Welcome to the Post-Harvest Innovation Programme

Developing and maintaining the global competitiveness of the domestic and export orientated fresh horticultural industries.

Research and Development

Fostering a culture of research, development and innovation in the postharvest sphere of fresh horticultural products and assist in the development and expansion of knowledge in this field.

Human Capacity Development

Building human capital through the attainment of masters, PhD and postdoc qualifications in the field of postharvest technologies and innovation.

The Post-Harvest Innovation Programme (PHI) is a public-private partnership between the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Fresh Produce Exporters’ Forum (FPEF), with the FPEF as the implementing partner. PHI is directed at developing innovative technology in the postharvest leg of the fresh fruit value chain, to develop and maintain the global competitiveness of the South African fresh fruit industry. The DST’s premise for initiating and supporting the PHI Programme, launched in 2007, was based on the need to address the innovation challenges for building a competitive and sustainable fresh fruit export industry.


The South African fresh fruit industry, which derives more than 50% of its income from exports, provides direct employment to an estimated 460 000 people and plays a vital role in sustaining rural livelihoods. Since the fruit industry is considered an important employer in the South African economy, it is extremely important to ensure that the industry remains profitable, sustainable and internationally competitive.



A globally competitive fresh horticultural industry developing innovative postharvest technologies.

Engender a culture of innovation by providing funding opportunities to deserving applicants who will seek innovative solutions to address the technology gaps identified in the fresh horticultural value chain.