| || || Prasad, Binesh|
| || || Postharvest analysis of vegetables in Fiji eggplant, okra and tomato|
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Vegetables -- Postharvest technology -- Fiji, Eggplant -- Postharvest technology -- Fiji, Okra -- Postharvest technology -- Fiji, Tomatoes -- Postharvest technology -- Fiji
Call No.: Pac SB 324 .85 .P73 2015
Copyright:10-20% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: Research was conducted in Fiji to determine the extent of perceived postharvest losses occurring at three levels - production level, exporter level and local municipal retailer level - and the end use of the rejected perishable vegetable commodities, namely; eggplant, okra and tomato. Postharvest losses of these vegetables were found to be ranging from 25.2 to 40.4; 23.9 to 31.5 and 19.5 to 31 per cent respectively. An aggregate average postharvest loss of 32.8% was ascertained for eggplants, 27.5% for okra and 25.8% for tomatoes along the postharvest chain. The postharvest loss caused by shape was relatively similar i.e. 7.8% and 8.7% for eggplant and okra respectively. Losses due to physical abrasion was quite high (10.5%) in eggplant whereas okra and tomato were in the lower bracket of 3.8% and 4% respectively. Percentage loss caused by senescence/overripe ranged from 8.8 to 10.9 for the three crops and loss caused by pest/disease was very high in tomato 11% whereas eggplant and okra were in the lower bracket of 5.9 and 6.1 per cent respectively. The total postharvest losses of the selected commodities were further categorised into non-trade loss (monetary gains partially realised in terms of domestic consumption and livestock feed) and absolute loss (wastage). Eggplant (80%) had the highest absolute loss followed by okra (76%) and tomatoes (71%). Actual postharvest loss in tomatoes were also ascertained at production level by observing tomatoes from the three production strata (lower valley, mid valley and upper valley) and a very interesting data was obtained, which is challenging the traditional view that Fijian xiii farmers are often poorly connected with market-based postharvest losses. The actual postharvest loss in tomatoes observed after four days was 15.3% and the perceived postharvest loss in tomato at production level was 14.6%. A number of deficiencies currently exist in the postharvest management and processing of vegetables in Fiji and action must be taken in order to upgrade systems, in order to reduce the levels of postharvest losses. There is a great need to adopt and develop simple technologies for loss prevention and value addition along the postharvest chain.