Assessment of harvest and post-harvest losses of eggs at farm, market and household consumer
R.P. SINGH, C.K. BEURA, A.S. MAHAPATRA, H.V.L. BATHLA*, G.K.JHA* AND P.K.SINGH
Central Avian Research Institute, Izatnagar (U.P.) 243 122
*Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute, New Delhi – 110012
E-mail : [email protected]
A random sample survey, using interview schedules, on the quantitative losses of table chicken eggs at farm, market and household consumer level in different seasons during 2002 was carried out in and around Bareilly district (U.P.) and for missing links elsewhere in the country. The sample size of different categories of selected respondents consisted of all the 33 layer farmers in and around Bareilly district, 7 egg wholesalers and 20 randomly selected retailers of egg in Bareilly city and randomly selected colonies of New Delhi, 2 egg processing plants in southern India, one egg cold store in New Delhi and 10 household families from each of 8 randomly selected villages and 2 urban localities of Bareilly district. The total number of eggs produced by the respondents viz. layer farmers were about 60.6 lacs, and the same traded by the wholesalers and retailers were 56.6 lacs and 61,993 respectively. The total number of eggs processed by egg processing units were 35.6 million, those held in cold store 3.5 lacs and the number of eggs purchased by the household consumers during the survey period were merely 9172 eggs.
Results revealed that the magnitude of the losses of table eggs at layer farms, wholesalers, retailers, cold store, egg processing unit and household family level was found to be 0.98%, 1.39%, 3.26%, 2.11%, 1.24% and 3.24% respectively which together constituted an overall annual loss of 12.22% eggs. However, the overall loss of table eggs from poultry farms to household consumers via wholesale-retail channel was found to be 8.87% in the survey area. Losses of eggs were found to be more in small layer farms (1.94%) than in medium (1.11 %) or large farms (0.95%). The losses were comparatively more in summer (1.3I%) than in rainy (0.88%) or winter (0.75%) season at the farms. Similar trend of seasonal variation in losses of table eggs was also observed at market (wholesale/retail) and consumer (household) levels. The bulk of egg damage at farm level was in the form of straight crack (35.2%) followed by star crack (16.4%), smashed/leakers (15.2%), soft -shell (14.3%), holes (9.8%), shell-less eggs (8.9%) and spoiled (rotten) eggs (0.1%). Majority of egg damage occurred at poultry farms during collection stage, whereas the same was maximum during packing and transport at market and household consumer level, and during mechanical washing operation at egg processing plants. Opinion on possible causes of losses of eggs obtained from the respondents revealed that majority of layer farmers attributed it to poor feed quality, summer stress, defective cage design, mishandling while defective packaging and transport hazard were the major causes of loss in the marketing channels.