Agriculture News

October 11, 2016

Purdue launches postharvest initiative at World Food Prize meeting

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - This week, Purdue University will formally launch the Purdue Postharvest Initiative with an exhibit at the World Food Prize meeting in Des Moines, Iowa.

With an estimated one-third of the world's food going to waste, reducing food waste and loss is critical to meet food demands for what experts predict will be 9 billion people in 2050.  Focusing on developing countries, Purdue is leading and partnering on projects designed to reduce postharvest loss, improve nutrition, build and enhance agricultural value chains and foster and support food entrepreneurs. 

The annual WFP meeting, Oct. 12-14, brings leaders from around the world for the annual "Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium," and to celebrate the recipient of the World Food Prize, often described as the Nobel Prize for agriculture. Purdue is the only university in the world that has two winners of the WFP on its faculty: Philip Nelson, in 2007 and Gebisa Ejeta, in 2009.

The exhibit at the WFP will highlight two of Purdue's major Postharvest Initiative projects, the Purdue Improved Crop Storage and the Food Processing Innovation Lab.

"These and other projects point to the expertise and experience of Purdue faculty and staff from throughout the university who can bring solutions to problems across the value chain in the developing world," said Jay Akridge, Purdue's Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture. "Through the Postharvest Initiative, Purdue will be seeking additional projects and funding to further strengthen our leadership in the area of postharvest loss reduction."

The Purdue Postharvest Initiative includes extensive involvement and collaboration with USAID, USDA, private foundations and other stakeholders.

Professor and faculty fellow Suzanne Nielsen said, "The Purdue Postharvest Initiative builds on large and complex international agricultural research and development projects led by Purdue in Africa, Asia and Latin America.  We are well positioned to launch additional projects that will dramatically impact this global issue." 

Source: Suzanne Nielsen, professor and faculty fellow, 765-496-1727, nielsens@purdue.edu

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Darrin Pack, dpack@purdue.edu 
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