Major Issues in Supply Chain of Fruits and Vegetables

January 16, 2018

India’s Diverse climate ensure availability of all varieties of fresh fruits & vegetables. It ranks second in fruits and vegetables production in the world. India’s fruits, vegetable production in 2016-17 seen marginally higher at 287 million tones. A large variety of F&V are grown in India like Banana, Mango, Apple, Papaya, Sapota, Citrus, Pine Apple, Grapes & Guava etc. in Fruits and Potato, Tomato, Onion, Brinjal etc. in Vegetables. India has the potential to be the world’s largest Fruit & Vegetable producer which is bestowed with one of the best natural resources in the world and several factors like Increasing urbanization, nuclear families, working women, disposable income and changing lifestyles are gearing up the Indian food supply chains for a better future. Organized retail and Private label penetration, demand for functional food, and increased spend on health food are major drivers for the growth of this sector .

India has a huge opportunity to become a leading global fruit & vegetable supplier if only it has an agile, adaptive, responsive and efficient supply chain. Some of the problems that are to be mentioned in Indian fruit & vegetable supply chain are the presence of numerous stake holders which are working in isolation and the infrastructure connecting these partners is very weak.

There is lack of demand estimation and technology applications such as cold chain logistic supply chains and product tracking and tracing. It is said that less than 4% of India’s fresh produce is transported by cold chain, compared to more than 90% in the UK. Lack system integration and presence of large number of unorganized retailers result in making unorganized supply chain practices further inefficient. Despite India being the world’s second largest producer of fruits and vegetables, about 40 to 50 per cent of the total output valued of $440 billion ends up being wasted.

Here is below eight major Issues in supply chain of Fruits and Vegetables:

1.ColdChainManagement issues

There are various issues related to cold chain in India, such as lack of cold chain facilities, inadequate capacity of cold chain, lack of cold chain network. Due to this concern it has become difficult for the farmers and businessman to do their business effectively and get proper remuneration for their produce.

2.Infrastructure issues

Supply chain infrastructure plays an important role in the F&V sector. Proper and adequate infrastructure helps farmers and agri businessman to run their business successfully and helps to deliver the goods in the right time with right condition. In India, Infrastructure in the main impediment in the supply chain of agricultural products which leads to high amount of losses.

3.Packaging issues

Packaging is very important for F&V as they are highly perishable goods and it needs proper packaging for the handling of these fresh produce. Without proper packaging it is very difficult to maintain their shelf life. Cost is very important factor for this issue. High cost of packaging material makes difficult for the farmers to do proper packaging of their goods.

4.Technological issues

The technology is surrounded by many technical issues, such as advancement issues, inefficient technology, obsolete techniques, and old machineries. Due to these concerns it has become difficult for the farmers and agri businessman to use an appropriate technologies and techniques to reduce the post-harvest losses and time in operational activities.

5. Farmer’s Knowledge and Awareness

Farmer’s in India have very poor knowledge regarding the use of latest technologies, techniques etc. to work effective and efficient. They have very poor knowledge regarding the management of post-harvest produce, quality of seed etc. Without proper knowledge and awareness level of the farmer the supply chain of F&V cannot be efficient, because farmers are the main source of the fresh agri produce.

6. Quality issues

Quality is a very important factor in food industry/sector, because it directly relates to the health of the people. It is very important for supply chain to deliver the fresh goods in a timely manner and in a proper quality to the customer. Proper supply chain helps to maintains the shelf life of produce and prevent from deteriorating the quality. Quality has a strong impact on the supply chain, so it leads to efficiency and less rejection by the customer. In India, there is a lack of quality standards to meet international quality for export, Poor hygiene and safety standards, high quality degradation etc.

7.Financial issues

Income of farmers is very low in the state. They don’t get proper income for their agricultural produce and maximum amount of share eat up by the intermediaries. There are lack of transparencies in pricing at all Mandis in India due to which farmer don’t get right prices for their efforts and fresh produce.

8.Transportation issues

Transportation plays a very important role in the supply chain. Without proper transportation the goods can’t be delivered to the customer in a right time and in a right quality. It plays even a more important role in Perishable food like Fruits and Vegetables because of short shelf life, high perishable, required controlled temperature. Transportation related challenges are very high in the India because of unavailability of well transportation mode, high cost of transportation, lack of temperature controlled vehicle for the movement of goods etc.


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