Document Type : Original Article


National Agricultural Engineering Research Centre (NAERC), Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Bagmati, Nepal


Purpose: With an increasing interest in closing the mechanized harvesting loop in citrus farming, harvesting tools could be reliable options for citrus harvesting. However, from performance investigation and post-harvest storability perspectives, not much has been reported in the area of manual harvesting tools for mandarin picking in Nepal. This study assessed the performance of different available models of manual fruit harvester based on harvesting output, operational features, post-harvest physio-chemical attributes and shelf life assessment of the mandarin fruits stored under ordinary room condition for 26 days. Research method: Six harvesting treatments were investigated as follows: a) Farmer practice-hand picking (FPground), b) Ladder climbing (FPladder), c) Secateur + ladder climb (SEladder), d) Cut and hold type picking shears (CH), e) Long reach finger type fruit picker (LRF), f) Fruit picker with basket and cushion (PHB). Findings: The harvesting capacity of FPground, FPladder, SEladder, LRF, CH and PHB treatments were 60.6±2.26, 33.43±3.13, 24.25±2.25, 43.85±6.34, 61.30±9.28 and 49.13±2.61 kg/hr, respectively. The harvesting output of CH, LRF and PHB type harvester was 39.15% (779 nos/hr), 15.78% (648 nos/hr) and 30.21% (729 nos/hr) higher than FPladder practice (560 nos/hr) and that of SEladder method was 15.62% (442 nos/hr) lower than FPladder. Based on storability characteristics, SE and CH found effective in prolonging the average shelf life and maintaining the quality of mandarin compared to FP and PHB. The short pedicle on the fruit in SE, CH and LRF treatment help to control and retard the sap oozing, weight loss and lateral infection that retain the fruit firmness, and minimize the fruit damage and decay loss. Research limitations: Further investigation on storability behavior in controlled storage condition is suggested. Originality/Value: Hand held secateur and cut and hold type harvester are suitable tools for picking fruit and abating post-harvest loss of mandarin fruit along the horticultural value chain.

Graphical Abstract

Investigation of different manual harvesting tools performance for harvesting output, mechanical injuries, storability and post-harvest physio-chemical attributes of mandarin fruit in Nepal


Main Subjects

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