The Postharvest Education Foundation (PEF), a non-profit organization, was founded in 2011 by Dr Lisa Kitinoja, 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

Dr. Adel A. Kader
Dr. Devon Zagory

Ms Cathy Kitinoja

Mr. Patrick D. Brown

Dr. Symantha Holben

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


Dr. Lisa Kitinoja (Treasurer)

Dr. Vijay Yadav Tokala (President) 

Dr. Diane M. Barrett (Secretary)

Dr. Deirdre Holcroft (Vice-President)

Ms. Bertha Mjawa 
Mr. Edoh Ognakossan Kukom (Antonio)
Mr. Guy Kodjogbe
Dr. Olubukola Odeyemi
Dr. Aditya Parmar
Dr. Zaharan Hussein Mgina
Dr. Ratna Suthar  

Ms Bertha Mjawa Dr Deirdre Holcroft Dr Vijay Yadav Tokala Mr. Edoh Ognakssan Kukom (Antonio) Mr Guy KodjogbeDr Olubukola Odeyemi 
Dr Aditya Parmar   Dr Zaharan Hussein Mgina     
Other Past Board Members: Dr Majeed Mohammed, Dr Hala Chahine-Tsouvalakis, Lizanne Wheeler, Dr E.V.D. Sastry, Dr Md. Wasim Siddiqui. 
 We thank all of our past and present board members, who continue to provide advice, support and mentoring.

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 specializing 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 provides advice and technical assistance for several international projects in Rwanda, Uganda, and Ethiopia and participates in global policy development efforts undertaken by FAO (SAVE FOOD), IFPRI (Ceres2030), the Salzburg Global Seminar, CIRAD (Save and Grow book project) and WRI (Champions 12.3). She served 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 retired Cooperative Extension Specialist of the UC Davis Department of Food Science & Technology. At U.C. Davis, Diane conducted extension educational courses for the fruit and vegetable processing industry and carried out applied research. She was the lead PI of a USAID-funded HORT CRSP pilot project for the 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.

Dr DEIRDRE HOLCROFT has a PhD in Postharvest Physiology from the University of California, Davis, and a B.Sc. Agric. and M.Sc. Agric. degrees from the 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 specializes in postharvest biology and technology of fruits, vegetables, fresh-cut produce, and ornamentals. The company's mission is to provide the most cost-effective technology to monitor and improve the 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, adopting 1-MCP technology for new crops, assessing and perfecting new delivery systems for agricultural chemicals, sanitisers and growth regulators, and optimizing 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 growers to the retailer.

Dr MAJEED MOHAMMED has a PhD in Postharvest Physiology and is a Professor 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 and sanitation techniques to minimize 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. 

Dr VIJAY YADAV TOKALA did his graduation with Horticulture as a specialization from Dr Y.S.R. Horticultural University, Andhra Pradesh (India) with the highest grade point in the college and conducted his postgraduate research on fruit and vegetable processing and was University Gold Medalist at S.K. Rajasthan Agricultural University, Rajasthan (India). He was awarded the 2016-International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) and Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) to pursue his PhD in Postharvest Horticulture at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. Vijay works with horticulture production and postharvest issues in different climatic zones and also possesses good research experience at the laboratory and field levels. Presently he is working as Technical Consultnat in Ernst and Young LLP. Earlier he has also worked as an Assistant Professor at Amity Institute of Horticulture Science and Research (AIHSR), Amity University, India (2019-2021); as Horticulture Officer in the Government of Andhra Pradesh, India (2013-2015). He actively participated in postharvest training programs and workshops and is also an alumnus of The Postharvest Education Foundation’s e-learning program (2012).

BERTHA JOHN MJAWA has expertise in training, consultancies, research and technology resource preparation. She has been a 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 & handicrafts) 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 a Value Addition Specialist with a project titled “Market Infrastructure Value Addition and Rural Finance (MIVARF) Support for 29 regions of Tanzania”. She is responsible for building the capacities of government and private sector counterparts, provides technical advice and assists in planning to ensure postharvest projects are consistent with the vision of the brought in projects by international agencies. Ms Bertha has 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 collaborative research with the University of California Davis in the area of postharvest technology development as a Co-Principal Investigator. Ms Bertha has worked as the Regional Manager with the Processing and Consumption project of the Feed the Future Program in Tanzania having the mandate of, Supervisory responsibility for a project consisting of more than 30 staff members. Collaboration with the highest levels of the government and serving as a 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; provides technical leadership and overall management of the activities in the project areas to ensure efficient use of resources and achievement of expected results.

