# Post harvest handling of tomato // Post Harvesting handling of Tomatoes are very important, it directly impact on the quality of fruit. It’s widely grown for their fruits. And the quality of fruit decrease during and after Harvest. And the low quality fruits are sold at very low prices in market. The grower cannot make good profit from low quality tomatoes fruit.
Good handling avoids deterioration of tomato
- Getting good quality tomatoes starts with the way thepicking is organised.
- Picking is an important and priority activity for tomato.
- When picking is done in a proper way at the right time, it avoids damage.
- After picking, tomatoes are stored in crates or baskets in the field and are moved to an aggregation centre for sorting and packaging.
- After this, tomatoes are transported to local markets or local factories.
How to handle tomatoes # Post harvest handling of tomato//
- Pick gently your tomatoes early morning when it is still cool without squeezing or damaging the fruit in the field.
- For immediate consumption or for immediate market, pick tomatoes when they are red.
- For a market at further distance, pick red tomatoes and those at turning stage.
- Gently place the harvested tomatoes into crates or baskets. Never throw them.
- Transport your tomatoes in reusable plastic crates from the field.
- If you are using raffia baskets, make sure you cover them with banana leaves or paper, to stop the rough edges damaging the tomatoes.
- Do not pile up the tomatoes too much otherwise the ones at the bottom will be squashed.
- Keep the tomatoes in the shade and do not drop the containers.
- Avoid any contact with the soil as this can contaminate the fruit with many types of soil borne diseases.
- Sort your tomatoes into different grades and remove any that are split or diseased.
- Don’t pack the tomatoes too loose or too tight. Shake the container gently as you fill it.
- Once filled, keep the containers in a cool dry place.
- Strap and secure them when putting on a vehicle.
- Transport late at night or early morning so that the temperatures are cooler.
- Good handling means a better profit.