Postharvest of Perishable
Fruits and Vegetables in Jordan

Prepared by

Prof. Dr. Fahmi Shatat, Faculty of Agriculture - University of Jordan

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List of Contents

List of tables

List of figures

Introduction

Fruit Production

Citrus fruits

Table grapes

Olives

Bananas

Apples

Peaches and nectarines

Plums and prunes

Apricots

Vegetable Production

Tomatoes

Potatoes

Cucumbers

Peppers

Eggplant

Squash

Lettuce

Spinach

Cauliflower and Cabbage

Water and Sugar Melons

Dry Onions

Grading and Packaging

Storage

Postharvest losses

Processing

Postharvest constraints in Jordan and recommendations

References

Annex (1)


List of tables

Table 1. Production of major fruit crops in Jordan 1990 - 1993.

Table 2. Jordan fruit exports 1991 - 1994

Table 3. Production of major vegetable crops in Jordan 1990-1993.

Table 4. Jordan vegetable exports 1991 - 1994 .

Table 5. Processed tomatoes and produced tomato Paste in Jordan. 1991-1994.

List of figures

Figure 1. Storage of apples Packed in plastic containers and wooden bins.

Figure 2. Polystyrene container filled and empty.

Figure 3. Wet dumping of apples.

Figure 4. Apples packed in transparent plastic containers.

Figure 5. Forced ripening of bananas.

Figure 6. Oranges packed in polystyrene and plastic containers.

Figure 7. Lemons packed in polystyrene containers.

Figure 8. Clementines packed in polystyrene containers.

Figure 9. Inside view of cold storage room for potatoes.

Figure 10. Onions packed in net bags in a cold storage room.

Figure 11. Table grapes packed in cardboard container for shipment to EC. markets.

Figure 12. Potatoes packed in polystyrene containers.

Figure 13. Squash and cucumber packed in polystyrene containers.

Figure 14. Bulk transport of cabbage. Unloading at Amman Central Market.

Figure 15. Eggplant fruits packed in polystyrene containers.

Figure 16. Carrots exhibited at Amman Central Market.

Figure 17. Carrots exhibited at Amman Central Market.

Figure 18. Lettuce Packed in wooden containers.

Figure 19. Tomato properly Packed in polystyrene containers.

Figure 20. Sweet pepper packed in polystyrene containers.


Introduction

Jordan, although a relatively small country, produces a wide range of fruits and vegetables. A large percentage of the vegetables is produced, due to the unique climate of the country, in the off-season (during Winter and early Spring).

In the present report production figures of the major fruit and vegetable crops in Jordan will be presented in addition to detailed information about the different aspects of postharvest for both commodity groups.

Fruit Production

The list of fruits grown in Jordan includes many subtropical and temperate zone fruits and few tropical fruit tree crops.

The leading fruit tree crops in Jordan in respect to their figures of production are listed in Table 1 Annex I. The citrus group dominate followed by table grapes, olives, bananas, apples, peaches and nectarines, apricots and plums.

Citrus, Bananas and to some extent low chill peach, apple and early season grapes are grown in the Jordan Valley. The remaining fruit tree crops dominated by olives, table grapes,stone and pome fruits are grown either under rained conditions or supplementary irrigation in the highlands.

The fruit production season starts late in April (early season grapes) and continues till late in Winter (citrus fruits).

A major part of the fruits produced in Jordan is consumed locally. The other part is exported to the Gulf states or to Europe. In 1994 Jordan exported 103.5 thousand tonnes of fruits mainly citrus fruits, table grapes, olives and pome granates. Table 2 Annex I indicate kind and amount of fruits exported from Jordan in the years 1991 through 1993.

Citrus fruits-

This group includes lemons, mandarines, oranges, grapefruit and pummelo.

