Post-Harvest Challenges of Marketers of Selected Neglected Crops in South-East and South-South, Nigeria
Research works on neglected crops have been based on production improvement with little or no attention on other key value chains such as marketing. This study examined the challenges of marketers of selected neglected food crops (Bambara nut: Vigna subterranean; Breadfruit: Artocarpus altilis and Bush-mango: Irvingia gabonensis) in Southern Nigeria. A multistage random sampling technique was used to select 144 respondents from 6 major markets and structured questionnaire administered, while descriptive analysis was used to analyze the data. The results revealed the mean age of the marketers as 40 years, 86.8% females and 83.3% literate. The mean number of house-holds was seven (7) persons and marketing experience of 10.1 years. The average quantities of purchase for each crop were 5131.1250kg (Bambara nut), 77.4288kg (Breadfruit) and 246.7600kg (Bush-mango). The average lengths of storage of these crops before selling were 102, 30 and 77days for Bambara nuts, Breadfruits and Bush-mango respectively. Causes of losses were attributed to the following; 27.7% insect and pest, 42.4% mold, and 29.9% rodents. About 2.8% of the neglected crop marketers used sniper for the preservation of their crops, while 27.8% out of the other 97.2% used bio-insecticide. Constraints militating against the sale of these neglected food crops in the study area were; lack of organized market, lack of financial support, high cost of transportation, strenuous market purchase, and susceptibility to pests, and lack of storage facility. The study therefore, recommends that marketers be encouraged to form or belong to trade associations or cooperative societies to enhance access to loan, and research into Post-harvest technology related to the selected food crops (such as storage structures and processing equipment) should be developed and disseminated appropriately.
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