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COVID-19 outbreak lockdown and its impacts on marketing of horticultural produces in Zimbabwe
Published July 29, 2020
38-45.

Coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-2019) outbreak resulted to a global health problem. Lockdown was one of the common options suggested to curb the pandemic. Horticultural produces are perishable so delayed post-harvest marketing cause losses. This study aimed at evaluating the marketing of horticultural produces and farmers’ level of prepare...dness during the COVID-19 lockdown. A self-administered questionnaire was posted online from April 7 to May 7, 2020 the first month of COVID-19 lockdown in Zimbabwe (began on March 30, 2020). The study targeted horticultural farmers around Harare peri-urban and had 300 respondents. Data on sociodemographic, farmers’ behavior, awareness and attitude toward marketing and desire to minimize post-harvest losses was obtained. Frequency counts and percentages were determined. Chi-square tests on independent variables were done to test associations with demographics using SPSS version 8. There were significant (P<0.05) relations between awareness and attitude toward marketing, age and level of education. Demographic variable influenced the famers’ marketing behavior and attitude during COVID-19 lockdown. Most farmers reported highest (>35%) produce sale leftovers at the markets and spoilage during than prior the COVID-19 lockdown. The lockdown resulted to low sales and most farmers were unprepared for any crisis during the marketing stage of their production. The research contributed to an understanding of how a crisis situation influence marketing of horticultural produce and raises awareness regarding post-harvest losses. A qualitative study is recommended as a follow-up of this work.

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Prospects of mango fruit powder production at farm level and its utilisation during mango off-season in Ghana
Published July 27, 2022

Mango (Mangifera indica) is an important fruit served to customers as fresh-cut fruit, juice, ice cream and yogurts in many fruit juice joints, restaurants and hotels in Ghana. However, the crop’s highly seasonal and perishable nature is a challenge for food processors and farmers. Preservation of the fruit in dry particulate form ca...n serve as a substitute in off-seasons. The study sought to determine mango fruit powder production prospects at the farm level and explore its potential use as a substitute during the off-season. Farmer groups and food enterprises were therefore interviewed. The study showed that Keitt and Kent varieties were the most cultivated varieties because of market demand and high yield. However, an average annual fruit loss of 29.8% at the farm level was observed. Postharvest extension delivery service to farmers is inadequate, and where available, frequency of contact is irregular. A limited number of farmers received training in fruit processing; and few were engaged in transformational value addition activities but were willing to add value through processing into powder. Probit regression analysis showed that a unit increase in training would increase transformational farm level value addition into mango fruit powder by 22.9%. The majority of the food enterprises source fruits within Ghana while 79% experienced mango fruit shortage in the off-seasons. Only a few of the enterprises used mango fruit-based substitutes to serve customers in off-seasons. Probit regression analysis showed that a marginal increase in processors’ use of substitute significantly (p≤0.05) increased willingness to use mango fruit powder as a substitute by 47%. The study has revealed that local production of mango fruit powder could serve as a substitute to fill the seasonal gap in mango supply and also reduce post-harvest losses.

 

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Effect of Foliar Nutrition on Post-Harvest of Onion Seed under Sandy Soil and Saline Irrigation Water Conditions
Published March 3, 2013
85-92

Foliar application has been determined to be an effective nutrients delivery strategy in vegetable and fruits. The enhancement of vegetable and fruit yields affected by foliar nutrients application has been recognized in previously conducted studies with perennial tree crops. The efficiency of foliar nutrition is dependent on soil, climate, fer...tilizer and the amount of nitrogen used. There is no sufficient information concerning cooperation of foliar nutrition with all nutrients form as well as the rates of these nutrients fertilization in vegetable
and fruit crops. Two successive winter seasons of 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 were conducted under sandy soil conditions to study the effect of spraying with 12 commercial compounds on inflorescences diameter, flower stalk length, number of seed stem /plant, weight of 1000 seed, germination percentage, seed yield, moisture content, catalase , peroxidase activity and malondialdehyde content of onion seeds. The plants
sprayed with union Zn, union Mn, union feer, shams k, elga 600, boron, and amino x had the highest vegetative growth parameter, germination percent and enzyme activity. The plants sprayed with union Zn, union feer, shams K, magnesium, caboron, hummer and amino X had the highest seed yield ha-1. The seeds were stored for one year to study the effect of different commercial compounds and storage temperatures on germination, moisture content and change in antioxidant enzymes activities of onion seeds during the storage period. Storage at cold temperature showed higher germination percent, moisture content and lower malondialdehyde content than storage at room temperature. The treatment with union Zn, union feer, union Mn, boron, elga 600, caboron, amica, hummer and amino x had the highest germination percent.

