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Postharvest problems of tomato production in Ghana - Field studies of some selected major growing areas in Ghana
Lycopersicon esculentum, Mill, commonly referred to as tomato is a highly perishable crop. However, the rate and extent of spoilage depends on several factors. To overcome this problem there is the need to develop simple, cost-effective and easily adaptable preservation techniques and to do this requires a better understanding of the farm management system of farmers. A study was carried out to determine the current farm practices, postharvest problems, preservation methods and marketing practices of farmers. Surveys using questionnaires were carried out in selected major tomato growing areas in Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions. The results of the study show that tomato is cultivated mainly by male youth with basic educational background. Cultivation is on the average three times a year and it is mainly on rented plots. The `Power' variety is the predominant variety for cultivation in Ghana. There is also the rampant abuse of agrochemicals by most of the farmers. The farmers carry out neither on-farm nor off-farm storage of the fresh tomato fruits. The major postharvest problems of the farmers are the need for permanent purchasing outlets and the stabilization of the unit price per box of tomato. This calls for a significant look at the distribution system for tomatoes.
JOURNAL OF THE GHANA SCIENCE ASSOCIATION Volume 1 Number 1, July (1998) pp. 55-59