Horticultural postharvest loss in municipal fruit and vegetable markets in Samoa

Underhill, Steven J. R. and Zhou, Yuchan and Sherzad, Shukrullah and Singh-Peterson, Lila ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6095-9569 and Tagoai, Semua Militini (2017) Horticultural postharvest loss in municipal fruit and vegetable markets in Samoa. Food Security: the science, sociology and economics of food production and access to food, 9 (6). pp. 1373-1383. ISSN 1876-4517


Reducing horticultural postharvest loss is a priority in Samoa, due to declining agricultural productivity and wider dietary-based health concerns within the human population. Efforts to remediate loss is currently impeded by little information about the current levels of horticultural loss in Samoa or the factors contributing to this loss. In this study we quantified commercial postharvest loss of 23 horticultural crops at the Fugalei central municipal market on the Island of Upolu, Samoa, using direct weighing. Mean postharvest loss was further determined in all six municipal, community and private fruit and vegetable markets on the Samoan Islands of Upolu and Savai’i using vendor and farmer-trader surveys. Postharvest horticultural loss in the Fugalei municipal market was 6.2% (determined by weight) and 13.3% (based on vendor recall). There was no significant difference between mean postharvest loss in fruits compared to vegetables. The highest level of daily postharvest loss (5% to 22%) was observed for soursop, papaya, Tahitian lime, mustard cabbage and choko. Negligible loss (<1%) was observed in limes, vi (Spondias dulcis), eggplant, long bean, soa’a (plantains), lemon, cherry tomato, cucumber, pumpkin and ginger. The level of postharvest loss varied across the municipal, village and road-side markets surveyed, with higher losses in non-urban markets. There was no difference in the level of postharvest loss between any of the three urban markets in the Apia region. With most horticultural production located less than 20 km from the municipal market and little evidence of in-transit damage, transport logistics were unlikely to be an important contributor to loss. We believe low or sporadic consumer purchasing behaviour resulting in protracted market storage at high tropical ambient temperatures was the central contributor to observed losses. The potential importance of low consumer purchasing activity and the proportion of commercial vendor to transient farmer-trader in each of the markets is discussed in terms of being possible contributing factors to the resulting levels of postharvest loss and market variability.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2022 03:06
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2022 03:00
Uncontrolled Keywords: Food security; Postharvest loss; Food waste; Municipal market; Samoa; Pacific; Horticulture
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0706 Horticultural Production > 070605 Post Harvest Horticultural Technologies (incl. Transportation and Storage)
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development
Fields of Research (2020): 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4404 Development studies > 440407 Socio-economic development
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3008 Horticultural production > 300806 Post harvest horticultural technologies (incl. transportation and storage)
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300210 Sustainable agricultural development
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8202 Horticultural Crops > 820215 Vegetables
C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9403 International Relations > 940302 International Aid and Development
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 26 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 2605 Horticultural crops > 260599 Horticultural crops not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-017-0734-7
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/46803

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