03.04.2013

Technologies for resource-poor vegetable growers are available, and AVRDC continues to develop and improve recommendations for growers in urban, peri-urban and rural environments.

The first step to deliver a good-quality crop to the market is to harvest at the optimum stage of maturity. Leafy vegetables should be harvested when they reach full size and before they start losing color and becoming fibrous. Tomato is ready to harvest when its fruit is physiologically mature – that is, when the pink or red color first becomes noticeable on the fruit. Vegetables destined for the market should be graded to remove damaged or diseased material (which will also reduce spoilage) and packed into uniform lots so that they are attractive to consumers and fetch a higher price.

A simple way to reduce post-harvest losses is to harvest before temperatures are high, such as in the early morning or late afternoon, and to keep produce in the shade once it has been harvested.