- مبلغ: ۸۶,۰۰۰ تومان
- مبلغ: ۹۱,۰۰۰ تومان
The assessment on the causes of post-harvest loss and quality deterioration of horticultural crops was carried out in Dire Dawa Administration from March 2011 to December 2012 in the eleven randomly selected representatives Peasant Associations. Stratified and multi stage random sampling techniques were used to sample representative Peasant Associations and respondents (n = 296). Both qualitative and quantitative data were gathered through questionnaire, focus group discussions, interview and observations. Data were analyzed using appropriate descriptive statistics. Climate and weather conditions, harvesting and handling techniques, packaging, storage and transportation facility, market situation, dust from cement factory, disease and pest animals were recorded as major causes for post-harvest loss. The severe post-harvest loss and quality deterioration of horticultural crops mainly occurred during harvesting followed by marketing, transporting and storage. Poor quality equipment and materials usage caused tremendous mechanical, physiological and pathological damages on horticultural crops. To minimize losses, different traditional methods were practiced by the local community. The highest post-harvest loss was recorded for tomato (45.32%) followed by mango (43.53%), whereas the least post-harvest loss was recorded for coffee (15.75%). Post-harvest loss ranging from 20% to 50% was recorded in between marketing and consumption. This can be used as a good indication as all concerned bodies should aim for development of effective and efficient policies and strategies to solve existing problems.
The horticultural crops are inherently liable to deteriorate under different climatic and other circumstances due to their high moisture content (Kitinoja and Kader, 2002). Moreover, as they are biologically active and carry out transpiration, respiration, ripening and other biochemical activities, they tend to loss and deteriorate through time. This makes the post-harvest losses to occur in the field, packing areas, in storage, during transportation and marketing. Severe losses occur because of environmental conditions, poor facilities, lack of know-how, poor management, weak marketing processes or simply due to carelessness of farmers. Proper storage conditions, temperature and humidity are needed to lengthen the storage life and maintain quality of horticultural crops (Kitinoja and Kader, 2002). Dire Dawa Administration is characterized by high temperature combined with low relative humidity (BFED, 2010). This has a negative effect on most horticultural products as a major factor for post-harvest loss and quality deterioration.
Horticultural crops may be characterized as being either climacteric or non-climacteric, depending on their respiratory pattern. Climacteric fruits can be harvested when mature but before the onset of ripening. After the climacteric, the respiration rate slows down as the fruit ripens and develops quality (Sirivatanapa, 2006). Thus, in the present study the harvesting of mandarin without proper maturity will lead to post-harvest loss and quality deterioration.