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Bdr. Khadka, Rishi Sapkota IAAS, Rampur, Chitwan, Nepal
Abstract A market survey on post harvest losses in tomato fruit was conducted at the Sabjimandi market, Narayangarh, Chitwan, Nepal. The prime caused behind the reduction of post harvest life of the fruit and post harvest loss are due to mechanical injuries, wounds and bruising during transportation and handling, high temperature and scorching sun, insect pests , diseases and transpiration losses. Key words: mechanical injury, bruising, and transpiration Introduction: Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill), belongs to the nightshade or Solanaceae family and to the genus Lycopersicon, is grown all over the world. The genus comprises a few species of annual or short-lived perennial, herbaceous plants. It is a warm-season plant and requires relatively long growing season to produce profitable yields. It is used as salads, soups, sauces, juice and in several cooked forms (Saini, 1996).It is grown in nearly all home gardens and a large percentage of market gardeners and truck growers. As a processing crop it ranks first among the vegetables. Tomato is one of the most highly praised vegetables consumed widely and it is a major source of vitamins and minerals. (Shanmugvelu, 1981). The areas under tomato crop and number of farmers growing tomato have been increasing due to high income obtained from this crop compared to cereals and other annual crops (Budhathoki et al., 2001). It is estimated that 22,000 hectares of land is under tomato in Nepal with productivity of 10.5 ton/ha. This productivity is lower as compared to that of world (25.7tonnes/ha) (Zhiling et al., 2000). The poor productivity is due to the factors partly associated with the pre-harvest practices and partly with the lack of appropriate post harvest techniques post harvest factors include the lack of cold storage facilities, transport problem, lack of sound marketing facilities post harvest diseases, insects and pest (Budhathoki et al., 2001). Post harvest losses of tomato are a paramount factor that should be considered by all. In fact, the amount of losses recorded after harvesting reflects the efficiency of the marketing system. A mostly post harvest loss of tomato occurs during packaging and transportation. Assessments on post harvest deterioration have shown loss of 9-12% while transporting from field to market. The rate of losses depends upon the produce itself and upon environment, establishing each produce requirements for post harvest handling. Materials and methods: Different questionnaires were used to collect information from wholesalers and retailers of tomato vegetable. The first approach was to study the market channel, place of production, way of collection and means of transportation. Basically Sabjimandi of Narayangarh was selected for collecting this information. The study was conducted using pre-structured questionnaires and spot aroused questions related to post harvest of tomato, for collecting information on marketing channel ,
Praveen Sapkota, 2006
packaging and means of transportation from farm to first transaction and methods of handling of tomato round the year. At first stage, the study was made at the wholesale market at Sabjimandi, Lions chowk, Narayangarh and how the product reached to the market, in which condition they were delivered to the retailers and the losses involved. Three wholesaler of tomato were selected and observations were taken. At second stage, storage facilities, marketing facilities provided by Agriculture Product marketing management committee and its purpose, obstacles and linkage with other agencies was observed.
Result and discussions
Activities at wholesaler: At the Narayangarh, there are several showrooms maintained by town municipality. After reaching at the spot, the vegetable packages are unloaded and taken to the showrooms where sorting is done and selling of vegetables in smaller amounts. Usually the retailer does not buy a huge amount. The storage condition in the showrooms was not very ideal for vegetables. Especially in case of tomato, it was found that the temperature inside the showroom was exceptionally high. The decayed and rotted ones are sorted out. Transportation Losses Losses caused by mechanical damage to tomato fruit consist of bruising, wounding and squeezing of the fruit due to rough handling and inappropriate containers and transportation means. Since the harvested tomato fruits are transported in a basket in a truck, an average mechanical loss of 9-12% is accounted. The mature full ripe red tomato fruits have more proportion of mechanical loss as compared to immature green fruits. Losses at wholesale market The loss occurs during unloading and handling of fruits. Decaying, rotting of fruits causing shrinkage result due to the exposure of fruits in the scorching sun. High temperature soon softens the tomato fruits. Other losses involve insect pest damage during storage causing rotting and weight loss. A small portion of transpiration loss cause shrinkage and weight loss and consequently, the post life of tomato fruit are reduced. Due to the unfavorable circumstances like political instability, high transportation cost, fluctuating market price, unmanaged marketing channel, the fruits have to be kept for longer duration in storage and as there is no proper facility in it, they suffer a lot from reduction of weight loss as a result of transpiration.
Praveen Sapkota, 2006
Total volume of tomato transacted and loss found in an individual wholesaler in Sabjimandi, Narayangarh in June 22, 2006 is shown in the following table: Wholesale markets 1 2 3 Average Total quantity (kg/day) 8800 7000 9200 8333.33 Total quantity sold (kg) 8000 6300 8300 7533.33 Quantity loss (kg) 880 700 900 826.66 Percentage loss 10% 10% 9.78% 9.91%
Actual losses from origin to retail outlets As the study was conducted, the losses follow the following channel: Farmers – Hatbazzar – wholesaler – retailer – consumers Conclusion and recommendation Based on the results, we can conclude that the post harvest losses in vegetable crop (tomato) are very high due to the perishable nature and improper post harvest handling. Proper handling, sorting of undesirable ones, harvesting at proper time should be done; care and precautions should be taken in transportation. Besides, regular training for farmers and sellers should be organized in packaging and transportation system and finally equipped storage should be created. Acknowledgement We would like to thank Mr. Santosh Bajaj, chairperson of agriculture product marketing management committee, Mr. Swaroop Shah, Mr. Prakash Thapa, Mr. Bishnu Rajbhandari (wholesaler) and Mrs. Kalyani Mishra, lecturer for providing the technical guidance.
References cited: Budathoki, K., P.R. Bhurtyal and N.G. Pradhan. 2001. Effect of rain shelter on off-season fresh tomato production in the hills of Nepal. In: South Asia Vegetable Research Network Phase II. Proceedings of the final workshop 3-8 June 2001, Bangkok, Thailand. First National Horticulture Research Workshop, 1-2 May, 1996 IAAS Research Report (1994-95) Saini, G.S. 1996. A textbook of vegetable production. Aman Publishing House, Meerut, India. Zniling, W., P.P. Subedi, M. Gajewski, K.A. vowoter and E.J. Ekefan. 2000. Post harvest technology of field grown tomato: Present situation and future prospect. International course on research and development in post harvest biology and technology, the volkani center, Bet Degan, 50250 Israel- 2nd February,- 1 March 2000.
Praveen Sapkota, 2006
Praveen Sapkota, 2006