The study was conducted to identify determinants of losses during pre-harvest and postharvest activities of fruits and their extent at producer`s level in Northwestern Ethiopia where tomato, papaya, avocado, banana and mango were used as fruit samples. Questionnaires were used to collect data from 180 randomly selected respondents of six districts (FinoteSelam, BurieZuria, Bahir Dar, Bahir Dar Zuria, Dangla and Farta). Descriptive statistics and multiple regressions analysis were used to identify determinant factors. The results of the findings revealed that the total fruit loss was estimated to be 44.8% where about 20.7% of the fruits were lost due to improper activities in the pre-harvest stages while about 24.1% loss was due to improper activities during post-harvest stages. The shares of pre-harvest and postharvest losses to the total fruit loss were about 46.2% and 53.8%, respectively. Income sources, use of pesticide, and use of compost or manure during production were the determinant factors that influenced fruit losses during pre-harvest while experience and educational levels of producers in fruit production and shortage of labor were the determinant factors of fruit losses during harvesting. Moreover, chemical treatments of fruits before storage and educational levels of the producers were the determinants that influenced fruit losses in producer`s storage while experiences of the fruit producers, distance to market and educational levels were the significant factors of fruit losses during marketing. Further researches and trainings of producers about use of pre- and post-harvest technologies that minimize losses at the value chain of fruits are vital.
This survey is one the few researches that has estimated fruit loss and identified the major factors responsible for loss. The research paper contribution is finding that about 44.8 percent fruit is lost and use of pre- and post-harvest technologies as well as educating producers about fruit loss is vital.
Fruits, Pesticide use , Determinants, Postharvest loss, Transportation, Storage, Value chain.
This study received no specific financial support.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
All authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.