The Primary Causes of Post-Harvest Losses

One of the most serious issues in farming are post-harvest losses. They are caused by
many factors which will be discussed here in this post.This is an alarming problem
because it does not only affect the profitability of farmers but it also affects the supply
chain and therefore the consumers. To put it simply, post-harvest losses can result to
large-scale issues so getting to the root of it should be done.

There are many contributors to post-harvest losses and we will be identifying these as
they go from production to the market.

1. PRE-HARVEST

Before the actual harvest procedure, some of the factors that contribute to
damage later on occurs during pre-harvest or when the crops are still on the
farm.

 Inadequate water supply: Plants need only enough water to survive. Too
much or too little amount of water can cause plants to whither.

 Too much use of fertilizer: Fertilizer can sometimes negatively affect the
development of the plants. This will also affect the post-harvest quality of
the produce on the latter stage of production.

 Unsatisfactory weed control: Weeds can be harmful to plants as they
compete for the necessary nutrients with the crops.

2. POST-HARVEST

After harvest, the shelf life of each produce shortens more quickly.

 Fruits and vegetables continue to lose their water contents. Water is vital
for all plants to survive. Without water, these plants dies and gets spoiled.

This makes it completely normal for these produce to gradually die after
harvest.

 Poor ventilation: Without air supply, respiration among plants stop causing
them to proceed to fermentation.

 Inability to clean and protect the crops.

3. MARKET

In transferring of goods to the market, damage is almost unavoidable. There are
more factors that contribute to losses in the marketing stage.

 Bad containers

 Over-packaging or under-packaging

 Extreme temperature

 Presence of contaminants

 Careless handling or transport