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Comparative commodity chain - Research Paper Example

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Insert Date Comparative commodity chain analysis of tomato production Commodity chain is a series of links connecting many places of production and distribution. The tomatoes we see in our supermarket stores have undergone various steps of commodity chain…
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Download file to see previous pages This paper provides a detailed descriptive account of the production of tomatoes as well as the similarities and differences between their production methods. Tomato farming in California is practiced by large farm owners who have perfected the art for many decades. They are grown in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys. The fields are planted from late January through early June for continuous harvest (Dhama 115). California, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, accounts for 90% of the United States of Americas production and 23% of the worlds production. Tomato farming requires a warm season because the crop is sensitive to frost thus planting during the winter season is impossible. The optimal soil temperature is 68°F (20°C) or above. Fruit development and quality are severely reduced when the temperatures fall below 68°F during the day and 50°F at night. The five most common varieties grown in California are Heinz 9557, AB 2, Halley 3155, Heinz 9780, and Hypeel 303. Furrow irrigation is the most common method used with drip irrigation gaining acceptance. Fertilizer application varies for different types of tomatoes farming. The typical rate of application is 125-250 pounds of nitrogen (N) per acre, 40-120 pounds of P2O5 and 0-200 pounds of k2O per acre. Pest and weed management are also put into consideration. The tomatoes are mechanically harvested and loaded into tandem bulk trailers and transported to processing plants. They are then graded at the inspection station located in production areas. The Processing Tomato Advisory Board (PTAB) administers this statewide program. Defects level, fruit color, soluble solid content and pH are evaluated. After all the inspection they are then certified and transported to various stores around the country. The stores in Tucson along with other stores around the country, receive their fresh produce through refrigerated trucks. The intended users of the product are the household, restaurants, hotels, hospitals and also schools. Most households use tomatoes in their daily lunch and evening meals. It has added nutritional value especially when it's cooked. There are various ways of producing tomatoes. They include conventional, organic and hothouse or greenhouse methods. The two common ones are organic production and conventional method of production. Organic farming is a production system which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetically compounded pesticide and fertilizers (Bradley 414). Organic fertilizer and soil amendment such as compost and manure are derived from waste outputs generated by other systems. The raw materials for these inputs are assumed to enter the farming systems without any environmental burden. While manure is not further processed before application, compost is produced from organic waste using water and energy as additional inputs. The advantages of using this method are that the tomatoes have high antioxidants, environmentally friendly and the fruits contain iron, potassium and vitamin A. Conventional production of tomatoes entails the use of manufactured synthetic compounds (chemicals) to enhance the growth of the plant. Its advantage is that the chemicals are readily available rather than having to construct a compost. The government through the United States Department of Agriculture has provided guidelines for use when applying/dressing the plants with the approved chemicals. If ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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