OUR TEAM

The Postharvest Education Foundation (PEF), a non-profit organization, 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.

 

FOUNDING BOARD MEMBERS (2011)

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)
 

PRESENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS (2018-19)

Dr. Lisa Kitinoja (President, Treasurer)

Dr. Diane M. Barrett (Vice President)

Ms. Cathy Kitinoja (Secretary)

Ms. Bertha Mjawa 
 
Dr. Deirdre Holcroft 

Mr. Edoh Ognakossan Kukom (Antonio)

Mr. Guy Kodjogbe
 
Dr. Majeed Mohammed
 
Dr. Mohammed Wasim Siddiqui

Mr. Vijay Yadav Tokala 





 

 
Ms Bertha Mjawa  Dr Deirdre Holcroft Dr Majeed Mohammed Mr. Vijay Yadav Tokala Mr. Edoh Ognakssan Kukom (Antonio)  Mr. Guy KodjogbeDr Mohammed Wasim Siddiqui
 
     

ABOUT THE FOUNDER
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, Ethiopia and participates in global policy development efforts undertaken by FAO (SAVE FOOD), IFPRI (Ceres2030) 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.

BIO STATEMENTS FROM OUR BOARD MEMBERS 

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 traveling with her family.

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 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 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, sanitizers 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 grower to retailer.

Dr. MAJEED MOHAMMED has a Ph.D. 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 centered 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 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. 

VIJAY YADAV TOKALA did his graduation with Horticulture as specialization, 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 Ph.D. 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 a 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 training, 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 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 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; provide technical leadership and overall management to 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 University of Lome, Togo. He also obtained a certificate of Postharvest and Fresh-cut Technologies through the International online course conducted by the Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Spain. Prior to this course, he was a graduate of 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. Prior to 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 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 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 International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)in Benin from 2007 to 2010. Guy worked in 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 Logistic and Organization (WFLO) 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) 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 nutrition program at Togo in 2016. He performed CSAM study and trained 45 extensions 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. MOHAMMED WASIM SIDDIQUI is an established researcher, academic, and editor in the area of postharvest biotechnology of fruits and vegetables. He is presently an Assistant Professor and Scientist at Department of Food Science and Postharvest Technology, Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour, India. He is an author or co-author of >50 research articles, >40 book chapters, and several conference papers. He has 25 books to his credit published by Elsevier, USA, CRC Press, USA, Springer, USA, & Apple Academic Press, USA. He established two book series, namely “Postharvest Biology & Technology” and “Innovations in Horticultural Sciences.” He is also the founding Chief Editor of “Journal of Postharvest Technology.” Along with being an AMBASSADOR of World Food Preservation Center, USA, Dr Siddiqui has received >15 awards and fellowships in recognition of research and teaching achievements in postharvest area from national and international organizations. 

His scientific interests include (1) studying postharvest ripening physiology and biochemistry of fruits and vegetables emphasizing the mechanism and manipulation of antioxidative metabolism, (2) delaying ripening and postharvest senescence by manipulation of responses to abiotic stresses using eco-friendly pre and postharvest approaches, (3) studying the in vivo phytochemical dynamics in fruits and vegetables, particularly the metabolism leading to production/loss/maintenance of bioactive molecules during growth and development. He has handled six research projects on different aspects of postharvest management of fruits and vegetables aiming at alleviation of oxidative damage, development novel green nano molecules, and intelligent packaging system. He is currently the lead PI (Nodal Officer) of a Food Development Center (at the Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour, India), a pilot project for the postharvest research, product development, and training centre.

Dr. Siddiqui has developed a very impressive world-wide network of collaboration with leading figures in postharvest field. He has been an active member of the organizing committee and invited speaker in several national and international seminars/conferences/summits. He has been serving as an editorial board member and active reviewer of several international journals including Horticulture Research (Nature Publishing Group), Food Chemistry (Elsevier), Postharvest Biology and Technology (Elsevier), LWT- Food Science and Technology (Elsevier), Food Science and Nutrition (Wiley), Journal of Plant Growth Regulation (Springer), Journal of Food Science and Technology (Springer), Acta Physiologiae Plantarum (Springer), as so on. Considering his outstanding contribution in science and technology, his biography has been published in "Asia Pacific Who's Who", Famous Nation: India's Who's Who, "The Honored Best Citizens of India" and “Emrald Who's Who in Asia.” In sum, he is dynamically involved in teaching (graduate and doctorate students) and research, and he has proved himself as an active scientist in the area of Postharvest Biotechnology.

 

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