Re: Food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems - E-consultation to set the track of the study

Abdul Rahim Khan Post Harvest Research Centre
17.04.2013

IIt is true that post harvest losses in countries like Pakistan is at very high end. These losses create frustration in the farming as well as for consumers. Due to insufficient post harvest technology farmers lost their day & night efforts on the other quality has deteriorate and prices are increased. At present all efforts are focus to increase the production and very less efforts are being made to save which you have got after putting struggle on pre harvest phase. Everybody knows how to handle the egg but very less people know how to manage the fresh crop.

Each and every crop has its own post harvest management pattern. If the pattern is followed then losses will at lower level. Frequency of post harvest losses at various stages in different countries are quite different from each other. We need the approach to minimize the post harvest losses in existing varieties and replace these varieties with efficient one, gradually.

Maturity stage is the junction among preservation and losses which directly depends of its’ intend use and market distance from the place of harvesting. This statement is much true for those crops having bigger moisture contents. Farmer should know the right maturity stage prior to harvest.

Other post harvest technology aspects like washing, drying, waxing, grading, packing, pre cooling, storage etc great impact on the shelf life of any fresh commodity but mostly it is highly difficult for small farmers to adopt it. There is need to develop low cost infrastructure for small farmers for their post harvest losses preservation. Small farmers are the unit who can support to minimize these losses.  

Pattern of marketing should change, it should the duty of famer to sale their yield in open market rather than involving third person. This type of practice is well common in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. Produce should prepare close to the field for marketing.

Immediate processing of crops into various products can minimize the post harvest losses and enable the environment for utilization of defected produce but it needs much more R & D.