If fruits and vegetables are not adequately harvested, transported, and distributed, there will be a significant economic loss. If the post-harvest losses are lessened, there will be less reliance on importing essential insecticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals, resulting in significant foreign exchange savings. According to predictions, fewer than 25% of post-harvest transportation in India will be handled properly, resulting in a total loss of fruits and vegetables.
In nations like Malaysia and India, as well as the knowledge of managing post-harvest and fruit and vegetable loss, the relevance of the reduction in the loss of post-harvest fruits and vegetables has considerable importance.
Because of the mechanical, physical, physiological, and hygienic settings, several factors might affect post-harvest losses. Fruits and vegetables are known for having a short shelf life and metabolic solid activity. Thanks to the most recent research, vegetables and fruits now have a longer shelf life.
Harvesting of tomatoes.
This is a crucial process determining the produce's quality and storage life. Harvesting also aids in preventing significant fruit loss. Fruit should be picked when it is at its peak of maturity. A very high standard of field hygiene must be preserved during harvest activities. This must be done carefully and immediately without damaging the fruits. The process of harvesting entails the following:
Different tools would be utilized to harvest the food depending on the sorts of fruits and vegetables. Knives and picking shears, either pole-mounted or handheld, are the most often used instruments for harvesting fruits and vegetables. Sometimes it would not be easy to catch the fruits and vegetables. Thus, a cushion-like material would be kept around the tree to protect it from fruit damage when it fell from a high or tall tree.
Harvesting bags will be utilized for fruits like avocados and citrus with firm skins. These bags should be designed to be worn around the waist or on the shoulder. It would be easy to hold these fruits, and you could keep your hands free. Without ripping the bag, the contents can be transferred from the bottom of the bag into a container. The plastic buckets would be better suited for harvesting containers for fruit that can be readily crushed, such as tomatoes. The product must be protected from damage by these containers. Hence they must be remarkably smooth and free of any sharp edges. Commercial farmers will deposit products like apples in bulk bins with a capacity of 200 to 500 kg, and these bins will be delivered to large-scale packing houses for selection, packing, and grading.
Berries taken for the market are mechanically harvested and typically packed in shipping containers for transportation. Careful harvesting, handling, and transportation are required to send fruits and vegetables to packaging houses. These are crucial for maintaining the product's quality.
Polythene bags: Banana bunches are packaged in polyethylene bags, and they are transported to the packing facility using mechanical cableways that traverse through a banana plantation. The methods utilized for banana packing and shipping will lessen fruit damage from careless handling.
Plastic field boxes: Polyvinyl chloride and polyethylene are typically used to make these boxes. This is because they are strong and will survive for many years. The design of several of them allows them to live inside one another, be emptied out to provide transportation, and live on top of one another without being crushed when the fruit is whole.
Wooden field boxes: Field boxes tied together with wire and composed of thin pieces of wood. There will be two sizes of these boxes. One is the bushel, which has a volume of 2200 cubic meters, while the other is the half-bushel box. They are advantageous since they are inexpensive and can be used for flat packaging. As a result, they cannot be returned. The drawback is that the fruit receives less protection during shipping. The capacities of the wooden boxes will vary, and they will be rigid. These are most frequently used to deliver produce to markets or packing facilities.
Bulk bins: Used to harvest fresh fruits and vegetables, bulk bins can hold up to 500 kilos of material. Regarding the number of fruits transported per unit of volume, their longevity, and their capacity to provide the product with adequate protection during transportation to the packinghouse, these bulk bins are more cost-effective than the ones used in the fields. These boxes are constructed of plastic and wood.
These containers measure 50 by 38 inches in the United States and 140 x 120 centimeters in nations that use the metric system. The sort of fruit and vegetable brought to the market will determine the bulk bins' approximate depth.
Harvest indicators: Although the quality of fruits and vegetables wouldn't change, they may be presented at the ideal state of development. Immature fruits will produce inferior products when they are picked.
Fruits and vegetables must occasionally be collected at a mature stage, but before they ripen if exporting the produce to marketplaces in remote areas is necessary to achieve a reasonable price. This would be challenging since the line separating the premature and mature stages is quite difficult to detect regardless of the ripening state. The firmness and color would not alter significantly, and the harvest indices would become arbitrary.
