Assessment of postharvest loss for perishable produces from wholesalers to consumers : a case study of Et-fruit distribution company in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Economics

Abstract: This thesis underlines an assessment of the Postharvest loss conditions of selected fresh produces of Etfruit wholesalers and its impact on chain players in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Reducing Postharvest loss instead of increasing the volume of production can save scarce resources, ecofriendly and improve food security (Kader, 2004). The approach for conducting the study consists of semi-structured interview and observation techniques with detailed interviews of Etfruit-wholesalers and their close trade partners. Volume losses were estimated for each supply chain channel and fresh produce. Total food loss along supply chain channels for selected fresh produces is about 28% whereas 1% in consumers’ channel. Postharvest loss largely occurs in supply channels than consumer for fresh produces in developing countries (Fao, 2014). Lack of incentives against food loss given the initial supply curve (amount) resulted in a lower quantity, higher price, producer’s surplus, welfare disadvantage for consumers in fresh produces market. Moreover, failing to reduce food waste from consumption resulted in a higher quantity, welfare advantage for produces and higher price in the market. Therefore, lack of responsive action to reduce postharvest loss caused producers to be greatly affected players’ in the supply chain. There were hindrances which promote food loss in the supply chains; lack of cold chain system, inadequate packaging and heavy dependence on manual Labor. These problems can largely be reduced by implementing cold chain, refrigerated transport, plastic crates, locally viable technologies and persistent policies. In Ethiopia where traditional postharvest handling is the only choice, poorly harvested and packaged fresh produces loaded onto inadequate transport by means of manual labor. Valuation of postharvest losses of fresh produces at various phases of supply channels would benefit in pinpointing the causes for food losses. This also enables to develop proper measures required to reduce losses and to increase the accessibility of fresh produces. With postharvest concerns having been mostly overlooked, a firm indication starts from lack of common assessment method. Moreover, there have not been many researches on the impacts of food loss in developing countries. Therefore, there is an urgent need for further quantitative researches that provide accurate loss estimates. Unless deliberations on the potentials for reducing worldwide food loss will remains mostly rhetorical.

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