Farmers perception and factors influencing post harvest yam losses in Nigeria
The study examined factors associated with yam tuber losses in storage and farmers perception of these losses. Inference was drawn from 123 yam farmers interviewed across the yam belt of Nigeria spanning guinea savanna zone (G/S); forest/ savanna transition zone (F/S) and rain forest (R/F). Results show that farmers in the G/S and R/F store their yams in various forms of traditional barns whereas farmers in the F/S zone do not have yam storage facilities.Tuber rot is a major source of storage problem across the zones and farmers perceived losses to be high especially in areas where yams are not processed into dried chips. Length of storage period and presence of rot symptoms on tubers at harvest significantly (P < 0.5) influenced yam tuber loss while presence of disease symptom on leaves and stems and insect pest infestation positively influenced yam total loss. Yam storage facility should be well ventilated and be adequately protected from adverse weather and rodents as well as microbial activities.
Keywords: Yam storage methods; farmer's perception; rots, storage periods, dried chips.
Bowen Journal of Agriculture Vol. 5 (1&2) 2008: pp. 72-79