Postharvest Practices among Grain Farmers in Oyo State, Nigeria
The need for adequate postharvest crop management has come to the fore in sub Saharan Africa. A survey was conducted in ten farm settlements in Oyo state, Nigeria, where 400 farmers were interviewed. Respondents were predominantly males (82%), and about 33% did not undergo any formal education. About 39% reported hardly ever seeing agricultural extension agents coming to train them on mitigation of postharvest losses, whi le 87% of the farmers agreed that they experience significant postharvest losses. Observations revealed a low level of postharvest mechanization, while storage structures and processing equipment installed at the inception of the settlements were in a stat e of disrepair. Maize threshers were found in all settlements however, blowers, dryers and modern storage facilities which would ensure that grains are processed and stored properly were unavailable. Inability to effectively stop insect damage to stored gr ains makes over 80% of the farmers to apply unapproved chemicals such as DD Force (Dichlorvos as active ingredient) on harvested crops despite the threat to human health. Moreover, about 60% of the farmers surveyed were unaware of aflatoxin related issues. An obvious gap in information dissemination to farmers in hard to reach locations must be eradicated if sub Saharan Africa will achieve food security.