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Agric. Economics & Extension

Assessment of Post Harvest Losses Of Some Selected Crops: A Case Study Of Mbaitoli East Local Government Area Of Imo State

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ABSTRACT

Crops, grains and vegetable are most staple food items in Mbaitoli East LGA of Imo state. This is Tuber because they are eaten by every family in one form or the other and as such, they are cultivated by every farmer in the community as they have no close substitutes.

At the end of this research work post losses in tuber crops, fruits, grains and vegetables were identified. Pest, diseases and poor technology were responsible for the losses. Improved technology is recommended to prove solution to these losses.

Hypothesis was formulated and simple random sampling techniques were used to collect information. Hypothesis was tested using statistical techniques (Percentage) and the findings were as follows;

  1. Poor handling of agricultural produce and products were identified.
  2. Pest and diseases were identified.
  3. Low yield and poor quality of agricultural produce also identified.

To prevent these losses, Improve technology is recommended to the farmers to adopt. Improved storage and processing facilities were also recommended to the farmers for implementation.

Chapter one

Introduction

1.1    Background of the study

Agriculture is a major area of the Mbaitoli economy, It contributes more than 30% of the total annual Gross Domestic product, employs about 70% of the labor force, accounts for the non-oil exports and perhaps, most importantly, provides over 80% of the food of the country (Adeboye, 2004) The sector is being transformed by commercialization at the small, medium and large scale enterprise levels. (OLomala, 2007)

Nigeria’s diverse climate from the tropical areas of the coast to the arid zone of the north, make it possible to produce virtually all agricultural products that can  be grown in the tropical and semitropical area of the world. Yearly, farmers produce a lot to boost the economy. Despite the vast benefit of Agriculture to the Nigeria economy she has been going through some difficult periods in terms of food production and affordability beginning from the 1980, Food storage which resulted in increase in food prices and importation began to show its effect on the Nigerian nation. The bane of the agricultural sector is not in food production but the food so produced is not affordable and not available. Inadequate food storage abounds in many areas. Despite the number of those involved in agricultural production. There is food insecurity in the country.

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Food insecurity according to Adeboye is referred to as the availability, sustainability and affordability and not merely available. Food shortages abound in many areas, despite the number of those involved in agricultural production. There is food insecurity in the country .Food insecurity according to Adeboye is seen as the availability, sustainability and affordability of food in a society. In the case of Nigeria there is serious food insecurity. The food is available but not affordable. Its sustainability is questionable as greater percentage is lost. This is caused to include neglect of the sector, inadequate technology and poor handling of agricultural produce. It is pertinent to note that a greater percentage of food produced in Nigeria are lost at the post harvest of crops has been defined by Orraca-Tettech (1978) is the act of losing through perishes-ability or spoilage and amount of crops harvested at one time. The major causes of post-harvest loses are numerous. There are factors affecting post-harvest losses, from the soil in which the crop is grown to the handling of produce, when it reaches the shop. Pre-harvest production practices may seriously affect post harvest returns. Yearly farmers produce a lot to boost the economy but most crops like cassava, yams, cocoyam, fluted pumpkin, orange, mango, pepper, and others these are crops that are easily lost during harvest because of their water content. Nigeria present a dismal picture and are mostly comprised of traditional technique practiced by growers, traders and the processors, Resulting in considerable deterioration of physical and nutritional qualities of harvested crop, Oni and Obiakor (2002) food preservation remains a major challenge in Nigeria. The ability to preserved food is directly related to the level of technological development. Post harvest handling of crop is of great importance in food production. This is because it is one of the amounts of the determinant of the amount of the profit that rural farmers make on their harvest crops. Chukwu (1996). While research has shown that increase production is possible, it is however been discovered that the increase crop yield brought about by the advance in technologies during the last decade (10years) did not make any significant impact on the economy of the small scale post harvest handling of crops produced. Aronojola (2000). This is why many farmers abandoned the farm in search of greener pastures in public and civil service jobs. Olayemi,(2013) stated that many farmers committed suicide in cities as Ojii in Anambra, Nsukka in Enugu and Oguta in Imo due to crop losses. This expressed clearly the social and psychological effect of crops losses. This will enhance government in ensuring food security and sustainable production. So much has been said concerning average crop loss during harvest. Olomola (2007) Wokoma (2008) Okoedo-Okoije and Onemolease,(2009) stated that many are discourage by the rate these food crops range between 20-40% because harvesting processing/storage techniques are not adequately done. As a result supply is unstable, Mrema and Rolle (2012) in under developed and developing tropical countries both quantitative and qualitative losses of agricultural products occur at all stages in post harvest in chain from harvesting through handling, processing, storage, packaging, transportation and marketing until crops are delivered to the final customer. Post harvest losses are not only of perishable crops but also grains .But the crops that are of concern to this study are fruits and vegetables. It is estimated that as much as 25% grains are wasted after harvest, It is known that the farmers are suffering from post harvest loss every year due to perish ability of produce harvested, therefore the researcher is embarking on this in order to assess the post harvest losses produce in crops, so as to boost food security in Mbaitoli East Local government area. Ratte (2002) Hence the assessment of post harvest losses of agricultural products is important to boost food security and availability in Mbaitoli East, Mrema and Rolle,(2002). This work therefore will assess the trend in post harvest losses of some selected crops in Mbaitoli East local government area of Imo state.

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1.2   STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Mbaitoli East is an agricultural zone. This is because greater percentage of the population is involved in one form of agricultural activity or the other yet there is gross food in security. This is because majority of the farmers lacks the knowledge of modern farming techniques. These result to high rate of produce losses from the farm gate to the consumer level, pre-harvest losses and post-harvest losses. The problem is that these farmers cannot adequately state the amount of losses and their cumulative effect on their income. This study addresses itself to assessing post harvest losses as it affects the farmer. Statements of problem; (Farmers and poor handling) Problems identified one by one.   Pre-harvest, handling (storage and processing) inadequate facilities and modern technology. (crop; Yam, Cassava, Beans, Rice, Vegetables, Fruits).

Research Questions

The following research questions will guide the study

  1. To what extent do pest and diseases influence post harvest losses in crops?

Declarative form;

  • Pest and diseases influence post harvest losses in crops.
  1. To what extent does storage and processing facilities influence post harvest losses in crops?

Declarative form

  • Storage and processing facilities influence post harvest losses in crops.
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1.3    PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The major purpose of this study is to assess the post harvest losses of some selected crops in Mbaitoli East Local Government Area of Imo State.

Specifically the study is to;

  1. Determine the major causes of the post harvest losses of some selected crops. (Pest, bacteria,virus).
  2. Assesses the socio-economic impact of post harvest losses on the farmers. (Poor yield in income shortage).
  3. Determine different crops affected in the area.
  4. Determine ways of preventing post harvest losses of some selected crops. Proper technology (storage, harvesting, processing, drying to moisture content,(e.g.) grain.

1.4     SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY;

  1. The findings of the study were of benefit farmers in Mbaitoli East Local government area and famers.
  2. The findings of the study equipped the farmers with knowledge of how to prevent to the nearest minimum the incidence of post harvest losses.
  3. Findings benefitted Mbaitoli East Local government by providing information on how to secure agricultural product, this will make government to assist farmers through loan.
  4. Be useful to extension workers as it would be a source material for use in advising farmers.
  5. Use as resource material for further research.

Pages:  42

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF

Chapters: 1-5

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References

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