Research Report

Posthavest Supply Chain Study of Carrot in Nepal  

Dhruba Raj Bhattarai , Giri Dhari Subedi , Ishwori Prasad Gautam , Swastika Chauhan
Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Horticulture Research Division Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Nepal
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Horticulture, 2017, Vol. 7, No. 26   doi: 10.5376/ijh.2017.07.0026
Received: 15 Sep., 2017    Accepted: 28 Sep., 2017    Published: 27 Oct., 2017
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Bhattarai D.R., Subedi G.D., Gautam I.P., and Chauhan S., 2017, Posthavest supply chain study of carrot in Nepal, International Journal of Horticulture, 7(26): 239-245 (doi: 10.5376/ijh.2017.07.0026)


A study was conducted in Manahara-Kalimati road corridor and laboratory of Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Horticulture Research Division (HRD), Khumaltar in 2016-2017. Major carrot production sites in this corridor are Manohara Khola, Bodephant and Mulpani. The main collection point is Garcha Bazar and Bhaktapur. From this collection center, the produce goes to the Kalimati market. In carrot production pockets, grading is not practiced. Farmers mention that grading is labor intensive. Carrots are mostly packed in 75-85 kg capacity jute sacks. The postharvest loss of carrot was found to be 35%. The loss occurred at farm gate was 10%, at collection point it was 2%, at wholesale market 5% and finally at retail market 18%. According to wholesalers, carrots are graded in 2 categories i.e. branched/cracked and normal roots, branched/cracked ones are sold in 50% less price. It was found that during the production season, the wholesale price wrinkled very low (NRs. 26/kg) while during the lean period, the prices were significantly high (up to NRs. 137/kg). Furthermore, a research conducted in the laboratory of Horticulture Research Division, Khumaltar during February- March, 2017, calcium chloride treatment of 2.5% was found to be effective in increasing the storage life of carrots.

Postharvest loss; Shelf life; Calcium chloride; Collection center; Market

1 Introduction

Carrot (Daucus carota Linn) is a popular root crop grown throughout the world for its fleshy edible root. It is a rich source of β-carotene and it contains appreciable amount of thiamine and riboflavin (Dias, 2014). Researchers have suggested that carrot might lead to reduce risk of heart diseases, stomach diseases and many types of cancer (Zhang and Hamauzu, 2004). Anti-diabetic, cholesterol and cardiovascular disease lowering, anti-hypertensive, hepatoprotective and wound healing benefits of carrot have also been reported. In Nepal, consumption of carrot is increasing progressively due to its recognition as an important source of natural antioxidants having anticancer properties. Furthermore, it is an important source of income and an effective means of poverty reduction in some part of Nepal (HRD, 2015). The diverse agro-climatic conditions of Nepal have provided nearly unlimited scope for growing seasonal and off-season carrots. Furthermore, increase in general awareness of nutritional values of carrots among the urban people has increased tremendous scope of promoting the production and markets of carrots in Nepal.


A good analysis of the supply chain situation is necessary to develop an appropriate intervention and strategy for commercialization of any crop. In case of carrot supply chain, a tangible carrot, volume is moved from its initial production field to a market and consumed by final beneficiaries. It is essential to know production, postharvest and marketing situation and need to adopt the market based solutions (Bhattarai and Ojha, 2012).


Due to its perishability, farmers and marketers are losing a bulk of their vegetables each year in Nepal (Bhattarai et al., 2005). Seasonal gluts are some common problems during normal production season (Mishra and Kumar, 2012). Several chemical changes occur in carrots during storage. Polysaccharides are converted in simple sugars and sucrose into reducing sugars during storage which leads to the emission of off flavours, textural changes, structural break down and colour change (Phan et al., 1993). Because of these changes during storage, there is need to treat carrot roots to inhibit those microbial activities during storage, which will go a long way to prevent the postharvest loss and eventually encourage poor farmers for more intensive cultivation of this crop. The treatment of calcium chloride can be utilized to extend the storage life of carrot and tomato fruits (Bhattarai, 2011; Isaac and Maalekuu, 2013). Calcium can also reduce pathogen growth, textural break down and ripening and decay (Conway et al., 1994). Therefore, this research was undertaken to identify the market based solutions addressing supply chain constraints and appropriate dose of calcium chloride for long storage life of carrot in Nepal.


