Drs. Robert Bezemer MTD
- integral safety
- occupational safety
- industrial safety
- risk management
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This project involves Dutch horticulture suppliers and knowledge institutes, and African local companies, coordinated by Holland Horti International. Innovative horticulture technologies should be made available to growers in Rwanda and South Africa. The challenge is to fit local conditions and make technologies available, affordable and accessible for local producers. Local greenhouses have been realized and training and support are being provided.
One objective is to improve the value chain. Loss of produce after harvesting is 30-40%, including subsequent deterioration. This leads to economic loss, often reflected in the price per kg (qualitative), or in the total volume (quantitative). In Rwanda we have evaluated the tomato value chain, recommended improvements and given training to local companies.
Harvesting can best be done early in the morning, at moderate temperatures. Tomatoes should be put and stored in crates/baskets under a large cover so as to provide shade.
Harvest loss: reduced from 30% to 15%. Costs: $33-150, based on experience elsewhere. Repayment period: 5 weeks.
This is a chamber with double, sand-filled brick walls and a protective roof. The sand in the cavity is kept saturated with water to permit evaporative cooling. Plastic crates in the chamber contain about 100 kg produce. This extends shelf life from 1 to 5-6 days.
Storage loss: reduced from 8% to 2%. Costs: about $300. Repayment period: 1,5 year. Additional benefit: better ability to deal with market price fluctuations.
Handling and transport easily damages tomatoes. Replacing the high wooden crates with lower plastic crates reduces bruising and improves ventilation. Plastic crates last much longer and are easier to clean. Efficient use of the crates in the chain minimizes the need to repack the tomatoes, if the crates are exchanged in the supply chain.
Bruising loss: reduced from 30-50% to 5%. Costs: about $90. Repayment period: 10 weeks.
The required closed loop for the crates elicits the need for co-operation between business partners (grower, trader, transport company, seller). Active managing, control and tracking & tracing system for the crates is required, supported by all business partners. This improves gains and promotes investment in better production and logistic facilities.