EDOH OGNAKOSSAN KUKOM (ANTONIO) holds an M.Sc. in Food Science and Technology from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya, and a B.Sc. & M.Sc. in Agricultural Sciences (Ingénieur Agronome) in Plant Production from the University of Lome, Togo. He also obtained a certificate in Postharvest and Fresh-cut Technologies through the International online course conducted by the Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Spain. Before this course, he was a graduate of the Postharvest E-Learning Training Program of the Postharvest Education Foundation. Currently, he is working with World Vegetable Center – West & Central Africa-Dry regions office as the Production and Postharvest Specialist for the USAID-funded Mali Horticulture Scaling Project. Mr Edoh has more than 7 years of experience in agricultural research working on postharvest management of staple crops. His research interests include postharvest management of staple crops, postharvest losses assessment, food safety, value chain, crop production, crop protection and participatory development, testing and transfer of innovations that focus on reducing losses and adding value along value chains of common staple foods. Before joining the World Vegetable Center, he was a Research Fellow under the RELOAD (Reduction of Postharvest Losses and Value Addition in East African Food Value Chains) project at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Kenya. He also has done a variety of consultancy assignments with the Natural Resources Institutes, University of Greenwich under the African Postharvest Losses Information System (APHLIS) project. He previously worked as a research assistant in the Postharvest Management and Food Safety Department of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Benin.

GUY KODJOGBE is an Agricultural Engineer with a specialization in Horticulture and Plant protection. He worked on traditional dried vegetable safety in Benin and Togo at International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Benin. He developed solutions to agriculture, postharvest and food safety issues to train and advise the stakeholders. He was a fruit and vegetables postharvest specialist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)in Benin from 2007 to 2010. Guy worked on 2 projects focusing on postharvest losses assessment and Commodity System Assessment Method (CSAM) studies in Benin, Ghana, and Togo. He completed the PEF Master Training of Trainer program in 2012. He trained and performed several assignments with World Food Logistics and Organization (WFLO) in the USA, from 2012 to 2017 on postharvest training programs and Commodity System Assessment Method (CSAM) studies in Benin and Guinea for fruits and vegetable crops. He was awarded the Bill Hudson global fund small grant program at Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) in the USA in 2015. With this grant, he built the first Zero Energy Cooling Chamber (ZECC) in Benin and trained 30 GIZ extension agents for the nutrition program in Togo in 2016. He performed a CSAM study and trained 45 extension agents in Postharvest Training and Trainers program at Burkina Faso for Agribusiness Associates (ABA) in the USA, from 2017 to 2018. He was also involved in the assignments and trained people in data processing of household studies in Benin, Djibouti, Senegal and Turkey from 2008 to 2015 with UNICEF, CERTI, Benin (“Cabinet d’Etudes de Recherches et de Traitements Informatiques”) and CRAD (“Centre de Recherche et d’Appui-Conseils pour le Développement").

Dr OLUBUKOLA ODEYEMI is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Horticulture, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in Nigeria. She holds a B.Sc in Agriculture (Abeokuta), M.Sc (by Research) Sustainable Agriculture (Coventry University, UK) and PhD Horticulture (Abeokuta). She has over 18 years of industry and academic experience. She was the Quality Assurance Supervisor at Mr Biggs a subsidiary of United Africa Company of Nigeria (UACN) and Head of the Postharvest unit at the Ogun State Cassava Revolution Programme. Presently, she is actively involved in teaching, research, and extension services centred around postharvest science and technology. Her recent research focuses on cold chain management, use of edible coatings, producing a quality assessment and minimal processing of horticultural produce. Olubukola has publications in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and proceedings from several conferences. She won the Ogun State Government Scholarship for Masters’ Degree Study in the United Kingdom under the Ogun State Human Capital Development Programme in 2005, A.G. Leventis (Egba) Scholarship Scheme for Doctorate Degree in 2009/2010 and Kader Award in 2015. An alumnus of the Postharvest Education Foundation (2013), she actively participated in the 2020 UC Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops short course organized by UC Davis in California, USA, and also participated in several other postharvest training programs and workshops held in several countries. She consulted for Agribusiness-Associates Inc (World Bank Group Project), Global Chain Alliance for World Food Logistic Organization (WFLO), ABT for Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA project with support from Rockefeller Foundation), Global Cold chain Alliance for World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO) and GIZ towards reducing postharvest loss along the value chain of some selected crops. Outside her busy work schedule, she enjoys crocheting and travelling
Dr ZAHARAN HUSSEIN MGINA is a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Applied Sciences in the College of Science and Technical Education of Mbeya University of Science and Technology. He holds MSc and PhD in Food Science (Postharvest Technology Major) from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. Dr Mgina has over 8 years of experience in Agricultural Sciences and higher education training. His extensive training and background both in MSc and PhD training in Food Science and Postharvest Technology research focus on cold-chain, postharvest handling (packaging and storage), non-invasive technologies, quality measurement and maintenance of fresh agricultural produce. His capability and interest in postharvest research play a vital role in enhancing communication of the state of the art of science knowledge from the fundamental to advanced levels, particularly to students in classrooms, field works and outreach programs, particularly to the smallholder farming communities. Dr Mgina has coordinated several research and consultancy projects, particularly those relating to postharvest management. Currently, Dr Mgina is coordinating a NUFFIC funded project aiming at enhancing practical and technical skills in a modern and market-responsive potato sector, to increase production and employment in Tanzania. Through this project, the professional network of stakeholders in the potato sector, which include trainers, input suppliers, farmers and processors has been developed to contribute to the sustainable development of the agricultural sector in Tanzania.


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