Perishable Vegetables

Fresh vegetables and fruit are an vital supply of micronutrients, however entry to them is proscribed in growing international locations resembling India on account of quite a lot of elements resembling meals loss and waste. New analysis on tomato provide chains from Cornell University’s Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition (TCI) sheds mild on the place and when many of the loss happens, and the way it may be decreased.

Research Insights:

TCI Postdoctoral Associate Jocelyn Boiteau and Director Prabhu Pingali present in a examine printed in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that the majority meals loss in South India’s tomato provide chain happens on the farm and reveal a hyperlink between high quality loss and the variety of tomatoes finally misplaced.

According to Boiteau and Pingali, whereas loss happens all through the availability chain, nearly all of it happens after tomatoes are harvested however earlier than they depart the farm. Lower ranges of loss had been discovered to be related to peak season harvesting, indicating the potential significance of seasonal provide and demand elements.

“Farmers face a number of challenges before tomatoes even leave the farm gate, including pest damage, a lack of storage, and price fluctuations,” mentioned Boiteau.

The researchers additionally found a hyperlink between preharvest high quality loss and postharvest amount loss, with a 1% enhance in preharvest harm inflicting a 2% enhance in postharvest loss. According to the examine, 13.9 % of tomatoes endure preharvest high quality loss on account of pest and illness harm, in addition to an excessive amount of or too little solar or rain or a scarcity of rain. When in comparison with low season harvests, harvesting throughout peak season reduces the probability of high quality loss by 88 %.

According to Boiteau and Pingali, methods for lowering meals loss and waste in perishable provide chains ought to concentrate on the underlying causes of loss. Postharvest dealing with, seasonality, and market buildings are three examples.

“Farmers face a number of challenges before tomatoes even leave the farm gate, including pest damage, a lack of storage, and price fluctuations,” mentioned Boiteau. “Having access to storage facilities may provide farmers with some flexibility in terms of harvesting and marketing, allowing farmers to maintain tomato quality while waiting for market prices to become profitable.” Furthermore, transparency and communication about correct worth data and high quality requirements would assist farmers make harvest and grading selections.”

According to Boiteau, India’s digital buying and selling platform, the National Agriculture Market, or eNAM, could assist to supply correct worth data and clear grading requirements, however its influence is simply too early to inform. “The platform’s uptake and usage have been slow, and its effectiveness remains to be seen, particularly in terms of” It’s for perishable markets,” she defined.

Technological developments may support within the discount of loss and waste. Boiteau observes that switching from contemporary to processed tomato provide chains is tough for tomato farmers as a result of totally different varieties are searched for every. She believes that the World Vegetable Center’s ongoing analysis on “dual-purpose” tomato varieties could open up new markets for farmers.

The analysis relies on Boiteau’s doctoral analysis, which was carried out in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana from January 2019 to March 2020. Boiteau and her analysis workforce surveyed 75 farm households and 83 tomato merchants in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district, in addition to 52 vegetable merchants and 50 vegetable retailers in Hyderabad, Telangana, to estimate the extent of qualitative and quantitative meals loss and waste.

(Source: Tata-Cornell Institute)

First printed on: 26 Apr 2022, 09:14 IST



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