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Pre-harvest and post-harvest practices along the plantain (<i>Musa</i> spp. AAB) fruit value chain in Ghana that predispose them to ripening

D.O. Ofosu
I. Before
F. Martinson
G.K. Frimpong
I.K. Asare
B. Darfour


The present research sought to find out the practices of farmers and aggregators (wholesalers and retailers) in Ghana that might reduce the shelf-life of plantains (Musa spp. AAB). Primary data was obtained from a survey conducted on hundred (100) plantain farms and responses from 754 plantain aggregators from 95 major markets in communities spread across Ghana. There were variations in the planting style of farmers encountered in the study. Practices such as the haphazard planting (not planting in rows) by the farmers in the present study encouraged the growth of weeds, resulting in little aeration around the plants. Most of the farmers (65 to 80%) had good knowledge of plantains diseases. The bulk of the farmers interviewed used visual observation to assess the maturity of the plantain fruits and harvesting was mainly based on market demand. The Ashanti Region served as the main hub for the trading of plantains in Ghana with plantains from this region found in seven (7) out of the ten (10) regions surveyed. Traders preferred not to buy produce from far regions for sale in their region because of increased cost of transportation and hastened ripening of the plantain fruits prior to sale. All (100%) the plantain traders transported the plantains in vehicles meant for cargo or general goods, thus not providing the right conditions for transport of the plantain fruits. It is apparent from this present study that the practices of the various actors along the plantain value chain (farmers and traders) accelerate the ripening and subsequent softening of plantain fruits.

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eISSN: 0855-0042