|F2F volunteer Dr. Robert|
Paull of the University of
Hawaii at Manoa
Huila, 1 of Colombia’s 32 departments, is recognized nationally for its tropical fruit industry. Located in the country’s southwest region, Huila boasts 25 tropical fruit species spanning 10,699 hectares (26,438 acres), and is Colombia’s number 1 producer of passion fruit and pineapple. That said, Huila’s fruit industry is currently performing below the national average, considered to be the result of a lack of direct assistance and improved technologies at the producer level.
To address this issue, Colombia’s National Learning Service (SENA) has linked up with Farmer to Farmer to facilitate collaboration among U.S. tropical fruit specialist, Dr. Robert Paull, SENA instructors, and Huila’s fruit producers. Dr. Paull, Chairman of the Department of Tropical Plant & Soil Science at the
University of Hawaii at Manoa, has been in Huila since September 8th to learn about tropical fruit production in the region and to provide field and classroom training on three specific topics: handling fruit properly post-harvest to prevent physical damage; determining proper fruit maturity levels; and preventing damage to products during transport. A majority of the training has focused on the communities of Campoalegre, Pitalito and Neiva, three major producer areas within the department.
For more information about Dr. Paull’s activities, check out this article published in Huila's local newspaper, La Nacion.