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Title: Postharvest storage practices and techniques: A case study of maize farmers in three districts of the Ashanti Region in Ghana
Authors: Korang, Paul Amoh
Issue Date: 3-Nov-2016
Abstract: Maize production in Ghana dates back to some hundreds of years in the history of the country. The production and storage of maize in Ghana has been characterized by grain losses especially during the storage period. An assessment by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in 2007 identified about 20% - 30% loss in terms of stored grains. The study aimed at assessing farmers’ experiences in the use of storage facilities and techniques in three maize growing districts in the Ashanti Region. The study employed a combination of simple random sampling and stratified sampling procedures to select three districts from the Ashanti region (Atwima Nwabiagya, Ejura Sekyedumase Municipal and Offinso South Municipal) and 120 respondents selected to complete a semi structured set of questionnaires. The results showed that the average quantity of maize grains lost during storage was about 20% for all three districts. The various storage facilities that were used for the harvested maize included storage in wider cribs (38.5%); storage in bags in warehouses (34.2%); storage in other places (rooms, veranda, kitchen etc.) (20%) and storage in narrow cribs (10%). Challenges faced by farmers in order of severity included high cost of storage facility; heavy rains; rodents and termites attack; handling of grains before storage; high moisture content; inadequate storage facilities and theft. Some remedies to increase the effectiveness of the primary storage facilities used by the farmers included drying; dehusking; chemical treatment; clean bagging and; frequent moisture content testing. Laboratory tests were also done on maize samples acquired from selected respondents for their proximate composition. Mould and weevil infested grains were analysed with fresh healthy and uninfested grains as control. Results from the analyses indicated that mould and weevil infestation caused significant loss in nutritional quality of stored grain. It is recommended that the state empowers farmers and maize sellers to patronize the best storage to ensure food security.
Description: A thesis submitted to The School of Research and Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of degree of Master of Philosophy in (M.Phil. Postharvest Technology) Degree, 2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/9550
Appears in Collections:College of Agric and Natural Resources

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