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Foliar Nutrition and Post-Harvest of Onion Seed: Effects of storage temperatures, storage period and foliar nutrition
Published March 3, 2013
29-47.

The aim of onion bulb storage is to meet consumer demand for extended availability of onions whilst maintaining product quality. The principal biological factors leading to onion bulb deterioration are respiration, resumption of growth and pathogen attack. In onion bulbs a dormant period, when sprouting and rooting cannot be induced, is followe...d by a period of internal changes that prepare the bulb for breaking of dormancy and subsequent growth. Out of storage, the bulb then proceeds towards flowering and seed production. Two successive winter seasons of 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 were conducted under sandy soil conditions to study the effect of spraying with 12 commercial compounds on yield and yield components of onion seeds and storage The seed yield of each commercial compounds plot from previous experiment was divided into two groups, storage under room temperature and 5°C. Seeds transferred immediately after drying to Increasing Export Competition of Some Vegetable Crops Project Laboratory located in Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University. The effects of storage temperature, storage period and foliar with some commercial compounds on onion seed quality were considered. Storage in 5°C had the higher germination percentage than storage in room temperature. Results indicated that as storage period increased the germination percent decreased. The treatment with boron or amica in the first season had the highest germination percentage. While, the treatment with union Zn, union feer, union Mn, boron, elga 600, caboron, amica, hummer or amino X had the highest germination percentage in the second season. Storage in 5°C resulted in higher moisture content than storage in room temperature. Regarding the effect of storage period on moisture content, the water content was significantly increased with prolongation of storage period. The lowest values of water content were recorded for treatments with union feer, shams K or boron in the first season, and union feer, shams K, boron, magnesium, shetocare or hummer in the second one. Catalase activity was significantly decreased as storage period increased. The treatment with shams K, boron, shetocare or amino X had the highest catalase activity in both seasons. Peroxidase activity was significantly decreased as storage period increased. Foliar application with boron had the highest peroxidase activity in both seasons. Seed stored in room temperature had the higher malondialdehyde content than those stored in 5°C in the second season. The malondialdehyde content increased as storage period increased. The treatment with magnesium, caboron and the control in the first season, and the treatment with magnesium and the control in the second season had the highest malondialdehyde content.

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Seed protectant potential of Mitracarpus villosus and Phyllanthus fraternus extracts on germinative capability of stored food grains
Published December 19, 2019
7-10.

Seed storage is an essential post-harvest operation that decides the success of seeds viability and germination in next generation. The study explored Mitracarpus villosus and Phyllanthus fraternus extracts as bio-insecticides seed treatments on stored wheat and green gram seeds viability and germination. M. villosus ...and P. fraternus plants powder were sequentially extracted with solvents of increasing polarity (Petroleum ether, hexane, ethyl acetate, acetone, chloroform and methanol), concentrated and tested for insecticidal activity by fumigant toxicity. The extract which showed maximum activity, was selected for seed viability and germination test. Five replications each were made for the treatment and the control. The plant extracts strengthen the non-phytotoxic nature of plant products against seed viability and germination. Seeds treated with extracts (50-400 μg seed-1) did not lose their viability as it resulted in successful and normal germination within the range of 90 – 97.67% irrespective of the extracts concentration. While, seeds in control recorded 95.55 and 100% germination which were not significantly different (P>0.05) compared to the treated seeds. Based on findings from the study, potential exploitation of M. villosus and P. fraternus as food grains protectant in insect pest management strategies is recommended for the resource poor farmers. However, further investigations are suggested on biosafety and effects of the extracts on the organoleptic contents of the grains prior to consumption.

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Effects of Foliar Nutrition on Onion Seed Storage under Controlled Atmosphere
Published March 3, 2013
101-110.

