dentification of Loss Hot Spots of the Post-harvest Chain during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case of Banana and Mango Supply Chain


  • Dinesha O.G.R.
  • De Silva D.A.M.



Banana and mango are the main types of fruit crop cultivated in Polonnaruwa District. Income
generated from commercial level fruit cultivations help farmers to manage their household economy.
COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown, curfew, restricted movements and closure of public markets and
economic centers significantly damage the fresh produce supply chains of the country, especially in
key farming areas like Polonnaruwa. Present study was conducted to identify the loss hot spots of the
papaya and mango supply chain during COVID-19 pandemic, measure the economic loss and find
out the social consequences of it. A total sample of 75 respondents, including farmers, collectors,
wholesellers, transporters, and retailers randomly selected from three Divisional Secretariats
(Madirigiriya, Hingurakgoda, Thamankaduwa) of Polonnaruwa District. Data were analysis by using
both qualitative and quantitative techniques. Primary data were gathered through a field survey using
a structured questionnaire, focus group interviews, in-depth interviews, and participatory
observations. Both banana and mango supply chains were shorter, fragile and concentrated
regionally. Regional public markets and dedicated economic centers were connecting regional supply
chains into national level. Mango supply chains showed two different structures; most common one
has similar structure of banana and the other type ended up with exporters. Closure of market
operations crippled the regional supply chains and farmers unable to sell their products. Postharvest
losses were high at farm gate, farmers hardly receive any income. Limited number of farmers was
able to sell fruits to mobile vendors at very low prices. Some had to throw their rotting crops into
piles of rubbish with miserable, which could not be sold because of restrictions on circulation. In
addition to that collapse of the tourism industry, the majority of wholesale buyers reduced average
purchases and tried to get the harvest from farmers at a lower price. New retail formats were born
during the pandemic and most common were the mobile retailers. Household economies of the
farmers faced severe financial crisis and issue were doubled with the extra financial requirements for
the children’s online education. Resources waste reached to the highest level and farmer debts
reached to alarming levels.

Keywords: Post-harvest chain, COVID-19, Banana and mango

Author Biographies

Dinesha O.G.R.

Department of Agribusiness Management,

Sabaragamuwa University,

Belihuloya, Sri Lanka

De Silva D.A.M.

Department of Agribusiness Management,

Sabaragamuwa University,

Belihuloya, Sri Lanka






Environmental Economics in Resource Management.