Postharvest Waste is a Serious Problem in Developing Countries

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  • 1 Department of Agricultural Science, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL 36088

Postharvest waste constitutes major problems in developing countries and usually results in significant waste of produce valued in the millions of dollars. Lack of disease control, proper fertilization, irrigation and improper cultural practices during the growing season followed by faulty handling methods during and after harvest are different factors contributing to poor quality, short shelf-life, and fast deterioration of the produce. In spite of the utilization of advanced technologies, postharvest loss in developing nations may range from 20% to 80%, depending on the commodity and the producing country. Due to the magnitude of the problem, serious efforts must be directed to improve production and reduce postharvest waste in nonindustrialized nations.

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