Citrus fruits in Jordan are harvested by hand. The harvest season extends depending upon the cultivar from late Summer to late Winter. Many growers tend to harvest lemons and to some extent Navel oranges at a premature stage to be sold for relatively high prices. In many cases the Harvested fruit is allowed to drop to the ground, then the fruit is picked up and hauled in a shady place in the grove. At this stage damaged or diseased fruits are removed. Most growers do not practice any kind of size grading. Then the produce is packed in polystyrene or plastic containers (filling capacity 6-9 kg). Over-filling and facing-off are still common practices.

Marketing of the citrus produce is through the central markets.

Table grapes

Table grapes ranks second after citrus in respect to the figures of production. Early table grapes including Supperior Seedless, Perlette, Thompson Seedless and Flame Seedless are grown mainly in the Jordan Valley, while mid- and late- season grapes are grown in the highlands. Part of the early season grapes is exported to EC markets or to markets of the Gulf States. The other part is marketed locally. Mid- and late season grapes are mainly consumed locally. Table grapes season starts late in April and continues throughout September or even October. All table grapes are harvested, graded and packed by hand. For export purposes grapes are graded (removal of small clusters, shot berries, diseased or damaged fruits) and Packed at the farm immediately after harvest. For export purposes to EC markets the produce is packed in 5-6 kg cardboard boxes. These boxes are then stacked on wooden pallets and strapped with proper bands and loaded in refrigerated trucks for transport to the airport. Then shipped by air to EC markets. For export purposes to Gulf States the produce is packed in polystyrene containers (5-6 KG) and transported in refrigerated trucks. Locally table grapes are marketed through the central markets or through roadSwide marketing. For this purpose many kinds of containers are being used including polystyrene and wooden containers

Olives

Olives are one of Jordan's most traditional crops. They are grown all over the country mainly under rainfed conditions and recently under supplementary irrigation .

Olives are either utilized for oil extraction or for processing as table olives. The main cultivars for oil production include : Nabali , Coratina, Souri, Grossa de Espagna, while table olive cultivars include; Improved Nabali, Rasie and Nasouhi.

Olives in Jordan are mainly harvested by hand , but in recent years some harvesting aids such as combs or vibrating tools were introduced. No chemical looseners are used . Before harvest a cloth or plastic sheet is placed under the tree and the harvested fruit is allowed to drop on the sheet. Undesired plant parts (shoots or leaves) are removed and the produce filled in bags ( 50 kg or more). The filled bags are then loaded on trucks and sent to the processing plant. Almost all the processing units are modern and automatic. In on-years (Years of large production ) growers has to wait some days before they can process their produce. In such cases the bags are stacked inside or outside the processing building. During this period the produce is subjected to adverse weather and environmental conditions. After processing the oil is filled in

metal containers (16-18 Kg) or plastic containers ( 3 - 5 kg) for marketing purposes .

In the case of table olives the produce is usually not allowed to drop to the ground. It is picked green or black in polystyrene boxes or in bags and transported to the central markets.

Bananas

Bananas are grown in the Jordan Valley. They belong to the Cavendish group . Bunches are hand harvested at the mature green stage almost all round the year. After harvest the small fruits towards the top of the bunch are trimmed off, damaged or diseased fingers are removed. Then the whole bunches are loaded on trucks. The surface of the loading area is usually lined out with layers of banana leaves. The load is taken to the ripening houses . For the purpose of forced ripening the bunches are placed either on the ground or on wooden pallets inside the ripening rooms. To enhance ripening the managers use either Calcium Carbide (most commonly used) or Ethylene gas 10 - 100 ppm or Kerosine heaters in sealed rooms. Duration of this treatment is 24-48 hours depending on the time of the year. The rooms are then opened for ventilation. For marketing purposes the whole bunches are distributed in small truckes to the retail buyers who receive them with a certain degree of change in colour towards yellow.

Due to premature harvest especially during Winter and due to the unproper ripening and handing technologies the bananas appear in many cases unatractive and the flavor does not indicate the proper and typical aroma of ripe bananas.

