Written by Mekong Institute 
The Mekong Institute was commissioned by the Thailand International development Coorperation Agency to conduct a ten-day training course on “Post harvest Practices: Experiences and Best Practices in Israel and Thailand” from 28 March to 8 April 2011. The course was held at the MI residential Training Facility in Khon Kaen with two structured learning visits in Nakhon Pathom and Pathum Thani provinces of Thailand.  

The training course was designed and delivered using modular training approach, of which, all participants went through three progressive stages: a) “Learn to do” training on concepts, technique and tools: b) “Do to learn”- participants are required to apply what they have learned in their work assignment with proper coaching from assigned advisers; and c) “Share to learn”- participants will have an opportunity to present their group works/ findings and share their learning experiences and lessons learned.

There were two resource persons, who contributed to the design and delivery to the lectures, workshops and structured learning visits, namely; Dr Yoram Fuchs and Dr Ron Porat of the Agricultural Research Organization, Ministry of Agriculture, State of Israel.

The training course was comprised of five interrelated modules. Module 1 on “Overview of Post harvest management” introduced the participants to the importance of post harvest handling and management. Module 2 on ” Pre-harvest and Harvest Factors Affecting Post harvest Quality” deepened the knowledge on the product quality and how such can be effectively maintained as products move from one distribution point to anothe rto ensure product safety. Module 3 on “Physiological and Chemical Processes in Harvested Commodities” introduced the physiological and chemical processes that take place during the shelf-life of harvested produce.Module 4 on “Post harvest Technologies” illustrated advanced technologies which included both chemical and non-chemical treatments to prolong the shelf-life of perishale commodities. Module 5 on “Indigenous Postharvest Practices” demonstrated post harvest practices which were proven effective in less-developed counters.

Two structured learning visits were organized for the participants in this course; their understading of the program’s contents was enhanced through different appreciation visits and interaction with enterprises at the SWIFT Company in Nakhon Pathom province and the Talaad Thai wholesale Market in Pathum Thani province.

The evaluations conducted throughout the course confirmed that the objectives were achieved and the learning program was successful. Most of the participants were very satisfied with the program as shown in the total average rating by participants on the usefulness of the learning program at 4.69 and the overall assessment at “4.96”. Using a scale of 1 to 5, this indicated that participants found the training program “very useful” and were “very satisfied” with the program contents and overall training management.

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