Mkulima today several farmers suffer losses as a result of post-harvest losses. Today we cover tomatoes harvesting and storage tips. Several farmers cannot do value addition. This is as a result of either their low production or as a result of the high capital intensity required for the establishment of value addition facilities. These significant challenges lead to high losses when they cannot access a ready market after harvesting.
Harvest tomatoes at the mature-green stage and ripened in transit or in storage before they are marketed.
After picking, store the tomatoes in a shady place either in the field or at home to prepare them for the market.
Cool to reduce high field temperatures and to aid greatly in maintaining quality and substantially lengthen the shelf-life of tomatoes.
Properly sort and grade fruits according to size, color, or weight to attract a better market price. Remove the damaged, rotten, and cracked fruits.
Separate tomatoes with surface injury from sound fruit and discard before decay can spread.
The storage life of tomatoes depends on the maturity stage at which they are harvested and on the desired quality of fruits.
Pack the tomatoes either in 20kg wooden boxes, bamboo baskets, or plastic boxes to protect fruits from injury.
For local markets, pack the fruits in wooden or plastic crates. The packing should be rigid enough to protect the fruit from being crushed.
Stack the plastic crates on the other as the contoured rim keeps the product safe and allows sufficient air circulation.
Tomatoes are highly perishable in nature hence quick means of transportation are necessary.
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