Scope of Fruits & vegetables supply chain in India
November 22, 2017
There is a colossal waste during the post-harvest storage and handling due to improper bagging without crating, lack of temperature controlled vehicles, no cold chain facilities for preserving the produce, coupled with significant processing of the agricultural produce resulting in enormous losses to the nation. Given the characteristics of fruits and vegetables such as perishability, seasonality, bulkiness and delicate nature of the products coupled with inadequate storage and transport facilities, the supply chain can be made efficient by reducing the length of the chain improving cold chain facilities. The supply chain management in vegetables has to be improved in all the stages of the supply by adopting global best practices in storage, packaging, handling, transportation, value added service etc. And also by disintermediation and participation of organized players i.e., modern supply chain with a view to benefit both farmers as well as ultimate consumers. Several initiatives can be taken by the Indian government to solve the problems existing in the Indian food supply chain which includes allowing more organized retailers to enter into retail market, setting up of basic production factors, an optimal crop management system, developing a post-harvest infrastructure, entrepreneurial management and expertise and logistical infrastructure and finally by improving post-harvest operations related to handling, storage, and marketing of produce. All these initiatives will ensure consistency in supply and provide recorded and demonstrated traceability of products will benefit the farmers with good remunerative price and consumers with good quality produce and also will reduce the losses incurred due to poor post-harvest management and thereby ensuring adequate supply to the consumers. Creation of proper fruit and vegetable supply chain system will link together farmers, vegetable vendors, farmer’s self-help groups and women vegetable/fruits vendors ensuring the availability of quality produce at competitive price to consumers at a convenient time and place.