EFFECT OF EXTENSION DISSEMINATION ON THE CONTROL OF POST-HARVEST LOSS OF RICE IN WEST COAST REGION OF THE GAMBIA
This study investigated contributions of agricultural extension agency in the control of post-harvest losses of rice
in the West Coast Region of The Gambia. Post-harvest losses of rice have been a big threat to food security. Huge
amount of rice is lost along the value chain especially during post-harvest operations that reduce the quality and
quantity of rice and income of the farmers. Purposive sampling technique was used to select districts while simple
random sampling technique was used to select the respondents. The research was conducted with the use of semistructured
questionnaires that were administered to the three hundred and ninety seven (397) farmers who were
randomly selected for the study. Focus Group Discussions (FGD) were also conducted. Data obtained was
analysed using descriptive statistics while focus group discussion was analysed by transcribing the responses.
The result of the study indicated that agricultural extension agents have contributed to the reduction of these
losses in various ways ranging from linking of farmers to market facilities, and provision of post-harvest lossesrelated
trainings. These according to the findings, have contributed to increase in both rice production and income
of the farmers in the study area. The study recommends that farmers should be involved in designing extension
programmes that affects their needs, devise strategies for farmers to access subsidized modern storage and postharvest
technologies and follow up studies during or soon after harvesting that will enhance mitigation of postharvest
losses for increased food security and livelihoods.