Apples

Apple growing in Jordan is relatively new. Until the early 1980 Jordan used to import about 40 thousand tons of apples in the value of almost $ 20-25 millions. Nowadays Jordan produces about 20-30 thousand tons. The imports declined to about 4 thousand tons only. The production figures are expected to increase in the next years because many plantings have not reached yet their proper bearing age. The apple season starts in June (low chill cultivars through July and August (cvs. such as Sommer Red, Vista Bella, Jersey Mac, Earli Gold, Delbarestivatle and Royal Gala) and continues into September and October (Golden Delicious and its strains, Red Delicious and it's strains, Granny Smith and some Fuji).

Apples are harvested by hand and placed in picking bags, plastic containers (25 kg) or polystyrene containers (8-10 kg). Some of the large orchards use wooden bins ( 300 kg). The fruit is then transported to grading and packing sheds. In relatively small size plantings grading and packing is done by hand, while in large plantings size grading is achieved by modern sorting machines. This procedure includes beside size grading removal of defect or diseased fruits, washing and if necessary a post harvest dip in Ca-solutions for bitter pit

control. After grading (hand or machine) the produce is packed in polystyrene or plastic containers (6-10 kg).

Large producers of Apples store most of their crop in refrigerated storage either owned by the orchard or rented. Common storage conditions range between 0-3 oc and 90-95% relative humidity. Under such conditions the produce can be stored for 3-6 months depending on the cultivar.

Most of the apple crop is marketed packed in the above mentioned containers through the central markets.

Peaches and nectarines-

The production of peaches and nectarines in Jordan increased rapidly in the last two decades. The first peaches and nectarines are delivered to the market as early as April or early May (low chill cultivars grown in the Jordan Valley). Fruits in the highlands are harvested in polystyrene containers (8-10 kg). The harvested fruit is hand graded (removal of diseased or damaged fruits only) and packed in the field in polystyrene containers (5-10 kg). In the last years some growers started to practice some kind of visual size grading, others started to use their apple grading machines for this purpose too, but facing-off the containers with large fruits on the top and small ones at the bottom is being still used by some growers.

After packing the produce is loaded in trucks and delivered to the central markets, to be sold for retail buyers. Some growers market their own produce (roadside marketing or by using the pick-your-own method).

Storage of peaches and nectarines is still not common in Jordan, but some growers started to try this. In such cases due to the small size of the lots stored the peaches and nectarines are stored together with apples.

Plums and prunes-

The harvest season for plums and prunes in Jordan extends from May till late October. The leading cultivars include Golden Japan, Shiro, Santa Rosa, Angelino, Black Diamond and Stanley. The fruit is harvested by hand in polystyrene containers of different size. Then the fruit is hauled in a shady place or in the packing house (large enterprises) and some quality grading (removal of diseased or damaged fruit) is practiced. The relatively marketable fruit is then packed in polystyrene containers (5-10 kg). Transport of the produce to the central market is achieved in trucks mostly uncovered. A common practice is also to market the produce immediately at the roadside to consumers.

Although plums and prunes are commonly not stored in Jordan, some growers started to store part of their crop mainly Angelino and Stanly with apples.

Apricots

The apricot crop in Jordan is relatively small. Most cultivars (local and introduced) ripen during May and June.

The fruit is picked by hand in polystyrene containers and hauled in a shed or in the packing house. Grading is restricted only to the removal of diseased or damaged fruits. No sizing and no grading according to maturity or ripeness is practiced. The marketable fruit is usually packed in polystyrene containers (2-6 kg) and loaded in trucks to the central market. In addition to this many growers use the method of roadside marketing. No storage is being practiced and processing is almost completely, restricted to home made jams.

Vegetable Production

Vegetable crops are grown in Jordan all round the year. During Spring, Summer and Fall the production is concentrated in the highlands, while during late Fall, Winter and early Spring production is located in the Jordan Valley. The supply of locally produced fresh vegetables is therefore continuous through the whole year.

