Over the years, agricultural training and research in Universities and research organizations has focused on increasing crop production. This has been achieved over the years through breeding high yielding varieties; development of good agronomic packages; and pest/disease management solutions among other production-side interventions. In line with the focus on increased production, curricula and facilities in many agricultural training institutions have been developed to enhance the skillsset on the production side of the food supply chain. There has been little focus or emphasis on the postharvest side of the supply chain. As a result most of the actors and practitioners in agricultural value chains (including farmers, traders, transporters and extension agents) are poorly equipped to deal with challenges in postharvest management. In this paper, the need strengthen postharvest training to equip practitioners in agricultural value chains with the requisite knowledge and skills in postharvest management is discussed. The postharvest training gaps in the relevant agricultural curricula from selected public universities in Kenya is highlighted. The paper makes recommendations on how Universities can address the skills gap through review of existing curricula, development of new programs and tailor-made short courses in postharvest management. In addition the paper highlights the need for universities to strengthen their research capacity and industry linkages to provide solutions in postharvest management. Universities and specifically Faculties of Agriculture are challenged to reposition and realign themselves to play their critical and strategic role of producing the skilled labor force which is required to address challenges in the Agriculture sector such as high postharvest losses in food supply chains.
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RUFORUM Working document series
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