Cold Chain training programs can be complex and require a wide array of topical content, especially in today’s fast-moving global business environment. In many regions or sites where adequate infrastructure is available, overall knowledge of proper cold chain practices, maintenance (including availability of spare parts), and applications are weak in most of the developing world. “There has been reasonable growth in cold chain infrastructure but in all [developing countries] there is still major room for growth and much great efforts to improve capacity training to form better technicians and to improve applications.”
Extension efforts and training needs differ by target group, and there are often difficulties in reaching smallholder farmers, women, youth, middlemen/traders and processors. Traders and middlemen have been generally ignored although they have a large impact on temperature management during handling and transport, and therefore upon the final quality of foods and their potential market value.
Here are some of major Training Topics for Cold Chain Development which should be included:
- Identifying the causes and sources of losses
- Basic practices for reducing losses for perishable foods intended for cold storage
- Energy efficiency
- Environmental issues
- Engineering (including design, modifications, repairs, maintenance of cold technologies)
- Management topics (managing labor, equipment, finances, risk, marketing, etc.)
- Food safety issues including the potential impact of poor food safety
- Logistics (interactive complexities of managing a cold chain system)
- Technical subjects along the cold chain such as post harvest handling, refrigeration, cold storage, cold transport, food processing, etc.
- Value chain development practices