The major vegetable crops grown in Jordan and their production figures are shown in Table 3 Annex I. Tomatoes dominate within this group followed by potato, sweet melon, egg plant, cucumber, squash sugar melon, cauliflower, onions, cabbage, pepper, beans, carrots and spinach. All these crops are grown in the open field (except cucumber, tomatoes and pepper which are completely (cucumber) or partially (tomato and pepper) produced under plastic cover.

Most of the Jordanian vegetable production is consumed locally either fresh or processed. In addition a considerable part of this production is exported to neighbouring countries or to Europe. Data concerning these exports for the period 1991-1994 are shown in Table 4, Annex I.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are produced in Jordan all over the year in the open field and to some extent in plastic houses during Winter. Inspite of the greatly advanced production techniques, tomatoes are still harvested by hand. For processing and local consumption the fruits are harvested ripe, while export tomatoes are picked at the pink-stage. After harvest the produce is hauled in a shady place or in the packing house. At this stage damaged or diseased fruits are excluded and the marketable produce is packed according to the utilization purpose in the

proper container. Processing tomatoes are usually packed in plastic containers 20-25 kg capacity, while tomatoes for local consumption are packed in 6-10 kg polystyrene containers. Export tomatoes are packed according to the regulations or the market demand in the country of destination. The fruits for EC markets are packed in 5-6 kg cardboard boxes, while those exported to the Gulf States are filled in 6 - 8 kg polystyrene containers.

Tomatoes especially for the local market are not properly graded. The containers are filled with fruits of different size and different ripening stages, while tomatoes for EC markets are graded according to their size and according to the ripening stage. Processing tomatoes underlay only visual colour grading to exclude unripe fruits.

Transportation means for locally consumed tomatoes are trucks, mainly uncovered, while export tomatoes are shipped by air or by refrigerated trucks.

Potatoes

There are two peaks (late Spring and late Fall) of annual potato production in Jordan. Production, harvesting and handling technologies used in this field range from traditional to the most advanced ones. The crop is dug out by special ploughs and the tubers picked up by hand and filled in polystyrene containers 8-10 kg or in net bags 18-20 kg. The other method used is the potato harvester. The crop is filled immediatly at harvest in trucks which dump their load in the packing house, where removal of damaged tubers and undesired inert materials, size grading and automatic packing in 18-20 kg net bags takes place.

The produce is marketed through the central markets to retail buyers either in polystyrene containers or in net bags. Part of the potato crop is used for processing (chips and French fries).

Cucumbers

This crop is grown mainly in plastic houses, which ensures continuous supply with fresh produce. The fruit is harvested by hand in polystyrene boxes and hauled in a shady place. The produce is packed by hand in 9-10 kg polystyrene containers. Over filling seems to be a must because the produce is sold per container and over filled ones are highly priced than those normally filled. In addition the top of the container consists of uniform fruits while larger fruits are usually placed at the bottom of the box. Furthermore the florets are sometimes retained on the distal end of the fruit.

The produce is marketed in polystyrene boxes at the central markets, while export cucumbers are packed in 5-6 kg cardboard containers for Ec markets or in polystyrene containers to Gulf States. Small and midium sized fruits are consumed fresh while large fruits are used for processing.

Peppers

Sweet and hot peppers are produced all round the year. Peppers are grown in the openfield or in certain cases under plastic covers. The quality of the produce is very good. The produce is harvested at intervals by hand. Then hauled in a shaded area in the field or in the packing house. Damaged fruits and undesired plant parts (leaves, stems) are removed and the marketable produce packed in polystyrene containers (5-8 kg). Overfilling is very common in case of sweet peppers. After being packed the containers are stacked on trucks for further transport to the central market. In case of export peppers the produce is filled in cardboard boxes (5-6 kg) or polystyrene containers and shipped by means of refrigerated trucks.

Eggplant

Growing and production of Eggplant continues all round the year .

