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ACHARYULU et al.

/ (IJAEBM) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS MANAGEMENT


Vol No. 1, Issue No. 1, 001 - 005

Factors Contributing to Perishability in Traditional


Fresh Produce Distribution System: A Study on
Tomato and Banana Chains in Andhra Pradesh, India
ACHARYULU G.V.R.K SUDHAKAR MADHAVEDI
Assistant Professor Doctoral Research Scholar
School of Management Studies, School of Management Studies,
University of Hyderabad, University of Hyderabad,
Hyderabad, India Hyderabad, India
acharyu_gvrk@yahoo.com reachfirst@gmail.com

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Abstract— The present study is aimed to identify the various 10,000 crore to 12,000 crore per annum [5]. Approximately 20
factors that contribute to the perishability of fresh produce per cent of India's fruit and vegetable produce goes waste on
which are caused during logistic operations in fresh produce account of the lack of cold chains. India has around 1,300 cold
distribution. These activities are mostly human and facility storage facilities, of which 50 per cent are being used for
oriented and gives a scope for damage to fresh produce. The potatoes and the rest remain underutilized (CII, 2007).
activities taken for the study are purely concern with the
logistic and supply chain related. The study examined the II. SPOILAGE OF FRESH PRODUCE
banana and tomato chains which are more susceptible to the The fruits, vegetables and root crops are still alive after the
spoilage in distribution operations The study reveals most harvesting process. They contain 65 to 95 percent water,
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contributing factors to perishability using regression model so depending on the type of produce. They also contain food
that the spoilage of fresh produce can be minimized using materials which enable living processes to continue. As soon
appropriate mechanism and hence the overall supply chain is as produce is harvested the processes leading to breakdown
strengthened. begin, and cannot then be stopped. The rate at which
breakdown occurs can, however, be slowed up and losses
minimized by employing the correct handling methods after
Keywords- Perishability, Supply chain, Fresh Produce, harvest. Most fresh produce is highly perishable and if it is to
Regression reach the consumer in the right condition it must be marketed
properly bearing in mind the most suitable temperature and
I. INTRODUCTION humidity for each commodity as well as appropriate
India is continued to be the world‘s second largest producer packaging and handling methods. Failure to address these
of fresh produce in last five year. It produced 68.4 million issues leads to stress to the produce rapidly followed by
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tonnes of fruits and 129 million tonnes of vegetables in the spoilage and losses. The enormous losses of fruits and
year 2008-09 [1] National horticulture mission statistics vegetables produced in the country are mainly because of the
forecasts annual production growth is at 8.8 percent for fruits lack of proper infrastructure for storage and transportation
and 10.9 percent for vegetables by 2015. A total consumption under controlled conditions.
of 90 million tonnes of fresh produce is supplied through 7300
wholesale assembly markets and 27294 rural weekly Effect of Injuries: Injuries take many forms, including cuts,
markets[2]. The consumption of fresh produce is expected to punctures, scraping of outer surfaces, internal and surface
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reach 140 million tonnes by 2015 [3]. The research revealed bruising, sunburn, heat damage and cold damage. Their effect
that the fresh produce accounts for 50 per cent of the food and on harvested produce is to speed up the rate at which water is
grocery bill [4]. It indicates there is an enormous growth lost by as much as five times, to provide sites for attack by
opportunity in fresh produce sector. India can become market decay agents such as moulds and bacteria, to increase the rate
leader in world horticultural produce through the vertical and of heat production at injury sites, to cause dis-colouration due
horizontal integration of different components of the supply to internal damage and to cause off-flavours to develop.
chain.
Effect of Pests and Disease: Increase in post-harvest decay
The major issue in the supply chain is the inefficient post- occurs where produce is washed before packing. Most moulds
harvest management. Cultivable waste of about 24 to 40 per and bacteria causing decay require free water to establish
cent is reported due to the inefficiency and the extent of losses infection, particularly where injuries, even though small, are
of fruits and vegetables in India is estimated at about Rs. present on washed produce and the washing water is stagnant

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ACHARYULU et al. / (IJAEBM) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS MANAGEMENT
Vol No. 1, Issue No. 1, 001 - 005

