural chemicals, sanitizers and growth regulators, and optimising postharvest handling for the shipment of perishable commodities by surface rather than airfreight. In her work, she has interacted with personnel from the plant floor to the company president, and from grower to retailer.

LIZANNE WHEELER is a partner of the Sonora Pacific Group (www.SonoraPacific.com) and specialises in the small-scale postharvest training of trainers, capacity and team building in horticultural productivity, and the prevention and reduction of postharvest losses. She has over thirty years of field experience, working internationally in both public and private sector horticultural projects.

Ms. Wheeler is a specialist in appropriate postharvest technologies and outreach in developing countries and is recognised as a detail-oriented project manager. She has extensive international experience in horticultural production and postharvest training. She served as a project manager for the first Millennium Challenge Agricultural Project in Cape Verde.

Postharvest projects include: Principal Investigator, HORT Innovation Lab & WFLO Evaluating Small-Scale Postharvest Cooling and Drying Technologies in Various Climates (postharvest technology design, technology set-up and capacity building activities in Tanzania, Ghana, Honduras, Guatemala and Thailand); World Food Logistics Organization’s USAID funded HORT CRSP pilot project for development of a Postharvest Training and Services Center in East Africa; USAID Save the Children TOPS Postharvest Evaluation Project with the World Food Logistics Organization in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda; A lead instructor for the Postharvest Education Foundation International Small-Scale Postharvest Handling Technologies Short Course & Study Tour in Arusha, Tanzania in February 2015; Lead technical trainer in the PEF/WFLO/Tuskegee University Postharvest Food Processing Training Center (PFPTC) and TOT Program Project. Lizanne supports Dr. Lisa Kitinoja at the annual PEF Global e-learning certificate closing workshops.

Her international experience includes Bangladesh, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, China, St. Kitts, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Bhutan, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Oman, Kuwait, Mexico, Cape Verde, New Zealand and the United States.

Dr. MAJEED MOHAMMED has a PhD in Postharvest Physiology and is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Department of Food Production, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, Trinidad. His research is centred on the physiology and biochemistry of ripening of lesser-known tropical fruits. Related interest includes the effect of ethylene antagonists such as the role of 1-methylcyclopropene in delaying ripening and senescence. Studies also include alleviation of physiological disorders such as chilling and heat injury damage on selected fruits and vegetables. Recent research activities include the physiology and pathology of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, sanitation techniques to minimise postharvest decay and promote safe fresh produce. Development of value-added products from tropical fruits and vegetables and evaluation of physicochemical and sensory quality characteristics of horticultural crops. 

VIJAY YADAV TOKALA did his graduation with Horticulture as specialisation, being a college topper from Dr. Y.S.R. Horticultural University, Andhra Pradesh (India) and conducted his postgraduate research on fruit and vegetable processing and was awarded a university gold medal for being university topper of S.K. Rajasthan Agricultural University, Rajasthan (India). He was awarded 2016-International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) and Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) and pursuing his PhD in Postharvest Horticulture at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. Vijay is well acquainted with horticulture production and postharvest issues in different climatic zones and also possess good research experience at the laboratory and field level. He has worked as Horticulture Officer under the Government of Andhra Pradesh, India, executing the role of Field Consultant and Extension worker in rural areas to enhance quality horticulture production (2013-2015). He actively participated in postharvest training programs and workshops and is also alumni of The Postharvest Education Foundation’s e-learning program (2012).

BERTHA JOHN MJAWA has expertise in trainings, consultancies, research and technology resource preparation. She has been national and international consultant with over 35 years of postharvest management research and extension experience coupled with wide knowledge in developing technologies for food crops, crops by products (non-food – cosmetics & handicraft) and disseminating these technologies in a participatory manner to the farmers and entrepreneurs, who are the main stakeholders of these innovations. Ms. Bertha is presently working as Value Addition Specialist with project titled “Market Infrastructure Value Addition and Rural Finance Support for 29 regions of Tanzania”. She is responsible for building the capacities of government and private sector counterparts, provide technical advice and assist in planning to ensure postharvest projects are consistent with the vision of the brought in projects by international agencies. Ms. Bertha have done consultancies in food processing to UNIDO, EU, local and international NGOs as well as local governments within and outside the country like Southern Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. She has also been involved in a collaborative research with University of California Davis in the area of postharvest technology development as a Co-Principal Investigator. Ms. Bertha have worked as the Regional Manager with Processing and Consumption project of the Feed the Future Program in Tanzania having the mandate of, Supervisory responsibility over a project consisting more than 30 staff members. Collaboration with the highest levels at the government and serving as principal project advisor in identifying and networking with key stakeholders were key mandates. As a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the field of post-harvest technologies, she uses her expertise for the projects' success through monitoring and/or evaluation; provide technical leadership and overall management to the activities in the project areas to ensure efficient use of resources and achievement of expected results.

Dr. E.V. DIVAKARA SASTRY obtained all his education from Banaras Hindu University (B.Sc.(Ag.) Hons. (1977), M.Sc.(Ag.) (1979) and Ph.D. in 1983) and since then worked at S.K.N. College of Agriculture, Jobner (main campus of S K N Agriculture University, till about 2 years ago was the campus of S K Rajasthan Agricultural University) for more than 33 years in different capacities as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Sr. Breeder in All India Coordinated Research Project on Spices and later in All India Co-ordinated Research Project on MULLaRP; University Head, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics; member, Academic council, Swami Keshwanand Rajasthan Agricultural University, S K N Agriculture University. Presently working as Professor, Genetics and Plant Breeding, Central Agricultural University, Imphal. He was also member Academic Council, S K N Agriculture University and Member, Research Advisory Council of National Research Centre on Seed Spices, Tabiji, Ajmer and is guest faculty of Haramaya University, Ethiopia. He has been involved in the teaching all through his career and has been teaching Biometrical Genetics for the last 2 decades. He has also worked as Ex-patriate expert on Biometrics at Alemaya University (Presently Haramaya University), Ethiopia between 2003-2005 under World Bank-ARTP Project and obtained training in agro forestry the Universities in UK and Germany. He has developed one variety in taramira (Eruca sativa) and 11 varieties in seed spices. Besides seed spices, his other research interests include salinity tolerance in crop plants, dwarfism in wheat and fodder quality in pearl millet and post harvest management in seed spices. He has published 107 research papers in peer reviewed Journals, 48 book chapters on seed spices and has authored more than a dozen practical manuals. He has edited the much acclaimed book ‘Seed Spices: Production, Quality and Export” (second edition is already in market) and “Spices and Aromatic Plants- Status and Improvement”, “Production and protection of Seed Spices” both published by Pointer Publishers besides a book on agricultural statistics “Essentials of Agricultural Statistics”. He has guided 12 Ph.D. and 41 M.Sc. dissertation works. He has supervised several research projects in India and abroad. He is a regular guest speaker on spices and education technology at different fora. He is Fellow of National Academy of Biological sciences, Indian Society of seed spices and Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding. He has been interviewed by Spanish News Agency for his work on seed spices. He has conducted several national seminars and conferences on seed spices and has been chairman of various sessions at several National seminars dealing with spices in the country. Connected with PEF for the last 5 years.

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