The fruit is harvested by hand at the pre-mature stage, in polystyrene or plastic boxes. Then hauled in a shaded area and packed without size grading in polystyrene boxes ( 6 -8 kg). In many cases better grade fruits are placed on the top of the overfilled container, minor quality fruits are placed at the bottom of the container. The over filled containers are stacked in trucks for transport to the central markets. The main part of the produce is consumed locally for cooking or for home made conserves . The other part is exported in 5-6 kg cardboard or polystyrene containers.

Squash

The production extends all over the year . The fruit is harvested in polystyrene containers at the pre-mature stage, hauled in a shaded area where severely damaged and extremly large fruits are removed. The marketable produce is packed with out size grading in 6 - 8 kg polystyrene boxes. Over filling and facing - off are common practices. Due to uncareful harvesting many fruits are removed from the plant without their stems. Other fruit is packed in the containers while carring the floret on its blossom end. The packed containers are stacked in uncovered trucks and exposed to the sun and to wind thus leading to water loss and shrivelling of the produce in the top containers. Most of the squash production is consumed locally and the rest is exported in refrigerated trucks to the Gulf States.

Lettuce

Lettuce production is restricted to Winter and early Spring. The produce is harvested by hand hauled in the field. Undesired parts ( leaves, stems, roots ) are trimmed off and the marketable produce is either bulk loaded in trucks or packed in well ventillated wooden containers with the whole box filling wrapped with perforated paper sheet . One of the major harvet problems of lettuce are overfilling of the containers and shrivelling of the heads.

Marketing of the produce is mainly through the central markets and Roadside marketing. In addition part of the crop is exported to Gulf States per refrigerated trucks.

Spinach

The production of spinach is restricted mainly to the cool seasons Fall , Winter and Spring. The crop is harvested by hand several times during the season. Then it is packed in bundles and transported in trucks (covered or un covered) to the central market where it is usually hauled for marketing .

A major problem is rapid wilting of the produce and in some cases the presence of innert materials ( weeds) within the bundle. Retail buyers usually buy and sell this commodity according to weight and not per packing unit (bundle).

Cauliflower and Cabbage

Freshly harvested cauliflowers and cabbage heads are found on the Jordanian markets during the whole year. In both crop kinds the produce is harvested by hand and gathered in a shaded area in the field. Unwanted leaves and stem parts are removed. Cauliflowers are packed in polystyrene containers ( One or two Layers ). The containers are always overfilled thus leading to mechanical damage during transportation and marketing. Cabbage heads are usually packed in bulk in trucks for transport to the central markets, where the major part of the cauliflower and cabbage crops is sold to retail buyers or to exporters.

Water and Sugar Melons

Both commodities are grown under irrigation in the Jordan Valley and in the highlands. The production season extends from early Spring through the whole Summer until late Fall.

Water and sugar melons are harvested by hand and hauled in the field. Water melons are bulk loaded in trucks, while sugar melons are packed in polystyrene containers which are commonly used for other fruits or vegetables. The overfilled containers are then loaded on trucks, bruises and other kinds of damage are very common.

Both water melons and suger melons are marketed through the central markets to retail buyers who grade the produce (especialy water melons) in two to three size groups. Road side marketing dominate over all other marketing methods including export to the Gulf States or other countries.

Dry Onions

Onions are produced in Jordan under irrigation or under rainfed conditions. Ploughs are used to lift the onions upove the soil surface then the bulbs are windrowed for few days for drying and curing purposes. After that the onions are hauled in a shaded area where unwanted parts (leaves, dirt, and roots are removed. The produce is packed, without size grading, in netbags (8-20 kg) or in polystyrene containers (8-10 kg). Under large scale production conditions the onions are size graded using grading machines and automatic filling in 8 kg net bags. After packing the produce is transported in trucks of different sizes to the central markets.

Grading and Packaging

Grading:

Most fruits and vegetables in Jordan are field graded (apples and potatoes are to some extent an exception). This operation includes the removal of damaged, diseased or unripe fruit ( in case of processing tomatoes). Some growers tend to put misshapen, or small size fruits and vegetables at the bottom of the container, while uniform attractive fruits are placed on the top of the container.

