Post-harvest losses in fruit supply chains : a case study of mango and avocado in Ethiopia

Detta är en Uppsats för yrkesexamina på avancerad nivå från SLU/Dept. of Economics

Sammanfattning: Food insecurity is a great problem worldwide and Ethiopia is one of the sub-saharan countries that are suffering from poverty and food insecurity and a large part of the population are living in a state of undernourishment. To reduce these problems, a successful horticulture production can be an important factor. Compared to other crops, fruit production in Ethiopia has not been a large part of the agricultural sector. However, the demand on the domestic market is increasing as well as the production for avocado and mango. To increase food security it is important to focus on ways to decrease post-harvest losses of food products and not only have the productivity of agriculture in focus. Food losses after harvest until the food reach the consumer are significant. According to FAO post-harvest losses in developing countries can range from 15 percent up to 50 percent. Avocado and mango are perishable products and therefore sensitive which leads to greater losses than for non-perishable crops. Losses occur in all post-harvest activities such as handling, storage, processing, packaging, transportation and marketing. The losses occur within the whole supply chain due to limited resources such as infrastructure, knowledge, and access to post-harvest technologies. One way to decrease post-harvest losses can be an efficient supply chain management. The aim of this study is to explore the supply chains and post-harvest losses for mango and avocado in Ethiopia. In order to fulfill the aim a case study was performed of the supply chains for avocado and mango. 30 semi-structured interviews in each supply chain were conducted with actors in; the capital Addis Ababa, Yirga Alem, Wondo Genet and Baco areas. The emperical information was anlyzed using a theoretical framework regarding value chain analysis in developing countries. The framework consists of value chain constraints, value chain analysis and value chain upgrading. Literature regarding fruit supply chains in Ethiopia, handling of avocado and mango and post-harvest losses were also used to analyze the results. The actors found in the supply chains for avocado and mango are; farmers, brokers, wholesalers, retailers, restaurants and consumers. The only formal horizontal relationship found is an avocado farmers’ association. No value adding activities take place on the farmers, brokers or wholesale level. Two retailers and all restaurants sell avocado and mango juice as a value added products. The governance forms are mainly spot-market relationships and hybrid forms of governance. Contracts and agreements are used in the chains but are foremost of informal character. The largest losses of avocado and mango in the supply chains occur during; harvest, transport and storage. These losses can mainly be decreased by implementing; cold chain, improved varieties that are grafted, new harvesting tools where the fruit is collected in a small bag and increased usage of plastic and wooden boxes. To upgrade the supply chains for mango and avocado the actors desire; more trading partners, improved organization and conditions both at local markets and at the central market. To upgrade the horizontal relationships in the supply chains formation of farmers’ cooperative or association or other forms of collaboration are suggested Juice processing are suggested as a way to add more value to the products. Grading system and quality standard are systems that can be implemented in order to increase the quality of mango and avocado and to lower the post-harvest losses in the chains. More formal contracts should be implemented to lower the uncertainty in the chains. Price information is flowing through the chain but do not reach all actors and the information flow between the actors need to be improved.

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