Storage of fresh fruits and vegetables prolongs their usefulness. The principal goal of storage is to preserve the commodity in its most useable form for the consumer. The extension of storage life and the improvement of quality of fresh fruits and vegetables can be supplied by harvesting at proper maturity, control of post-harvest diseases, ch...emical treatments, refrigeration, controlled and modified atmospheres. Two successive winter seasons of 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 were conducted under sandy soil conditions to study the effect of spraying with 12 commercial compounds on onion seeds and storage under controlled atmosphere. The germination percentages were 85.50, 86.85, 83.75 and 82.15 for CA1, CA2, CA3 and CA4, respectively. Water content of onion seeds was significantly increased with decreasing storage temperature in all controlled atmospheres. Water content values were 4.48, 4.40, 4.55 and 4.54 for CA1, CA2, CA3 and CA4, respectively. There were significant decreases in water content with increasing exposure periods. The lowest water content was recordednfor the exposure periods of 120 and 240 days. Catalase and peroxidase activities were decreased with the decreasing of storage temperature, whereas malondialdehyde content was increased. The exposure for 120 days recorded the highest catalase activity. The highest value of peroxidase (11.72) was recorded for CA2. Peroxidase activity increased as exposure period increased until 120 days and then decreased. Cold storage temperature (5°C) showed the highest malondialdehyde content followed by room temperature. The CA2 showed the lowest malondialdehyde content compared with other controlled atmospheres. The exposure period of 120 days had the lowest malondialdehyde content.

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Effects of Foliar Nutrition on Onion Seed Storage under Modified Atmosphere Packages
Published March 3, 2013
93-100

Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and controlled atmosphere storage techniques to reduce the oxygen around the food are largely used for the preservation of fresh produce. There have been great technological advances in this area of preservation, particularly as it refers to improving the quality and shelf-stability of highly perishable food ...products, such as produce. Two successive winter seasons of 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 were conducted under sandy soil conditions to study the effect of spraying with 12 commercial compounds on onion seeds storage under modified atmosphere packages. Germination percent of seeds decreased in 5°C than storage in room temperature. Germination percent of seeds was gradually decreased with increasing the storage period. Packaging treatments had a significant effect on germination percent of seeds. All the packaging treatments had the higher germination percent than the paper package (control). The highest germination percent after 12 months of storage was recorded for the treatment with non perforated polypropylene in room temperature and polyethylene and non perforated polypropylene in 5°C. Catalase activity decreased with the prolongation of storage period. The non perforated polypropylene package had the highest catalase activity. The treatment with non perforated polypropylene had the highest catalase activity after 12 months of storage in both room and 5°C temperatures. Peroxidase activity of seeds was gradually decreased with increasing the storage period. The highest peroxidase activity after 12 months of storage was recorded in non perforated polypropylene in both storage temperatures.

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Effect of postharvest sodium benzoate treatment on some fruit parameters of two organic apple cultivars
Published July 29, 2020
35-37.

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of postharvest sodium-benzoate treatment on some fruit parameters of two organic apple cultivars (’Topaz’ and ’Florina’). Assessments were made at three times during storage: 17 November 2019, 20 December 2019 and 23 January, 2020. During every assessment dates, each fruit was observed... separately, and determined the proportion of i) healthy fruits (%), ii) post-harvest fruit rot diseases iii) fruits with mechanical injury (%), iv) fruit with russetting (%), v) damage of codling moth and vi) Ca-deficiency symptoms. In addition, fruit weight (g) was measured at each assessment date. Sodium benzoate reduced the fruit decay and the proportion of healthy fruit was higher in this treatment compared to water treated fruit. This effect could be seen in all assessment dates and on both cultivars. Effects on other parameters were various according to cultivar and assessment dates. Loss of fruit weight was similar in both treatments and cultivars compared to control treatment.

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Increasing the vitamin D level of oyster mushrooms by UV light
Published December 4, 2011
119-123.

Vitamin D is essential for the human body and mushrooms are one of the natural sources of it. Many research works are aimed at enhancing the vitamin D2 content of mushrooms with UV irradiation in order to increase their vitamin D2 level, by transforming their natural ergosterol content into vitamin D2. The subjects of most of these studies are ...different kind of post-harvest cultivated mushrooms. In our experiment biologically active, pre-harvest oyster mushrooms were treated in the growing room with UVB and UVC light. UVB and UVC lamps (operating on 312 and 254 nm) and 6 time periods of irradiation (15, 30, 45, 60, 75 and 90 min) were used. After three consecutive days of treatments the yield were measured and samples were taken for vitamin D2 and ergosterol analysis. Data showed considerable increase (from 0,67 μg/g to 3,68 μg/g, f.w.) in vitamin D2 levels at every time period in case of both wavelengths.

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Apricot fruit chilling injuries during the cold storage affected by harvest maturity
Published December 19, 2019
28-31.

