Lack of credit/financial service
Limited Credit service for horticulture sector in Ethiopia and lack of credit provider especially on horticultural crops postharvest handling to maintain the quality of the produce and to extend the shelf life of the produces were indicated as constraints in country. On the other hand most of the respondents’ in many research reports in Ethiopia indicated that the reasons for not participating in credit market were related to religion.
Packaging, Transportation and Storage problem
Use clean, smooth and ventilated containers for packaging. This is a very important factor in cutting down losses in these crops during harvesting, transportation marketing and storage. Use containers that are appropriate to the crop. There is a research report of only 31.1% of shops that stored physically injured and spoiled fruits separately in the assessment of fruit management that conducted in Gondar town . Similarly the transportation system in postharvest handling of horticultural produces had done loading one over the others which subjects the products to injury, damage and finally shortens shelf life of the produces. Mixed loads of bulk commodity is again a serious concern as the produces have different responses to temperature, transpiration, dehydration, ethylene are transported together which all together affect durability of the commodities through enhancing physiological, mechanical, biological and chemical losses. According to the research reports, potato postharvest loss of 3.98% at transport and 10.08% at storage reported at Jeldu districts of West Shewa Zone, Ethiopia .
In adequate packaging material, transportation and lack of appropriate storage facility were reported as factor of postharvest loss and quality deteriorations of fruits and vegetables in Ethiopia [5, 10, 11, 13, 19]. On the other hand scientists described that absence of farm storage facility and proper packing station results in the perishable produce being marketed immediately after harvesting without primary processing and adequate packaging [9, 18]. Different containers such as wooden box, baskets, plastic materials and sacks used in collecting various produces from farms during harvesting with inadequate handling that enhances level of produce damage. Packages need to be vented yet be sturdy enough to prevent structural change. If produce is packed for ease of handling, waxed cartons, wooden crates or rigid plastic containers are preferable to bags or open baskets, since bags and baskets provide no protection to the produce when stacked. Not packing, over filling of containers and mixing unlike produces was major problem in postharvest. Majority of traders store injured and unhealthy produce together with normal ones and finally come across losses.
Processing and value addition Problem
When conditions are not suitable for storage or immediate marketing of fresh produce, many horticultural crops can be processed using simple technologies. There are many processing methods that can be used by small-scale handlers, including drying, fermenting, canning, freezing, preserving and juicing. Fruits and vegetables can all be dried and stored for use or sale in the future. Fermentation is popular throughout the world as a food preservation method. Fruits and vegetables can be canned or frozen, and fruits are often preserved in sugar or juice .
Processed products must be packaged and stored properly in order to achieve their potential shelf life of up to one year. Dried products must be packaged in air-tight containers (glass or plastic bottles or sealed plastic bags). Canned and bottled products must be adequately heat processed using high quality containers that provide good seals. Dried and canned or bottled products are best stored in a cool, dark place [22, 24].
Summary and Conclusions
Postharvest losses and quality deteriorations occur from the field to the fork and even pre-harvest practices and decisions are strongly affect the magnitude of losses that occur at a later stage. Growers should harvest at the appropriate stage and time, sort carefully, keep the product in shade to minimize harvest unnecessarily heat, wash harvest containers as much as possible, use appropriate transport means so as to reduce injuries. Losses at retailers and whole sellers should be minimized. This can also be obtained by using appropriate storage facility. Therefore, educational and training programs could be seen as one of the best strategies to deal with Postharvest loss minimization both in the field and during storage. Development agents, extension workers and horticulturists should have enough understanding the issue and impacts of Postharvest loss and should participate in training farmers to take care in controlling losses.
Generally, with the assistant of government programs related to post-harvest handling, and government extension services, postharvest technology from other countries could be adapted for economically important perishable horticultural crops.
Conflict of interest
Regarding the publication of this manuscript, there is no any conflict of interest.
We would heartedly like to thank and praise the Lord Almighty God in giving us strength and wellbeing to successfully complete the study. We also want to thanks for all Ambo University horticulture department staff for all their help and moral support. Finally, all the reference materials used in this paper are dully acknowledged.
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