In Shoubak the main apple growing area in Jordan, most growers use modern grading and sorting machines. Upon arrival from the field the fruit is dumped either dry or wet ( in water tanks ) . The fruit moves on belts and is subjected to brushing , washing and size grading . A somewhat similar procedure is used for potatoes in some of the large enterprises in the south eastern part of Jordan .

Packing:

Most fruits and vegetables in Jordan are packed in polystyrene containers ( 5 - 10 kg filling capacity ). This type of container is very light, relatively weak, not easy to clean, and can not offer proper ventilation or vertical support and in many cases the produce rests on itself due to

vibration during transportation. Dimentions of the models used are 47 X 27 X 10 cm or 47 X 27 X 15 cm .

Other container types used are plastic and wooden contaniners. The use of the wooden container is declining and the use of the plastic containers ( 20-25 kg ) is almost restricted for delivering processing tomatoes. In addition to the above mentioned kinds of containers, there are three factories who offer cardboard containers in different models and sizes, but they are used mainly for export to EC. markets.

A major problem in packing fruits and vegetables in Jordan is overfilling the containers. With certain commodities properly filled containers are sold at the central markets for lower prices than over filled ones. The reason behind this is the fact that most fruits and vegetables are sold per container (per packing unit and not according to the weight per unit). Retail buyers are therefore more likely to buy the overfilled containers.

The Agricultural Marketing and Processing Company AMPCO owns three packing facilities in the Jordan Valley. Some of these facilities include cleaning and grading equipment, waxing line for oranges and fruit receiving area. In addition some producers or exporters have their own grading and packing lines in the Jordan Valley or in Amman.

Storage

There are no exact figures concerning the amounts of fruits and vegetables stored in Jordan.

Due to the fact that most vegetable crops are produced all round the year, only potatoes, dry onions and garlic are stored under refrigeration for several months. The Agricultural Marketing and Processing Company (AMPCO) owns the largest cold storage facility for potatoes ( 15,000 tons ). All storage steps from dumping through grading, filling and packing are automatic. In this facility potatoes are stored - depending upon the purpose of utilization at temperatures between 4-7 oC and 85-90% relative humidity. In certain cases part of this facility is used for storage of onions, garlic or apples.

In case of fruit tree crops, storage is mainly restricted to apples, and citrus ( oranges). Other fruits are, due to the relatively low production figures, not stored and marketed immediatly during the harvest season. Many apple growers has their own cold storage rooms, while others rent such facilities for few months to store their produce. The capacity of cold storage facilities owned by apple growers is about 20,000 tons. In addition some cold storage facilities owned by the private sector were established for commercial (renting) purposes. Their capacity can be estimated as high as 15,000 tons. They

are used, according to the market demand, for storage of apples, oranges, lemons, potatoes, onions or garlic. Apples are stored at 0-3 oC and 90-95 % relative humidity and waxed oranges at

2-3 oC and 80-85 % relative humidity.

Postharvest losses

The problem of postharvest losses in Jordan as in many other developing countries has not been given the proper attention. Therefore it is very difficult to give an exact estimation of the real figures of post harvest losses for the different fruit and vegetable commodities, due to the lack of any, detailed, will prepared investigations in this field. Another reason that makes the estimation of post harvest losses very difficult is the lack of world wide accepted parameters for estimating these losses. Some experts who visited Jordan recently gave a rough estimation of about 30% as post harvest losses of fruits and vegetables.

Causes of post harvest losses in Jordan:

The major reasons behind post harvest losses in Jordan are:

1- Unproper harvesting (premature harvesting, fruit bruising, scratching, damage to the peduncle, unproper placement of fruit in the container).

2 - Unproper handling of produce in the field after harvest. (hauling uncovered, retaining for long time in the field).

