The Post-harvest Technology Programme (PHTP) is one of the research programmes in NRCRI, Umudike. The PHTP is involved in processing, preservation, storage, utilization and other postharvest handling activities of NRCRI mandate crops. The perishability of many agricultural produce cannot be over emphasised, hence the PHTP is involved with the activities that turn agricultural produce (particularly root/tuber crops) into products with improved shelf-life, food forms and marketable forms that can help the farmer earn more income, meet home food needs and also serve commercial and industrial purposes. PHTP also has the following sub-units:
- The Women-In-Agriculture Unit
Value addition to root/tuber crops into various food forms takes place. This unit also promotes the activities of NRCRI through trainings, exhibitions, participation in Field Days and income generation through the sales of value-added products of root/tuber crops. This unit is also involved in dissemination of the Institute’s activities to farmers through radio and T. V. programme in both national and local media activities.
- Gari Processing Centre
This centre exhibits the modern technology in gari processing. It also serves a training point in gari processing technology. This centre generates income for the Institute through commercial production of gari for the public.
- Cassava Processing Centre
This centre is where High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF), cassava fufu flour and cassava chipsare produced. In this centre, training activities into various cassava flour production techniques are carried out.
ACHIEVEMENTS OF POST-HARVEST TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMME
- Pioneering the development of new food products from cassavaand sweet potato roots, and cocoyam corms and cormels in Nigeria.
- Development ofone hundredfood recipes for sweetpotato, cassava, cocoyam and yam meals.
- Production of various types of ginger drinks and candies.
- Production of potato starch for laboratory use.
- Development of numerous food forms with minor Nigerian root and tuber crops (Hausa potato, Livingstone potato, turmeric, Polynesia arrow root or amora, etc).
- Determination of physico-chemical properties of most NRCRI mandate crops.
- Production of crisps and drinks from orange fleshed sweetpotato.
- Training of women/youth/farmers on value addition to farm produce in over 250 communities/Organizations across Southeast, South-south, North-central and other parts of Nigeria.
- Impact and adoption studies of trainings in value added innovations in root/tuber crops atfive states of Nigeria.
- Training of Master Bakers in Nigeria, in conjunction with Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development, on 20% HQCF inclusion in bread making, and setting of standards for the production of HQCF production in the country.
- Dissemination of the Institute’s post-harvest activities to farmers through radio and T. V. programmes in both national and local media.
- Development of new food forms fromD. dumentorum (an under-utilized yam species)
- Innovations on fabricated NRCRI novel ginger and cassava processing machines.
Programme Coordinator TBA