or recycled. It may also be a problem where condensation ‗unstandardized‘ values, and their standard errors (Std. Error)
occurs on the surface of produce when it is moved from cold and SE (Beta) are in the second column. The standardized
stores to high ambient temperatures, or when produce is coefficient for the predictor in a multiple regression is simple
exposed to rain after harvest. the correlation. Since neither of the predictor variables has a
variance inflation factor (VIF) greater than 10 (All VIFs are
Produce saturated with water, from rain or other causes less than 2), there are no apparent multi-collinearity problems;
may become 'soft' and more easily damaged than when dry. in other words, there is no variable in the model that is
This damage not only provides opportunity for infection by measuring the same relationship/quantity as is measured by
decay agents but may in itself leave unsightly surface damage, another variable or group of variables. From the table 4, the
leading to down-grading and lower prices. This is often seen multiple-regression model is depicted as:
in citrus fruits, where fruit harvested when wet develop the
skin blemish. It may not always be possible to keep produce
dry but field-men should avoid harvesting freshly wet V. DESCRIPTION OF VARIABLES
produce. Perishability (y): Perishable products are those that worsen
in quality over time, and become lesser in value. Perish able
III. RATIONALE OF THE STUDY goods decay rapidly, if preservation and pre-cautionary
The present study is aimed to identify the various factors technique is not employed. Common perishable goods include

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that contribute to the perishability of fresh produce which are foods, plants and agricultural products. Fruits and vegetables
caused during logistic operations in fresh produce distribution. are examples of time and temperature-sensitive perishable
These activities are mostly human and material oriented and products that can rot or spoil easily. Perishable products must
gives a scope for damage to fresh produce. However many be handled and transported by highly efficient distribution
other factors contributes to the perishability of fresh produce, channels that can retain the integrity of the produce.
the existing activities taken for the study are purely concern
with the logistic and supply chain related. The study reveals Perishability (Y) = f{X1,X2,X3…X9}
most contributing factors to perishability using regression
model so that the spoilage of fresh produce can be minimized Independent variables (x1 to x9): Perishability of the fresh
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using appropriate mechanism and hence the overall supply produce will influence with the operational variables such as
chain is strengthened. care during transportation, use of plastic crates, removal of
foreign bodies, condition of road, safety packaging, cleaning
and washing, and foreign bodies.
IV. METHODOLOGY 1. X1- Damaged during the harvest by the farm men
This study is causal in nature and relies on survey method. (PR_farm_men).
Andhra Pradesh is chosen for this purpose based on the 2. X2 - Road conditions causes the physical damage to the
contribution its share in terms of production and growing area fresh produce (PR_physical_damage),
to the national agriculture sector in last ten years and it is also 3. X3 - Lack of effective packaging (PR_lack_packaging),
one among the top five produces of banana and tomato states 4. X4- Non saperation of living organism like Bacteria,
in the country. The study examined the banana and tomato Fungus, insects etc. (PR_living_organism),
chains which are more susceptible to the spoilage in 5. X5- Non-removal of foreign bodies causes perishability
distribution operations. The study is conducted in three (PR_foreign_bodies),
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districts for each produce namely, Krishna, Chittoor and 6. X6 - Lack of plastic crates during the transportation
Ranga Reddy for tomato and East Godavari, West Godavari (PR_plastic_crates),
and Chittoor for banana. These districts are selected on the 7. X7- Lack of cleaning and Washing (PR_washing),
basis of Area and production of tomato and banana during 8. X8 - Lack of enough care while the loading and loading
1999- 2009. A total sample size of 305 farmers, 62 traders (PR_care_load_unload),
and 120 retailers are drawn from the population. 9. X9 - Lack of effective care during road transport
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(PR_packing_perishability),
Different questionnaires are designed for data collection
from the target respondents such as farmers, traders and Prior to the carrying out of regression model, the
retailers to obtain views and level of agreement on the factors Pearson‘s correlation statistic has been run to determine the
pertaining to fresh produce spoilage during the supply chain variability among the independent variables. The following
operations on Likert‘s five-point scale. The data is collected correlation matrix table (Table 1) has been generated. The
from the AMCs that are located in the selected districts where Pearson correlation co-efficient indicates that there is no
the respondents participate in the fresh produce distribution incidence of strong correlation exists positively with the
activity. coefficient value ranging from 0.6 to 1.0 among independent
The table 4 provide a full of information about the model. variables. It indicates that there is no multi-collinearity among
In which we find the slope (or slopes, in multiple regressions). the variables. Consequently, a multivariate statistical
The values of Constant and Predictors are listed as technique, multiple regression method is applied to analyze

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ACHARYULU et al. / (IJAEBM) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS MANAGEMENT
Vol No. 1, Issue No. 1, 001 - 005

the data. The enter method is adopted for the running of with the data that need to compute R2. If we compute SS-
Regression model. From multiple regression analysis it is regression divided by SS-Total, we should get R2.
observed that Eigen values in the multi-colinearity diagnostic SS (Sum of the squares)-regression / SS (Sum of the squares)-
matrix found to be more than 1.0 for all the variables hence no Total = 88.745/ 113.751 = .780
independent variable is dropped from the multiple regression
model. Table 3: ANOVAb
Sum of Mean
Model Squares df Square F Sig.
1 Regression 6.337 9 .704 8.595 .000a
Residual 4.260 52 .082
Total 10.597 61
a. Predictors: (Constant), PR_packing_perishability,
PR_lack_packaging, PR_farm_men, PR_plastic_crates,
PR_care_load_unload, PR_physical_damage,
PR_living_organism, PR_foreign_bodies, PR_washing
b. Dependent Variable: Perishability

