Introduction of plastic crates to vegetable wholesalers in major economic centers in Sri Lanka: why do people refuse it?

C.A.K. Dissanayake, W.M.C.B. Wasala, C.R. Gunawardhane, R.M.N.A. Wijewardhane, M.M. Herath, C.K. Beneragama
The postharvest loss of vegetable is between 30 and 40% in Sri Lanka and is valued for about LKR 13,600 million annually. As a result, extreme price fluctuations and unexpected swings in food prices greatly endanger the food security of the country. Postharvest losses mainly occur due to incorrect packaging methods. The use of rigid containers such as plastic crates, wooden boxes and fiber board boxes has the ability to minimize serious damage occurring in fresh fruits and vegetables during handling and transportation. Therefore, as a national policy, plastic crates were introduced into the marketing system by the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Cooperatives of the Sri Lankan Government in order to minimize the postharvest losses, though it was a failure. The purpose of this study was to find out the reasons for neglecting the use of plastic crates by vegetable wholesalers in major economic centers in Sri Lanka, during vegetable transportation. Data were collected from 60 different vegetable wholesalers through a semi-structured questionnaire which was administered as interviews at major economic centers in Sri Lanka. Of the sample surveyed, 75% of the respondents have completed primary education, 20% have completed secondary education and 5% completed tertiary education. The results revealed that the majority of the respondents (~90%) use poly-sack bags and wooden boxes to transport vegetables, but not plastic crates. However, majority of the respondents agreed that high quality vegetables can be supplied if they use plastic crates for vegetable transportation. Low packing capacity of plastic crates, low loading capacity of lorries and additional transport cost incurred were the main reasons for neglecting plastic crates by the vegetable wholesalers in major economic centers in Sri Lanka. The respondents were not willing to use plastic crates mostly due to practical problems.
Dissanayake, C.A.K., Wasala, W.M.C.B., Gunawardhane, C.R., Wijewardhane, R.M.N.A., Herath, M.M. and Beneragama, C.K. (2020). Introduction of plastic crates to vegetable wholesalers in major economic centers in Sri Lanka: why do people refuse it?. Acta Hortic. 1278, 151-156
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1278.23
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1278.23
containers, economic centers, perishable vegetables, postharvest losses, wholesalers
English

Acta Horticulturae