Volume 2, December 2009

3. Post Harvest Handling Practices on Selected Local Fruits and Vegetables at Different Levels of the Distribution Chain

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Author(s): Azizah Osman, Nazamid Saari, Rosli Saleh, Jamilah Bakar, Noor Diana Zainal, and Masturina Yacob
Keywords: Post harvest handling practices, post harvest losses, distribution chains, fruits and vegetables

Abstract: Proper post harvest handling practices are important to reduce post harvest losses and improve overall harvest quality. However, inevitable post harvest losses occur during post harvest handling at different levels of the distribution chain. A survey was conducted at different levels of the distribution chain where 634 respondents were surveyed from various zones to identify post harvest handling activities that were practised, the potential post harvest activities that can be carried out, and the factors contributing to post harvest losses. The results showed that 27% of fruits and vegetables were sent directly to the wholesaler without any post harvest handling activities. The remaining was weighed (25%), packed (17%) and washed (10%). Among the post harvest handling activities, packaging (23.8%) had the highest potential of reducing post harvest losses. A majority of the farmers did not perform potential post harvest handling activities mainly because of insufficient knowledge. As for the four categories (knowledge, attitude, infrastructure and resources) identified contributing to post harvest losses, the results showed that 36.7% was due to insufficient knowledge of good handling practices, 50.3% due to inefficient/improper handling systems, 51.9% due to improper infrastructure and 38.8% due to insufficient funding.

4. Demand for Vegetables in Malaysia

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Author(s) :Tey Yeong Sheng, Mad Nasir Shamsudin, Alias Radam, Zainalabidin Mohamed, Jinap Selamat, and Abdul Ghariff Ramin
Keywords: Vegetable, multi-stage demand system, demand elasticity

Abstract: The Malaysian agro-food industry is increasingly market-driven. A closer look at consumer studies show that consumers are becoming more health-conscious and they are consuming more vegetables. This dynamism requires a scrutiny, particularly on the demand for vegetables at a disaggregated level. By using the Household Expenditure Survey 2004/05 data (one of the most comprehensive and well-designed surveys in Malaysia), demand elasticities for aggregated food, aggregated vegetables, and category-specific vegetables were estimated via a multi-stage demand system. The results suggest that while all of them are normal goods, consumer expenditure on fresh vegetables is poised to increase at a faster pace than processed vegetables, ceteris paribus. This, however, is uncertain because consumers are price elastic to changes in vegetable prices (except podded vegetables) since increasing demand will simply drive up prices if the inherent issues in vegetable production are not solved. Therefore, more investments in high-yielding, low-cost, and green technologies are ultimately needed.