2 Research Methodology

The study was conducted in Bhaktapur and Kathmandu districts of Nepal. The study covered the major market centres of these districts along the road corridors and the production pockets linked to the market centres. This study applied both qualitative and quantitative research methods for obtaining information on basic data of carrot. To generate supply chain related data Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and field observation was conducted in Manohara-Kalimati road corridor in May month of 2016. Furthermore, lab experiment was also conducted under Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with three replications at Horticulture Research Division (HRD), Khumaltar. For lab experiment, Nepa Dream variety of carrot harvested from farmer’s field Manohara and brought to HRD, Khumaltar during February- March, 2017. Carrot root were dipped in different concentration of calcium chloride viz. 0.5%, 1%, 1.5%, 2%, 2.5%, 3% and 3.5 for fifteen minutes. The roots were then air dried and 2 kg of roots was kept on open tray for shelf life study. Each tray was considered as one treatment and five roots were numbered 1 to 5 individually for determining physiological weight loss. The total soluble solid (0 Brix) was determined by hand refractometer.


3 Research Findings

3.1 Carrot production scenario

Many farmers in Nepal have been growing carrots instead of their usual crops like maize and millet because of its high returns. Farmers have been switching to carrot farming because the market for this product is still growing. They are using sigma, new kuroda, early Nantes and Nepa Dream hybrid seeds to grow carrots. Nepal produces around 31,405 tons of carrots annually on 2,685 hectares of land, as per the latest report of the Ministry of Agricultural Development. The Central Region is the largest producer of carrots in the country. It grows 12,330 tons of the carrots, accounting for 39 percent of the total output. The Eastern Region comes second with 10,000 tonnes, or 32 percent of the total. The Western Region takes third place with 5,100 tonnes, or 16 percent of the total carrots grown in the country (Table 1).


Table 1 Carrot production in Nepal -2014

Note: Ministry of Agriculture Development, 2015


3.2 Carrot supply chain (Manahara-Kalimati corridor)

Major carrot production sites in this corridor are Manohara Khola, Bodephant and Mulpani and main market centres are Bhaktapur, Garcha Bazar and Kalamati. The carrot produced by the farmers in this corridor is collected by about 50 % in the collection centre. From collection centre, 80% goes to the wholesalers at Kalimati market and remaining 20% goes directly to the local market at Bhaktapur. About 30% carrot in the season goes to cold storage (Table 2).


Table 2 Marketing of the carrot in Manahara-Kalimati corridor-2016


For the marketing of the carrot in Manahara-Kalimati corridor area there are three main supply chains followed according to the accessibility.



Farm-gate selling was not a prominent marketing practice in the study area. However, some farmers sell their carrot to the buyers at the farm-gate. In this mode of marketing, buying and selling of carrots is done in an individual basis. Buyers go to the farms, usually at a fixed time given by producers. In case of direct selling farmers bring their produce in bamboo baskets (Dokos) to the nearby markets on foot. In some cases, they have permanent buyers in the bazar (local market), and sometimes they visit house-to-house carrying their carrots.


In study area, about 12.5 % carrots supplied through the middleman. Engaging a middleman who is willing to collect products from different producers and sell them to retailer to consumers provides employment and income to both producers and the middleman. Selling of carrots through collection centre was the main marketing mode in this area, about 50 % carrots supplied through the collection centre (Table 2). Farmers collect their carrots in their collection centres, and buyers/traders purchase their produce from these collection centres.


In Manahara-Kalimati corridor there is no carrot processing plant so far. Therefore, establishment of a processing plant near the collection centre not only reduce the wastage of but also provide better opportunity to communicate with the producers for assured quantity and quality of carrot supply.


3.3 Wholesale market

Kalimati Wholesale Market

Kalimati Vegetable Market is the pioneer organized terminal wholesale market in Nepal. For giving an organized shape to the marketing of agricultural produce, especially, vegetables and fruits in Kathmandu valley, Kalimati Wholesale Market was set up by the Department of Food & Agriculture Marketing Services under the Ministry of Agriculture in 1986. This market has 296 transaction stalls and over 200 traders are involved in vegetable business.


Carrots from different parts of the country are collected and traded in this market. Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Dhanding, Nuwakot, Kavrepalachowk and Makawanpur are the major suppliers of carrots in Kalimati wholesale market. Price of the carrots depends on the demand and supply situation in the market. It was found that during the production period, the wholesale price ruled very low while during the lean period, the prices were quite high which is due to seasonal and perishable nature of the carrot roots. The Figure 1 shows the price of carrot rise from April/May with maximum in October (NRs. 137/kg) and price become less than average from January. The minimum price is seen in the month of February (NRs. 26/kg).


Figure 1 Carrot wholesale price at Kalimati Market in 2016

Note: KFVMDB, 2017


As per the Figure 1, if there's provision of cold storage, carrots can be stored during production season when price becomes low in the markets and later can be sold at higher price during off-seasons.


