– Planting material
Shorter shelf-life varieties are more susceptible to post-harvest losses. Longer storage life is commonly found in varieties with thick peels, high hardness, low respiration rates, and low ethylene generation rates. After harvest, cultivars that can resist the rigors of marketing and distribution will suffer less losses. As a result, when cultivating horticulture crops, it is important to select types that have good quality and storage potential in addition to high yield and pest resistance.
Choosing cultivars with higher quality characteristics and that are in high demand. Planting materials that are clean, healthy, and of good quality. To extend the harvest period, grow off-season varieties of the same crop. Selecting cultivars that are well-suited to the climate, day length, soil, and growing circumstances. Choosing disease-free seed from a known cultivar and a trustworthy source.
Crops with larger yields, better storage quality, slower ripening and longer shelflife in ambient conditions, and better processing quality should be developed and commercially farmed. Fruit and vegetable quality varies from crop to crop, with pumpkin, garlic, and other items having good quality in relation to shelf life.
– Planting period
Plants are extremely sensitive to their surroundings. Thus, quality will suffer if the crop is grown under unfavorable conditions. Unless protection methods are followed, growing summer plants in the winter or vice versa will not be appropriate.
– Planting density
It has an impact on the quantity as well as the quality of the produce. Planting in a dense manner increases plant competition, limits light availability, and hence affects quantity. Low-density planting produces larger, more colorful fruits and vegetables with a shorter shelf life. Larger fruits are more susceptible to physiological problems.
– Crop rotation
Reducing decay inoculums in a production field is an effective management approach for minimizing postharvest losses.
– Cultural practices
During the growth season and at harvest time, recommended cultural techniques in terms of variety, season, manures/fertilizers, irrigation level, and care should be followed. All cultural traditions have a direct impact on the end product’s quality.
Irregular watering diminishes fruit size, increases splitting, causes physiological problems, and depletes the water content of the plant or plant component, among other things. The lifetime of the fruits is reduced by stress caused by too much or too little water in the medium. Moisture stress causes the rate of transpiration to exceed the rate of absorption, resulting in fruit cracking due to an erratic irrigation/moisture regime. Higher level of moisture stress affects both yield and quality by decreasing cell enlargement.
– Canopy Manipulation
Fruit thinning – improves the size of the fruit but diminishes the total yield. It aids in the production of higher-quality crops.
Fruit position in the tree – Fruits that are exposed to high light have higher TSS, acidity, fruit size, aroma, and shelf life than those that are inside the canopy. As a result, a better training system should be used to circulate much more light and air possible. Example: Grapes, Mango, peaches, kiwifruits.
Girdling – increases the fruit size and advance and synchronized fruit maturity in peach, litchi and nectarines. Increases fruitfulness in many fruit tree species.
– Use of Agrochemicals
The use of pathogen-prevention agents on plants will have a direct impact on postharvest life. In general, if product has been infected throughout development, it may have a shorter storage or marketable life. After harvest, bananas that have been severely infected with illnesses such as leaf spot may ripen prematurely or unnaturally, and mangos suffer from rapid postharvest loss.