The Postharvest Horticulture Training and Research Center (PHTRC) is a research and development, and extension unit of the College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS), University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB). It was established in 1977 through the ASEAN-Australian Economic Cooperation Program in response to the United Nations’ call to reduce postharvest food losses. It served as ASEAN regional center for postharvest training and research until 1985 when it fulfilled its mandate. In 1993, the UP Board of Regents 1073rd meeting approved its establishment as a unit of the then College of Agriculture separate and distinct from the defunct Department of Horticulture.
The PHTRC is a trusted institution recognized nationally and internationally in addressing postharvest problems in horticultural crops, providing assistance and support services both to the academe and industry. It will continue its strong linkages with the fruit, vegetable, ornamental and other perishable crop industries and help establish protocols and systems for handling, storage and distribution of these products. The center’s functions are to:
(a) generate basic data on the postharvest physiology, biochemistry, morpho-anatomy and physical properties of tropical and sub-tropical horticultural and other perishable crops that will serve as bases for technology generation;
(b) develop or modify technologies, protocols and systems across the value chain that are responsive to the needs of the industry, and are compatible with the local commercial handling conditions and scale of operations;
(c) develop need-based extension delivery system to effectively disseminate postharvest technologies, protocols and processes;
(d) develop knowledge products on postharvest technology for use by the industry and all agriculture-related agencies and academic institutions throughout the country;
(e) provide assistance to the Department of Agriculture in formulating product standards, codes of hygiene, and Good Agricultural Practice in support of the Food Safety Act;
(f) contribute to the formulation of national policies, priorities, and other regulations affecting trade of fresh produce; and
(g) provide human and physical resources for postharvest and other crop science courses of the Institute of Crop Science (ICropS) as well as provide expert services to students of other units of the university including but not limited to food science, engineering, nutrition, chemistry, pathology, entomology and economics.