Postharvest Management of Horticultural Crops in Nepal

D.M. Gautam1*,D.R. Bhattarai2 and U.K. Acharya3
1Professor Agriculture and Forestry University,
2&3Senior Scientist,Nepal Agriculture Research Council,NCRP,Dhankuta


In Nepal, postharvest loss of horticultural produce is about 15-35%.Losses occur during harvesting, handling, packaging, transportation, storage and retailing. Major causes of postharvest loss are inappropriate harvesting; harvesting at pre-mature and over mature stage; inappropriate handling, packaging, transportation during marketing and storage. Packaging containers are often not scientific and cause damage to the commodities during transportation.Losses during transportations are very high due to compression and vibrational damage. Most of the production areas do not have smooth road,damage to the commodities occur due to jerking during transportation..Moreover, production farms are small and scattered.Collection centers have been established in the production pockets mainly foor the vegetables where pack-house operations are not carried out properly.On- tree fruits are often bought by the middle men, which is later harvested and taken to the wholesale market with size based grading but without appropriate packaging. The damage occurred during harvesting are not seen immediately but later visible at destination.A modern packing house is necessary for fruits where pre-cooling, grading and packaging is done.Bulk of production should be enough to run packing house. In case of vegetable a small packhouse may solve the problem. If vegetables are to be exported to other nation they should be handled properly as per international standard.Producers could be organized to produce separately but marketing combined as a cooperative approach.In general cost of production is higher in Nepal compared to India and the products have to compete with Indian produce. Government should formulate policies and develop standard criteria for grading and certification for both domestic and international market. Fumigation or treatment plant is necessary to disinfest certified commodities to meet the international certification requirement. Suggestions have been made in this paper on how to manage horticultural produce in order to reduce postharvest loss, prolong shelf-life and promote marketing.

Keywords: Packing, packhouse,transportation,storage,commercial production

Published Year

Proceeding Volume 10