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The table 4 provide a full of information about the model.
In which we find the slope (or slopes, in multiple regressions).
The model summary table indicates what predictors are The values of Constant and Predictors are listed as
relevant for the R and R2. The word ―co nstant‖ in parentheses ‗unstandardized‘ values, and their standard errors (Std. Error)
refers to the intercept. The coefficient of multiple and SE (Beta) are in the second column. The standardized
determinations is 0.883; therefore, about 78 percent of the coefficient for the predictor in a multiple regression is simple
variation in the perishability is explained by its quadratic the correlation. Since neither of the predictor variables has a
relationship with the predictors which cause perishability. The variance inflation factor (VIF) greater than 10 (All VIFs are
regression equation appears to be very useful for making less than 2), there are no apparent multi-collinearity problems;
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predictions since the value of R2 is close to 1. From the table in other words, there is no variable in the model that is
2, Durbin–Watson value of 1.841 indicates there is no measuring the same relationship/quantity as is measured by
autocorrelation among the independent variables. another variable or group of variables. From the table 4, the
multiple-regression model is depicted as:
Table 2: Model Summeryb
Std. Error y = .473 + 0.136 x1 + 0.054 x2 + 0.100 x3 + 0.122 x4 + 0.055
Mode R Adjusted Durbin- x5 + 0.141 x6 + 0.118 x7 + 0.046 x8+ 0.073 x9
R of the
l Square R Square Watson
Estimate
1 .773a .659 .635 .286 2.058
a. Predictors: (Constant), PR_packing_perishability,
PR_lack_packaging, PR_farm_men, PR_plastic_crates,
PR_care_load_unload, PR_physical_damage,
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PR_living_organism, PR_foreign_bodies, PR_washing

b. Dependent Variable: Perishability

The table 3 below shows the ―A NOVA table‖ for the


regression. ANOVA stands for Analysis Of Variance
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specifically the analysis of variation in the Y scores. At this


point we observe the two sums of squares introduced in class
the regression and residual (or error) sums of squares. The
variance of the residuals (or errors) is the value of the mean It is clear that Road conditions causes the physical damage
square error —here it is .085. Also in this table we find the F to the fresh produce (PR_physical_damage), Non-removal of
test. This tests the hypothesis that the predictor (here our only foreign bodies causes perishability (PR_foreign_bodies), Lack
predictor) shows no relationship to Y. The F test has two of enough care is not taken while the loading and loading
numbers for its degrees of freedom. These are called the (PR_care_load_unload) and Lack of effective care during road
numerator and denominator degrees of freedom of df1 and df2. transport (PR_packing_perishability) are showing
Here the numerator df (df1) tells us how many predictors we insignificant effect on the perishability of the fresh produce as
have (it is 9) and the denominator degrees of freedom are n -
1- df1 or n-2 for bivariate regression. The table provides us

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ACHARYULU et al. / (IJAEBM) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS MANAGEMENT
Vol No. 1, Issue No. 1, 001 - 005

their probability value are higher than the acceptable limit of closed. This will prevent movement of produce
0.05. within the container.
e. The careful handling of produce at all stages,
It is concluded that from the table 4, which indicates the especially when in containers, which must not be
significant values of predictors that affect the dependent rolled, dropped or thrown.
variable. It is found that Damaged during the harvest by the f. Transport conditions. Loads should be stacked in a
farm men (PR_farm_men), Lack of effective packaging manner which will prevent either the movement of
(PR_lack_packaging), Non saperation of living organism like individual containers or the collapse of the stack
Bacteria, Fungus, insects etc. (PR_living_organism), Lack of during transport. Riders should not be permitted on
plastic crates during the transportation (PR_plastic_crates), top of the load, especially when it consists of produce
and Lack of cleaning and Washing (PR_washing) variables in bulk or in sacks. Vehicles should have a canopy to
falls under the impacting as their probability values .001, .008, protect the load from the direct heat of the sun, but it
.001, .000 and .010 respectively should not restrict ventilation.

