Determinants of postharvest losses in plantain among farmers in some selected states in South-Western Nigeria
Postharvest losses have been a constraining factor in plantain production. The losses are such that the increase in yield brought about by advances in technologies through research has not had any significant impact on the economy of small scale farmers. The study examined factors influencing the postharvest losses of plantain, the postharvest activities engaged in by the respondents and the constraints faced. Multistage random sampling techniques were used to select the 250 farmers. Data was collected using pre-tested structured interview schedule administered on the farmers in the study area. Data were analysed using descriptive (frequency, percentages and means) and inferential (multiple regression and chi-square) statistics. Farmers had mean age of 52.6±7.5 years, 81.6% were males and had poor literacy level. They had an average family size of nine and a significant relationship existed between post harvest losses and radio use as an information source (c2 =15.01).
Determinants of post harvest losses among farmers included attitude to post harvest activities (b = 0.11), awareness of improved technologies (b = 0.12), number of viable stands (b = 0.72), and accessibility of farm location (b = 0.54). Recommendations made included improved infrastructural facilities, designing not too technical post harvest technologies and adult literacy classes for the farmers.
Keywords: Post harvest losses, Postharvest activities, Farmers.