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Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown on Tomatoes and Scotch Bonnet Losses among Farmers and Marketers in Southwest Nigeria

F. F. Ilesanmi
O. S. Ilesanmi
A. A. Afolabi
K. M. Ogungbemi
E. Asemadahun
P. I. Olaleye-Oriowo
B. Balogun


The COVID-19 lockdown increased agricultural losses for farmers and marketers in Nigeria. This study assessed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on post-harvest losses of tomatoes and scotch bonnet along post-harvest value chain. We conducted a cross-sectional study among 60 farmers and marketers all selected from Oyo, Osun, and Ekiti States using interviewer-administered questionnaires targeted towards post-harvest experiences. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 25.0. The median price of baskets of tomatoes and bags of scotch bonnet before, during, and after the COVID-19 lockdown were compared using Related samples Friedman's Two-Way Analysis of Variance by ranks. The median number of baskets of tomatoes harvested and quantity harvested during COVID-19 lockdown was compared using Related samples Wilcoxon sign rank test, the same was done for scotch bonnet. P-values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant. The mean age of the 60 respondents was 48.7 ± 13.6 years, and 27.6% were aged 40-49 years. Before the COVID-19 lockdown, the median price of a basket of tomatoes was ₦6,000 during the lockdown and ₦8,000 after the lockdown. (p=<0.001) The price of a bag of scotch bonnet was ₦7,000 before the lock down, ₦8,500 during, and ₦8,000 after the lockdown. (p=0.027). To minimize farm losses, farmers should harvest tomatoes and scotch bonnet once ripe, not overripe. Tomatoes and scotch bonnets should be stored in a cool, dry place that is well-ventilated. The storage area should be free from pests and rodents that can cause damage to the farm produce.