Avoid Post-Harvest Losses at Traders/Wholesalers:


VI. OTHER OBSERVATIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS

a. Wholesalers handle produce which may or may not

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Handling and Storage during Transportation: Dropping of have been freshly harvested and may be packaged in
packages during loading and unloading is a frequent cause of various types of container. Depending on how well
damage to the produce and to the package, but can be the farmer and transporter have done their job, the
minimized by: wholesaler must decide on the most appropriate sale
and distribution system so that the produce can reach
 Using pack weights and designs which are the consumer in the best possible condition.
compatible with the handling method.
 Correct supervision and management of loading and b. Above all, the wholesaler must strive to keep post-
unloading to prevent careless handling and to ensure harvest losses at a minimum or he will have to raise
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workers are strong enough and tall enough for the the selling price to counter the losses or bear the
Job. financial loss directly himself. Wholesalers in the
 Using ramped loading bays gives a tremendous Andhra Pradesh rarely have specialized storage
advantage when loading trucks with produce. facilities other than an ordinary warehouse and it is
 Providing shelter from sun and rain at loading and recommended that they concentrate their activities on
unloading areas. selling and moving the produce as quickly and
 Using trolleys, conveyors and fork-lift trucks to carefully as possible in order to avoid losses from
reduce the amount of manual handling. spoilage of all kinds.

Avoiding Injuries: The fragile nature of most fruit and c. The general principles of keeping produce cool by
vegetables products makes them very susceptible to injury, stacking it in well shaded and ventilated locations
and the complete avoidance of such injury is not possible. and avoiding exposure to sun and rain at all times are
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However, damage may be reduced to a minimum by giving the most important things to remember. Whenever
attention to: the produce is handled it should be done so carefully
and cleanly so as not to inflict cuts and bruises. If the
produce is purchased from the farmer in bulk, or 'off
a. Care in harvesting, especially with tree fruit, which
the tree', then suitable packaging should be invested
are severely damaged if they fall or are thrown to the
in so that multiple handling steps can be avoided and
ground.
the produce protected from compression and other
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b. Being careful not to harvest wet produce, especially


injuries.
citrus fruit - because it is more easily damaged in this
condition.
d. The best way to avoid post-harvest losses is to only
c. The selection of suitable field and marketing
buy good quality produce in the first place and to
containers, which should not be too large for careful
regularly inspect the produce for spoilage if sale is
handling. They should be strong enough to protect
delayed. Re-grading and repacking of produce may
produce but should not cause damage to produce due
be permissible but this will depend on the cost of the
to sharp edges, poor manufacture or assembly.
process and the value added as a result. Wholesalers
d. The avoidance of overpacking or underpacking
are in the business to make money, not as charitable
containers, which should be filled to an extent that
suppliers of fresh produce. All staff employed by the
will exert a slight pressure on the contents when
wholesaler should be trained in the basic causes of
post-harvest losses and recieve demonstration type

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ACHARYULU et al. / (IJAEBM) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS MANAGEMENT
Vol No. 1, Issue No. 1, 001 - 005

training on the importance of careful handling and


stowing of fresh produce in preventing such losses.

Avoid Post-Harvest Losses at Retailers‘ Level:

a. In the first place, the retailer should be aware of the


importance of post-harvest losses and their effect on
profits, as well as understanding the basic causes of
post-harvest losses and what can and cannot be done
to prevent them. The principal concern to the retailer
will be the cost of any loss prevention programme
and its effectiveness rather than any desire to prevent
losses just for the sake of it.

Reduction of post-harvest losses requires an investment in


time, planning, management and possibly capital equipment.
The level of investment will thus largely be governed by the

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nature of the retailer and the volumes of fresh produce sold

VII. CONCLUSION
The proper integration of post-harvest technology into
marketing supply-chain is critical. Post-harvest management
not only means reducing waste but also maintaining the
quality but also aim to address some of these issues by
optimizing quality, safety and by reducing waste. Effective
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post-harvest management requires adequate and appropriate
cooling and packing facilities, hygienic and speedy
transportation, careful handling and adequate environment
control. This includes aspects such as appropriate temperature,
relative humidity, ventilation and sanitation. Difference in
prices between the farmer and the retailer is highest in India
when compared with other countries.

REFERENCES
[1] Indian Horticulture Database. National Horticultural Board.
Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, 2009
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[2] Acharya, S.S. Agriculture marketing and rural credit: Status,
Issues and reform agenda, ‗Area, Production and Yield of
Principal Crops in India‘, Directorate of Economics and
Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture, 2005.
[3] Kumar, Praduman and Promod Kumar Demand, Supply and
Trade Perspective of Vegetables and Fruits in India,‖ Indian
Journal of Agricultural Marketing, Vol 17(3), pp: 121-130,
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2003.
[4] Kumar, P. and Donato B. Antiporta. ― Expenditure and price
elasticities of food and non-food consumption by income
groups: region-wise analysis of India‖. Working Paper.
FAO/RAPP. Bangkok, 2001.
[5] Surabhi Mittal. ― Can horticulture be a success story for India?‖
Indian Council for Research on International Economic
Relations, 2007.

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