3 - Unproper packaging ( unsuitable container selection in respect to size, kind and ventilation, overfilling, packing produce of various maturity and ripening stages in the same container).

4- Failure of pre - cooling treatments to remove field heat .

5 - Unproper loading and transportation (over load, uncovered produce , vibration damage due to bad shape of farm roads).

6- lack of post harvest treatments to control physiological disorders and to reduce losses caused by pathogens.

7- Keeping produce exposed to direct sunlight (roadside marketing and retail buyers).

8- Consumer squeeze produce by hand to check if it is ripe or not (peaches, grapes,Figs etc.).

Processing

Processing of fruits and vegetables in Jordan is almost restricted to tomatoes and olives . Three factories were established since 1982 for the production of tomato paste, tomato juice and peeled crushed tomatoes. Table 5 Annex I shows the amounts of tomatoes used for processing during the period 1991 - 1994. The above mentioned factories are owned by the Agricultural Marketing and Processing Company (AMPCO), which is owned by the government and the private sector . In the last few years the private sector became more involved in the processing of fruit and vegetable crops. The processed amounts by this sector are still relatively small ( except for tomatoes and olives ).

The list of processed commodities include in addition to tomatoes , Olives, potatoes, citrus, cucumber, pepper, cabbage, carrots, onions and cauliflower.

Postharvest constraints in Jordan and recommendations to over come them.

Jordan produces, due to it's unique environmental conditions, a wide range of high quality fruits

and vegetables. This quality declines in many cases during the postharvest period. The main reasons behind this deterioration in quality could be summarized in the following points .

1- Lack of will trained permanent harvesting teams in most orchards and farms.

2- Insufficient grading and packing facilities.

3- Lack of pre - cooling facilities .

4- Lack of controlled atmosphere storage facilities.

                    5- Lack of well trained packing and grading teams.

6- Lack of proper containers for produce packing

ie. containers that are strong, stackable, easy to clean and reusable.

7- Lack of implementation of already present national quality

and grading standards.

8- The implemented price limitation for fruits and vegetables does not consider produce quality and grade.

9- Unawareness of cold storage managers of the proper storage requirements of the different commodities and possible losses due to physiological disorders during storage.

10- Insufficient processing factories for produce surplus or for low grade produce.

11- Lack of proper inland transportation facilities and regulations (uncovered trucks, over loading, transportation in non-refrigerated trucks, road nets are not always in good shape).

12- Lack of permanent export markets.

Recommendations

Governmental institutions related to the subject of postharvest should organize a concentrated extention campaign about proper aspects of harvesting, and packing of fruits and vegetables. All mass media should in one or the other way participate in this activity. Fielddays, meetings and seminars

should be part of the campaign. The program should aim for solving problems of premature harvesting (lemons, grapes, early season apples), overfilling and facing-off the containers, and selection of proper reusable containers. In addition the program should point out the benefits of packing the produce according to the already present but not implemented national standards for grading and packing fruits and vegetables.

Governmental institutions such as the Agricultural Marketing Organization (AMO), or even the private sector should be encouraged to establish pre - cooling packaging and storage facilities in the major production centers.

A reconsideration of the present price limitation policy should ensure that the higher price limits are given only to high quality produce to encourage growers who are really willing to deliver properly graded, packed and labelled produce.

In case of bananas, the already implemented fixed price should be reconsidered and price determination should be achieved through the demand and supply and quality of the produce. Such a policy will encourage both growers and ripening house managers to adopt the proper technologies in respect to cultivar selction, harvesting , handling and forced ripening, with the final goal to offer the consumer a high quality produce instead of the present low quality produce which is sold for relatively high price.

The road nets in the major production areas should be given more attention in respect to quality and maintenance to reduce vibration damage and to reduce the risk of subjecting the produce to dust.

Efforts of the government in respect of exploring new export markets should be continued to solve the problem of produce surplus and the private sector should be encouraged to participate in finding solutions for the production surplus. This can be achieved through involvement in the field of processing and storage ( e.g controlled atmosphere storage ).

