National Post Harvest Center which is located in Bondey, Paro was established in the year 1997. It functions as a central program under the Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests of Bhutan. The Center provides agriculture post production services throughout the country. The Center is divided into four technical sections, one administration and finance section and four Integrated Food Processing Plants in different parts of the country.
To be able to provide efficient post production services, NPHC has a pilot food processing plant, a post-harvest laboratory, cold stores, a refrigerated truck and a pack-house equipped with a PSF automatic apple grading equipment of approximately 3MT per hour capacity.
The pilot food processing plant is equipped with basic food processing equipment. The plant is used for food product development activities and for imparting training. The NPHC also has four Integrated Food Processing Plants located at strategic rural locations. The IFPPs are being managed by the NPHC staffs and equipped with several food processing equipment including fruit pulpers for the production of orange pulp.
Post Harvest Physiology Section
The Physiology Section carries out any Research and Development on physiological aspects of fruits, vegetables, medicinal and aromatic plants, spices and herbs, cereals etc. Some of the areas of post harvest physiology section are;
Harvesting and maturity indices,
Proper post harvest handling,
Transportation management of fresh produce,
Packaging and storage of fresh produce
Shelf life enhancing techniques
Special treatments such as waxing, fruit coating
Training of Farmers, Farmers Groups/Cooperatives and Entrepreneurs on proper post harvest management of fruits, vegetables and cereal crops.
Food Processing Section
R&D on product development and value addition of locally available fruits, vegetables, medicinal and aromatic plants, spices and herbs, cereals etc.
Designing product label, determining suitable packaging method and materials.
Training of Farmers, Farmers Groups/ Cooperatives and Entrepreneurs on processing and value addition of fruits, vegetables and cereals.
Any other technical assistance to Farmers Groups, Cooperatives and Entrepreneurs.
R&D on machines, equipment and storage structures related to postharvest and processing aspects.
Develop appropriate technology for farm level by drying and processing.
Designing packaging materials for fruits, vegetables and cereals.
Training of Farmers on improved technologies.
Project Coordination Section
This section coordinates external funded projects besides other activities of the center.
Integrated Food Processing Plants
There are four Integrated Processing Plants located in Dagapela (Dagana), Goling (Zhemgang), Lingmethang (Mongar) and Shumar (Pema Gatshel). It performs all the postharvest activities in their respective region to achieve the mandate and fulfill the mission of National Post Harvest Center.
To become a leading agriculture post production institute in the country.
To generate appropriate, cost efficient and environmentally friendly post production technologies.
To deliver post production services efficiently to all stake holders throughout the country.
To provide sound technical recommendations to policy makers on issues affecting the food and agriculture industry.
Mandate/Terms of Reference
The Center under the directives of the Department shall thrive and lead in the development of appropriate post production technology, rural food industry and centralized and household post production infrastructure.
The Center shall evaluate the post production technologies available in other countries and make necessary efforts to improve indigenous technologies in terms of proper harvesting, handling, pretreatment, storage, milling, processing and transportation through series of studies, trials and researches and development.
The Center shall disseminate the post production technologies to the farmers, extension officers and private entrepreneurs through demonstration, training and workshops.
The Center shall vigorously promote the evaluated, improved and successful and post production technologies to establish rural food processing enterprise in the areas of handling, drying, pickling based on the principle of individual processing and marketing in group.
The Center shall conduct feasibility studies, recommend appropriate technical measures and support the establishment of centralized post production infrastructure such as pack house equipped with handling, grading, packaging, equipment, food processing plant equipped with handling, processing and packaging equipment and cold store equipped with handling and refrigerated van for demonstration purposes and community use based on the principle of public private partnership where infrastructure will be done by the community and individual farmers.
The Center shall aggressively promote the low cost and household level post production infrastructure to minimize food loss.
The Center shall facilitate and support the commercialization of indigenous post production technology developed by the centre.
The development of the quality improvement technology shall be done in collaboration with Research and Development Centers, National Plant Protection Center, Dzongkhags and Bhutan Agro Industry Limited.
The development of the quality improvement technology shall be done in collaboration with Agriculture machinery Center and Dzongkhags.
The promotion of rural food industry shall be done in collaboration with concerned Dzongkhags, Department of Agricultural Marketing Cooperative and Bhutan Agro Industries Limited.
The establishment of centralized postproduction infrastructure shall be done in collaboration with Department of Agricultural Marketing, concerned Dzongkhags, Bhutan Agro Industry Limited, Bhutan Exporter Association and Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority.
The promotion of low cost household level or small scale post production infrastructure shall be done in collaboration with concerned Gewogs and Dzongkhags.
If the food issues become national concern due to lack of technology, the Center shall extend its support to the leading institute beyond its ToR for conducting research and development to come up with necessary solutions based on the technical capacity and directives of the Department.