Post Harvest Losses

Post Harvest Losses

Massive agricultural produce losses and wastage lead to unreliable farmer income and weak food security

The FAO puts the fruits and vegetables wastage figure at 40%. Main causes are inadequate logistical support like lack of cold storage, supply chain bottlenecks, poor transport and unreliable marketing channels. As sales get affected, farmer income takes a hit. What they need is the ability to hold onto their produce to be sold at a better price at the market later and discourage hasty sales. Current cold storages are centralised and massive, thus do not cater to marginal and remote farmers. Can decentralized and small-scale cold storage units help here?

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"Currently, a small-scale cold storage unit can maximum have 2 cooling chambers of different temperatures. Users often store multiple commodities giving rise to the need for multi-chamber units."

Decentralized cold storage units ranging from 5MT to 30 MT have great promise to be of use for farmers to store small quantities of produce, withdraw whenever they want and are more affordable.

"When the cooling is faulty or not operating effectively, there aren't any strong indications of the malfunction. So we only find out after we go and see it. The last time it happened, it resulted in a huge loss."

Mr. Anand, owner of a 5 MT cold storage facility in rural Dharwad remarks. Upkeep and maintenance of cold storage units is tricky as much of it depends on how the consumers use it. Additionally, many also report that produce gets spoiled very quickly once removed from the cooling chamber, this gives rise to either an ambient temperature mechanism or an additional mobile cold chain service.

Problem Statement:

Problem Statement:

 How might we ensure the best possible use of a cold storage unit with minimum wastage of foods while increasing revenue for farmers?

Varying temperature chambers to keep different commodities

Build strong and reliant market linkages to ensure sales while avoiding wastage

Spoilage of commodities due to heat shock

Build capacity and training for local people for maintaining cold storage units

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