The fact that some Jordanian growers and exporters are successfully exporting locally produced fruits and vegetables to EC markets indicate the ability of jordanian growers to adopt the proper postharvest technologies and to meet the demands of importers in EC countries.

References

1- Department of Statistics. Annual Agricultural Statistics 1990 - 1993. Amman - Jordan.

2- Agricultural Marketing Organization. Annual Report 1991-1993. Amman - Jordan.

3- Jordanian national standards for fresh fruits and vegetables and their containers. AMO.

4- Agribusiness investment opportunities in the Hashimite kingdom of Jordan. Project Survey Report. ASAC. International - May, 1990.

5- Production, postharvest and marketing constraints. Study of European Markets for Jordanian fruits and vegetables. SRD. Research Group Inc. May, 1990. AMO.

6- Transport constraints and options report. Transport development recommendations. SRD Research Group Inc. May, 1990. AMO.

7- Principals and practice of fresh produce packaging. Sigma One Corporation 1990. AMO.

8- Seminar on transportation means of Jordanian fruit and vegetable exports. June 30, 1990. AMO.

Annex (1)

Table 1: Production of major fruit crops in Jordan 1990 - 1993 (Thousand Ton).

Commodity

Year

Avarage

 

1990

1991

1992

1993

 
Citrus

154.1

151.9

160.2

106.7

143.2

Olive

69.6

40.5

81.8

31.8

54.4

Grapes

45.7

39.1

50.1

35.2

42.5

Bananas

18.9

26.3

11.4

30.3

21.7

Apples

6.7

6.6

18.7

17.5

12.4

Peaches/

Nectarines

4.1

5.3

5.5

5.6

5.1

Plums

1.5

1.8

2.9

1.8

2.0

Apricots

0.7

1.1

1.6

1.3

1.2

Table 2: Jordan fruit exports 1991 -1994 (Tons).

Commodity

Year

 

1991

1992

1993

1994

Citrus

62041

56083

78560

81740

Bananas

1487

-

-

-

Olive

168

548

387

446

Grapes

516

882

1225

1290

Table 3: Production of major vegetable crops in Jordan 1990 - 1993 (Tousand Ton).

Commodity

Year

Average

 

1990

1991

1992

1993

 
Tomato

377

276

490

331

369

Potato

90

62

49

79

68

Sweet Melon

50

77

68

47

60

Eggplant

59

61

49

34

51

Cucumber

54

55

33

45

47

Squash

35

26

32

16

27

Sugar Melon

31

17

22

17

22

Cauliflower

26

23

19

17

21

Onions (dry)

11

12

15

29

17

Cabbage

18

18

12

11

15

Pepper (sweet)

10

8

10

8

9

Pepper (hot)

12

7

9

7

8

Beans

11

7

9

6

8

Carrots

2

7

6

5

5

Spinach

1.5

6

2.5

1.4

2.8

Table 4: Jordan vegetable exports 1991 - 1994 (Tons).

Commodity

Year

 

1991

1992

1993

1994

Eggplant

27718

17146

15055

14413

Tomato

159014

200001

153698

120000

Potato

4329

2779

3721

-

Cucumber

24728

31412

17827

23716

Pepper

12549

16444

13059

11274

Squash

11074

11325

11600

10181

Cauliflower

5414

8644

9504

9608

Cabbage

3054

5400

5414

4374

Beans

5047

6113

5385

4544

Lettuce

3744

8454

10598

9770

Sweet Melon

2231

13419

9974

12954

Sugar Melon

3036

5131

3108

5499

Onions (dry)

3492

402

-

-

Table 5: Processed tomatoes and produced tomato paste in Jordan 1991 - 1994 (Figures in Tons).

Year

Fresh Tomatoes

Tomato Paste

1991

14661

1867

1992

125962

15281

1993

68519

8827

1994

40762

5818