Solid Waste Management and Reduction of Agricultural Post-harvest Losses Using Cold-storage: Perceptions of Farmers in Benguet, Philippines
Vegetable harvest in the Philippines are wasted due to spoilage (~42%) posing a challenge to the country’s food security and solid waste management. The study aims to determine current vegetable farming practices and farmer perceptions on the use of cold storage facilities in Benguet Philippines for reducing vegetable waste in the post-handling process system. Specifically, this aims to: identify common high-value cropsavailable and acceptable to farmers for storing in cold storage facilities by developing the actual cropping calendars (planting and harvest schedules) of these high-value crops; quantify waste generated on-farm and during marketing and identify current farmer practices and perceptions on post-harvest handling. Common high value crops for possible cold-storing are green-leafy vegetables since these command high prices when they are available off-season. Waste generated is 7.5% of total produce during harvest while 20-50% is further lost during the marketing. The three main issues offarmers are price, market and the harvesting process. Timely information dissemination on market demands and prevailing vegetable prices, availability and access to storageand cold-storage facilities are necessary to encourage farmers to minimize vegetable waste generated and optimize farmer income.