Wednesday, January 15, 2014

TIME & MONEY are needed to cultivate fruits & vegetables. Unless the farmer is providing fruits & vegetables mainly for his/her own household, he/she automatically become part of the market economy, because he/she must sell his /her produce in order to recover the cost and to make a profit. 

What is the meaning of post-harvest losses?
Post-harvest losses mean any changes in the availability, edibility or quality of the produce that prevents fruits & vegetables from being consumed by human. As a result of these losses not only quantity and quality but even appearance of fruits and vegetables are affected and their market value are reduced.

Post-harvest losses occur in terms of;
  • Economic losses, which refers to reduction in monitory value as a result of physical loss
  • Quantitative loss, which includes reduction in weight by either moisture loss or loss of dry matter by respiration
  • Pilferage and other incidental loss in terms of quality of food
  • Qualitative loss which is frequently described by comparison with locally accepted standards of quality leading to loss of consumer appeal
  •  Nutritive loss which includes loss in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc.

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Economic significance of post-harvest losses
  •  Due to quantity and quality losses;

  1.  Increased price of the commodity
  2. Decreased the availability of the commodities
  3. Profit or profit margin of the certain middlemens who are involved between farmer and consumer (Eg. Retailers, transporters etc) will be reduced.

  • Most agricultural commodities are staple foods in many countries (Eg. vegetables) Due to the postharvest losses, availability of these commodities are remarkably reduced. As a result consumers will suffer and there is a impact to the lifestyle of people and arise many social and health problems such as poverty and malnutrition and human hunger
  • Agricultural commodities mainly fruits & vegetables add lots of nutrients to the daily diet. As a result of the postharvest losses prices of the commodities will be increased and less availability consumers will not receive a healthy balance diet. Therefore many social and health problems arise such as malnutrition and deficiency disorders like marasmus

Proper post-harvest handling of these perishables reduces post-harvest losses and helps in preventing nutritional quality. 


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