Agri Business

Guava, apple, tomato suffer maximum post-harvest losses

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on August 03, 2021

The study was conducted by the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology

Fruits and vegetables grown in the country suffer maximum post-harvest losses during farm operations and storage channels, says a study conducted by the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET).

The overall loss for major fruits ranged from 6.7 per cent to 15.88 per cent. The overall loss was as high as 15.88 per cent in guava, 10.39 per cent in apple, 9.73 per cent in sapota, 9.69 per cent in citrus, and 9.16 per cent in mango.

For vegetables, the losses ranged from 4.58 per cent to 12.44 per cent. The loss stood at 12.44 per cent in tomato, 9.56 per cent in cauliflower, 9.37 per cent in cabbage, 8.20 per cent in onion, and 7.32 per cent in potato.

Replying to a query in the Lok Sabha on wastage of agriculture products, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Union Minister of State for Rural Development, and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, said the study — ‘Assessment of Quantitative Harvest and Post-Harvest Losses of Major Crops /Commodities in India’ – included the assessment of harvest and post-harvest losses of 45 crops and livestock. The produces included cereals, pulses, oilseeds, fruits, vegetables, plantation crops, spices, fish, eggs, poultry meat and milk.

The losses have been assessed in farm operations such as harvesting, collection, sorting, grading, drying, packaging and transport; and in storage channels such as farm, godown/ cold storage, wholesaler, retailer and processing units.

As per the study report, the harvest and post-harvest tosses of cereals ranged from 4.65 per cent to 5.99 per cent, and for pulses the losses ranged from 6.36 per cent to 8.41 per cent. The loss was at 5.53 per cent in paddy, 4.93 per cent in wheat, and 4.65 per cent in maize.

Sponsored by the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries, CIPHET conducted this study in 2013-14. No further study has been conducted to assess quantitative harvest and post-harvest losses of crops/commodities to compare the reduction of losses, the Minister said in the reply.


To a separate query on silos and warehouses, she said silos with a total capacity of 29.75 lakh tonnes (lt) have been awarded at various locations throughout the country. Of this, a capacity of 10.625 lt is complete, and the remaining is under various stages of development. Further, a high-level committee meeting on July 16 has recommended developing a capacity of 108.375 lt under the hub and spoke mode in 249 locations across the country.

She said warehouses owned/hired by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) are used to store wheat, rice and paddy and are not product-specific.

To another query on surplus stock of wheat and rice, she said the surplus stocks from states are moved to deficit states to meet requirements under National Food Security Act, 2013 by FCI. The movement plan preparation criteria are the quantity available in surplus regions and quantity required by deficit regions; likely procurement of these commodities; vacant storage capacity both in consuming and procuring areas; and monthly allotment / off-take of foodgrains.

Irrigated land

To a question in Lok Sabha on the irrigated agricultural land in the country, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, said the percentage of net irrigated area to net area sown was at 49.9 per cent for 2017-18. Quoting the statistics, the reply mentioned that the net irrigated area in the country stood at 69.4 million hectares in 2017-18. This included canals, tanks, tube-wells, other wells, and other sources.

Sugar factories

To a query on the cooperative sugar factories, Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, replied in the Lok Sabha that the Government is encouraging sugar mills to divert excess sugarcane to ethanol which is blended with petrol as a long-term solution to deal with the problem of excess sugar. This serves as a green fuel and saves foreign exchange on account of crude oil import.

He said the revenue generated from the sale of ethanol by mills helps sugar mills clear cane price dues of farmers. Around ₹22,000 crore revenue was generated by sugar mills/distilleries from the sale of ethanol to oil marketing companies (OMCs) in the past three sugar seasons of 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20. Stating that this has helped in clearing cane price arrears of farmers, the Minister said around ₹15,000 crore revenue is likely to be generated by sugar mills from sale of ethanol to OMCs in the current ethanol supply year (December-November).

The Minister said that various measures initiated by the Government helped in bringing down the cane arrears for sugar seasons 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 to ₹193 crore, ₹403 crore and ₹142 crore, respectively, from peak arrears of about ₹23,000 crore to ₹28,000 crore.

Published on August 03, 2021

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