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Abstract

The post-harvest losses have been estimated at different stages in two major food grains, viz. rice and wheat in India. The time series data from 1982-83 to 2001-02 on area, production and productivity of the selected food grains have been subjected to growth rate analysis. The post-harvest losses have been estimated using the survey data collected from 100 farmers, 20 wholesalers, 20 processors and 20 retailers in each crop in Karnataka for the year 2003-04. Tabular analysis has been used to estimate the post-harvest losses at different stages, and functional analysis has been used to assess the influence of socio-economic factors on postharvest losses at the farm level. The increase in rice production in the study district of Shimoga has been mainly from increased area under rice. The increased rice output at the state level is the result of increased productivity and area, while at the national level it is the rise in productivity. The increased wheat output in the country has been due to increased wheat productivity. The postharvest losses at the farm level have been estimated to be 3.82 kg/ q for rice and 3.28 kg/q for wheat. The losses have been highest during storage in both the crops. The factors that influence the post-harvest losses significantly at the farm level have been identified and some policy implications have been highlighted.

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