ASSESSMENT OF EFFECTS AND CONTROL OF POST-HARVEST LOSSES OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CROP PRODUCE AMONG FARMERS IN BENUE STATE NIGERIA

Author(s): Iorkyar T.I, and Age A.I
Volume/Issue: Volume 1 , Issue 1 (2021)

ABSTRACT:

The paper conducted a survey to access post harvest losses of selected fruit and vegetable crop produce in Benue state, Nigeria. The population of the study consisted of all horticultural crop producers and marketers in the state. A simple random sampling technique was used in selecting 200 respondents. Data for the study were collected from primary sources using a well structured questionnaire, which contained socio-economic characteristics of respondents, causes of post- harvest losses, types of post-harvest losses, amount of losses in monetary value for the past-four years, strategies for controlling postharvest losses in the study area, and constraints affecting the control of post-harvest losses. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Kruskalwallis (Htest) and factor analysis. It was found that there is significant difference in the causes of post-harvest losses of selected horticultural crop produce among the three agricultural zones of the state (H.cal=45.11, x2 tab= 11.070). The study established that there are two major categories of constraints affecting control of post-harvest losses in the study area: socio-political/institutional factors called factor 1, and rural infrastructural/ environmental factors called factor 2. The study therefore recommended that there should be a fundamental rural infrastructural development to ease transportation and the processing of what is produced in order to tap of industrial uses of farm produce instead of leaving much of what is produced to waste, with farmers incurring huge losses. The study also recommended that effective extension service centres should be provided in each agricultural zone of the state to create awareness of new technologies and improved management skills that take agriculture as a business that can create wealth and revive our rural communities.

KEYWORDS:

Post-harvest losses, Perceived effects, Fruit crops, Vegetables