3.4 Supply chain constraints and market-based solutions

It is crucial to assess the market-based solutions to recommend the feasibility and interventions. The assessment of supply chain constraints and market based solutions intervention and facilitation are suggested (Table 3).


Table 3 Market based solutions addressing supply chain constraints of carrots in Nepal


4 Postharvest Losses

It is of prime importance that the carrots should have high quality and should fetches high prices during marketing. Due to highly perishable nature of carrots, there is always a big challenge to have a good quality at marketing time. However, the losses can be minimized by proper handling, proper storage and transportation.


In most of the production pockets, grading is not practiced for carrots. Farmers mention that grading is labour intensive and there is no significant difference in price for graded and non-graded carrots at farmers level. Traditional packaging practice is found common in the study areas and farmers are slowly adopting the improved packaging materials too. Normally, carrots packed in Jute bags & plastic crates are used for distant markets. Carrots are mostly packed in 70-90 kg capacity Jute bags. Traders have started using crates for packaging after purchasing from farmers. But, growers don’t find it appropriate because of the difficulty in carrying from hillsides and its high initial investment (NRs 500 per crates). Now some of the farmers are realizing the benefits of less loss and high-quality produce in crate packaging and they are willing to adopt it. The study showed that postharvest loss of carrot is 35 per cent. The loss occurred at farm gate is 10%, at collection point is 2%, at wholesale market 5% and finally at retail market 18%. The loss is low at collection point this is because at this level carrots are just collected and timely goes to wholesale market Kalimati. According to the data collected in May, 2016 the farm gate price was NRs. 45 and the consumer price NRs. 75 for it (Table 4).


Table 4 Situation of postharvest loss and price of carrot at different levels in Kalimati-Monohara corridor -May, 2016

Note: NRs = Nepalese currency


Major Physiological Disorders

Cracking of carrot root is a major problem at carrot growing areas in Nepal. It may cause by a fluctuating water supply. When there is heavy rainfall after a period of drought, the inner flash of the carrot expands faster than the toughened skin, causing the skin to crack. It was found that at farm gate level 75% carrots were in normal condition. However, 10% carrots were cracked and 15% were having splitting problem (Figure 2).


Figure 2 Condition of marketable carrot after harvest at farm gate level in Manohara Khola, Bodephant and Mulpani 


5 Effect of Calcium Chloride on Storage Life of Carrot at Room Temperature

Shelf-life & TSS

The calcium treatments significantly influenced the shelf life of carrot roots. The maximum shelf life (11 days) was noticed in 2.5 % calcium chloride treated roots compared to the control (6 days). These results were in conformity with that of wills and Tirmazi (1982). The experiment conducted by Isaac and Maalekuu (2013), had also the similar type of results. This result is also agreement with the earlier report of Sharma et al. (1996), which indicated that calcium chloride has the capacity to strengthen cell walls of fruits which help to prevent invasion of fungal spores.


However, total soluble solid (TSS) was not affected by calcium treatment (Table 5). As the storage period prolonged, the TSS of carrot roots increased due to the water loss and that lead to higher concentration of sugars in carrot. Agar and Kaska (1995) also reported similar results. The experiment conducted by Bhattarai and Gautam (2006) had also the similar type of results.


Table 5 Effect of calcium chloride on shelf-life & TSS of carrot root at room temperature in HRD, Khumaltar (2016/17)


Physiological weight loss (PLW)

Calcium chloride treatment significantly influenced the physiological weight loss of the carrot roots right after second days of storage and subsequently afterwards (Table 6). After 2 days of storage, controlled roots exhibited 9.88% PLW which was significantly higher than calcium treated roots. After 10 days of storage the cumulative weight loss in 3.5, 3, 2.5, 2, 1.5, 1 and 0.5 % calcium treated roots was 10.11, 8.52, 7.54, 9.02, 9.48, 9.87 and 10.91 respectively as compared to 11.25% in controlled roots. Calcium chloride treatments have been commercially applied in apple to increase the shelf life and reduce to postharvest disorders (Sharma et al., 1996).


Table 6 Physiological weight loss (%) of carrot roots at various days after storage at HRD, Khumaltar (2016/17)


6 Conclusion

Carrot is rapidly gaining its importance as an essential nutritional commodity and income generating crops in Nepal. The production area, quantity and productivity of carrot are increasing day by day because of its high return per unit of land. So, improved supply chain with appropriate postharvest technologies is needed for efficient and profitable carrot business in Nepal.



The study was conducted in the context of the project "AFACI-Postharvest". The authors are highly grateful to RDA/AFACI, Korea for providing fund for this research. All the carrot farmers, traders, marketers and other stakeholders are also acknowledged for their help during the study.



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