Post Harvest Technology for Vegetable Seed

Post-harvest handling (Cucumber)


Cucumber fruit gets ready to harvest for seed extraction when it turns into yellowish brown color giving the indication of fully matured fruit. It also gives metallic hollow sound when thumped and some cracking lines can also be observed on the surface of the matured fruit. Matured fruit is harvested and kept in normal room condition for around 7-10 days. It allows the seed inside fruits to develop continuously and add lusture/shine. 


First the fruit is sliced longitudinally to make the process of seed extraction easy. Then the pulp is scrapped with the help of spoon or knife or with bare hand. Seed is surrounded with gelly substance which has to be separated completely to get good quality seed and this is done by one of three methods as: Fermentation, Mechanical means and Chemical extraction.



livelihoodIn Nepal, fermentation method is mostly applied. In this method, the pulp and little amount of water is poured into non metallic pot where it is allowed to ferment for two-three days depending upon the ambient temperature. Too much water should not be added as this will slow down the process of fermentation. The process of fermentation allows the seeds to separate more rapidly from the surrounding pulp thus easing the cleaning process. During the process of fermentation the fermenting material is occasionally stirred to prevent any discoloration or blackening of seed from mold, which may form on the material floating at the surface. The container should be left in a shaded, protected place and a net cover to protect it from flies. As the seed separates from the disintegrating pulp, it tends to sink to the bottom of the container. The fermentation process is complete when the majority of the seeds have fallen to the bottom of the container. The seeds are then washed and dried. 

livelihoodSeed is dried in a thin layer in the sunlight covering with the thin white clothes for 4-5 days. Seed is normally rubbed with hands to remove the impurities around the seed so that seed become clean and shiny. Seed is dried in the sun until and unless its moisture contents reduce to 5-8 percent. Then it is packed in an air tight container/bag and stored in a safe place.


Cluster/District Coordinators of Vegetable Seed Project working areas (Parbat- Mr. Shiva Adhikari, Ramechhap- Mr. Padam Pd. Paudel, OKhaldhunga- Mr. Pramod Pokhrel and Khotang- Mr. Mahesh Paudyal)

Ananndana Organic Seed Catalogue July 2008 - April 2009. (n.d.). Retrieved from Cucumber: Seed Production:

Rao NK, Hanson J, Dulloo ME, Ghosh K, Nowell D and Larinde M. 2006. Manual of seed handling in genebanks. Handbooks for Genebanks No. 8. Biodiversity International, Rome, Italy.

Tamilnadu Seed Certification Department. (n.d.). Retrieved from Hybrid Cucumber:


Prepared by: Ms. Subhechchha Shrestha
 Checked by: Mr. Indra Raj Pandey
Mr. Purna Bdr. Shakya