Agriculture production in Nepal is currently characterized by scattered production pockets, small landholding size, inconsistent production quantity and quality, unreliable supply, and a long and inefficient supply chain. This, coupled with lack of adoption of modern post-harvest management practices and technologies, has resulted in high post-harvest losses. It has been estimated that post- harvest losses in some commodities are as high as 50%. Such high-level post-harvest losses continues to result in the inefficient use of food production resources (water, land, energy, etc).
To address this issue of high post-harvest losses and poor supply chain management, Mandala Agrifresh has developed an innovative business model that is based on the proper implementation of modern post-harvest management practices and technology. Specifically, the company has invested in the piloting of modular solar cold storage, modified atmosphere packaging, and ozone-based oxidation technology.
The innovator has a supply chain of select commodities (kiwi, fresh lime, apples, carrot, indigenous potatoes, orange and avocado), and they work with close to 400 smallholder farmers, majority of whom are women, to source quality produce. The company supports the farmers with technical extension service related to production, harvesting and post-harvest management, and eventually procures quality produce from the producers at a comparatively higher farmgate price. More importantly, the company also provides post-harvest technology to the farmers to ensure that the quality of the produce is maintained during aggregation, transportation, and storage.
Through its business practice, Mandala Agrifresh directly supports its women farmers by reducing market risk and increasing their income. Prior to working with Mandala Agrifresh, many of the women producers who were engaged in organic production did not have assured market access to sell their produce and they were not getting a higher price for their organic and/or quality produce.
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