[Editor's Note: This article was originally published on Scribd.com by Sivakumar Surampudi (aka "Shiv"), a 22 year ITC veteran, architect of e-Choupal, and head of their Agro Business Division (ABD). It's being republished on TechSangam as a two-part series with Shiv's permission. Original Scribd link here. When we bemoan the paucity of efficient supply chains as a key reason for farmers' poverty, we tend to lump all vegetables and fruits under one 'produce' bucket. In this article, Shiv goes into detail about three different segments.]
India produces a wide variety of fruits & vegetables, with different inherent characteristics, across very diverse agro-climatic regions. As such, one type of supply chain will not effectively serve them all. Broadly, fruits & vegetables can be classified into three segments, based on how their shelf-life varies under ambient or controlled climate conditions.