Numerous fruits and vegetables are harvested.
Cut the banana's stem halfway through using a hatchet, then remove the banana's trunk.
The injury can be averted because the bunch won't drop to the ground. The peduncle will be served once the bunch has been held.
Around 25 cm of the stalk should be left to make handling easier.
The harvest should be carried out as much by hand as feasible. The fruits will be sharply twisted either to the side or upward.
The pedicel is trimmed and made extremely short to avoid piercing other fruits. The mango harvester will gather the fruit that is on the tallest branches.
Climbing trees is how coconuts are harvested in India. The climber will use a ladder. He will use a rope ring and tie it around his feet after ascending the ladder to the summit to climb the tree. He will gather the mature nuts once he reaches the crown.
In Sri Lanka, coconuts are harvested directly from the ground using a knife fastened to a long bamboo pole.
The monkeys will be trained for harvesting in Malaysia and Thailand.
Areca nuts are harvested by using a ladder and rope ring while climbing. When the climber reaches the summit, he will cut the matured bunch with a knife.
Read Cultivation of Areca nuts.
The sapotas that have reached full maturity are gathered by twisting each individually and using the stalk as-is. There is no brushing involved in the collection process.
Dapoli, the original sapota harvester, must be used to prevent losses that happen during post-harvest.
Papayas are harvested by twisting the small trees. Harvesting can be done without the use of any mechanical assistance.
For cutting down tall trees, ladders will be required more frequently. Poles shouldn't be used to gather anything. Before becoming anxious, the peduncle should be trimmed.
Cutting can be accomplished using a sickle or a twisted tool if the jackfruit is within reach. Using a rope fastened to the tall tree peduncle, sack placement on the fruit is accomplished.
The fruit would be carefully lowered to the ground after cutting.
The fruit will temporarily be placed on the peduncle to allow the latex to flow and solidify.
The cashew nut harvest and collection take place over about 12 weeks. Apple will not be harvested, fruits should not be let to fall to the ground, and nuts are only collected during the first six weeks. Most of the cashew nuts will eventually be gathered in the trees. The cashew nuts will be dug up once more at the end of the growing season.
Take a look at the Cashew Nut Farming Project Report.
From November to March, different regions of the nation harvest ber. In South India, the harvest will be completed earlier than in North India. The harvest season runs from February to April in the North of India. Fruit should be picked as soon as it reaches ripeness.
The use of hand-pulling is carried out.
With a ladder, it is possible to access the high branches. A basket is used to collect the fruits.
When the fruits are ready for harvest, which takes about ten weeks, picking is done twice a week.
When grapes are fully matured, the harvest is over. The clusters already on the vine should be chopped off with a knife at harvesting, close to where it is attached to the cane. The stem should be in charge of managing the cluster.
When the pomegranates reach the appropriate degree of ripeness, they are hand harvested.
When the tree grows tall in India, fruit pickers will be used to manually collect the fruits by climbing the ladder while toting a bag for collecting. In the United States of America, harvesting is primarily carried out mechanically in the processing business.
When harvesting a pineapple, use a sharp knife that makes a clean cut through the fruit's stem while leaving at least 5 cm of stalk attached.
Depending on the blossoming time, the custard apple harvest can be extended from September to November. Custard apples are harvested using a laborious process.
A knife is frequently used to cut the heads of cabbage, which are bound together by wrapping leaves.
Using a knife, the curds will be separated from the stalk. Large leaves are pruned back until only enough jacket leaves are left to cover the curd.
The brinjal plant is cut from the plant to harvest it using pruning shears or a sharp knife. The fleshy calyx and a portion of the stalk will still be attached to the brinjal.
When the carrots are only partially formed, they will be removed from the market. They are harvested with a spade and when the soil has sufficient moisture. The roots are trimmed and washed before shipping the carrots to the market.
Onion: Harvesting onions.
Manual labor is used to lift the bulbs, clean them, and tie the tops of the leaves. Bulbs can dry for seven days while being kept in the shade.