The study aimed to find the effect of different maturity classes (up to the days after full blossom) on the post-harvest life of 3 different apricot varieties Gold Cot, Bergarouge and Flavor Cot in Hungary. The fruit harvested in a particular time 65, 75 and 85 days after full blossom and divided to three maturity classes (Class 1, 2 and 3, res...pectively). Fruit stored in cold storage for 7 days at temperature 1 °C. Fruits were investigated in regard to physical parameters (weight loss, fruit firmness and soluble solid content SSC) and chilling injuries. The results showed that the varieties followed different ways in regard to response to different maturity classes. The maturity class I for all the tested varieties recorded the lowest weight loss, while with the increasing maturity stage the weight loss percentage for all the varieties recoded high values. The firmness decreased with delayed harvesting for all the varieties. Data of the chilling injuries showed that all the fruits which harvested at maturity I, recorded the highest percentage of fruit with CI (chilling injuries) at 0 (48.5, 37.25 and 38.75%) and CI class I (44.75, 35.75 and 39.75%) for Bergarouge, Gold Cot, and Flavor Cot.

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Water relations of sour cherries (minireview)
Published September 19, 2007
103-107.

Recently, the sour cherries as food resources become more important for health preservation and so the modernization of growing technology in sour cherry production will be timely. The global warming and inadequate distribution of precipitation result a decrease in the alternancy of sour cherry production, as well. Sour cherries rather adapted ...to survival of drought than sweet cherry trees therefore a few studies performed to explore the water requirement of sour cherry varieties. The rootstocks, the type of soils in plantation and the water balance influence the water management of sour cherries. In orchards, in particular first year plantation, use of various row covering contribute to preservation of the natural water pool of soil and affect on the tree vigor, yield and fruit quality. Wide-spread application of integrated fruit growing technology and climate changes the researches are pointed to develop efficient irrigation technology based on transpiration yield model. The crop model based on use of meteorological data was developed for cherry orchards in order to predict transpiration of trees, dry matter production and fruit yield. The linear relationship between dry matter accumulation and transpiration was verified for sour cherry trees. Other models essay to asses the effects of climate changes on crop production. Importance of economical production and fruit quality such as ingredients of raw materials and food increases in intensive sour cherry orchards used by irrigation techniques. Because of climate changes it should more pay attention to research concerning on the stress physiological response of sour cherry varieties and post-harvest fruit quality.

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Water relations of apple and influence on fruit quality (minireview)
Published September 19, 2007
59-63.

The saving of soil water content and the improvement of adaptability of plants to periodical insufficient water and use of deficit irrigation technology become more important because of the occurrence of frequently dry periods. The water use efficiency of apples can be increased by the choice of appropriate rootstocks and determination of water... requirement of varieties that depend on their growing periods and climatic factors. Depletion of soil water resources need to develop efficient irrigation techniques for quality apple production. A new deficit irrigation strategy (PRD) has been developed that based on partial water supply of root-zone. This does not result a decrease in the sizes and yield of the fruit. The larger fruit size and lower firmness in frequently irrigated trees can result in excessive internal growth stresses that cause higher rate of fruit splitting. Many studies revealed the relationship between irrigation and yield quantity. Recent researches investigate the effects of irrigation on apple fruit quality particularly on the colouration and post-harvest quality. Use of cooling irrigation improves the development of coluour an apple fruit but its schedule can influence on the incomes. Aroma volatiles are responsible for odour and contribute to overall flavour of the fruit and its processed products. Deficit irrigation had only affects some volatile aroma but no the all of concentrations in apple fruit. In the future the high apple quality for consumers could be provided with improvement of transpiration-yield model based on the water requirement of varieties and economic irrigation schedules.

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The brown rot fungi of fruit crops (Monilinia spp.): III. Important features of disease management (Review paper)
Published November 15, 2004
31-49.

In the third part of this review, important features of disease management are summarised for brown rot fungi of fruit crops (Monilinia fructigena, Monilinia laxa, Monilinia fructicola and Monilia polystroma). Several methods of brown rot disease management practices were collected and interpreted in five main chapters. In the...se chapters, details are given about the legislative control measures, the cultural, physical, biological and chemical control methods. Chemical control is divided into two parts: pre-harvest and post-harvest chemical control. In addition, host resistance and fungicide resistance statuses are also included in this part of the review. Finally, future aspects of brown rot disease control are discussed.

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