Back
 AS  Vol.9 No.1 , January 2018
Post-Harvest Handling Practices and Losses for Legumes and Starchy Staples in Uganda
Abstract: High postharvest losses in developing countries negate the efforts geared towards improving food security. Poor produce quality including high prevalence of mycotoxin contamination is another significant problem. Appropriate postharvest handling and processing provide opportunities to reduce postharvest losses and improve food safety. This study was aimed at establishing the postharvest handling practices and estimating qualitative and quantitative postharvest losses for maize, millet, sorghum, beans, groundnuts, cassava, and sweet potatoes among farmers in 3 districts (Kamuli, Apac and Nakasongola) in Uganda, representing different agro-ecological zones. The study was done in late August 2014 after the first season harvests (June-August). Farmer interviews, focus group discussions and key informant interviews were used to collect data on postharvest loss estimates and postharvest handling practices. Samples of the different foods were collected and analyzed for physical quality characteristics, mould count and aflatoxin contamination using standard laboratory procedures. The results show predominance of rudimentary and inappropriate postharvest handling methods. Postharvest loss estimates were generally high, with values of 41%, 33%, 33%, 26%, 31%, 22%, 17% and 19% for maize, millet, sorghum, beans, groundnuts, cowpea, sweet potatoes and cassava respectively. The highest loss for all the crops was recorded at storage. Prevalence of aflatoxin contamination was 44%, 91%, 55%, 36%, 35% and 60% for maize, sorghum, groundnuts, millet, sweet potatoes and cassava respectively. Sorghum, maize and groundnuts were found to have the highest aflatoxin contamination levels. Chi-square test (p = 0.024, odds ratio = 5) showed that grain dried on bare ground had higher aflatoxin levels than that dried on a covered surface. The findings of this study reveal a serious need for postharvest interventions as a strategy to address food security.
Cite this paper: Tibagonzeka, J. , Akumu, G. , Kiyimba, F. , Atukwase, A. , Wambete, J. , Bbemba, J. and Muyonga, J. (2018) Post-Harvest Handling Practices and Losses for Legumes and Starchy Staples in Uganda. Agricultural Sciences, 9, 141-156. doi: 10.4236/as.2018.91011.
References

[1]   Adeoye, I.B., Odeleye, O.M.O., Babalola, S.O. and Afolayan, S.O. (2009) Economic Analysis of Tomato Losses in Ibadan Metropolis, Oyo State, Nigeria. African Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 1, 87-92.

[2]   Buyukbay, E.O., Uzunoz, M. and Sibel Gulse Bal, H. (2011) Post-Harvest Losses in Tomato and Fresh Bean Production in Tokat Province of Turkey. Scientific Research and Essays, 6, 1656-1666.

[3]   Kaaya, N.A. and Warren, H.L. (2005) A Review of Past and Present Research on Aflatoxin in Uganda. African Journal of Food Agriculture Nutrition and Development, 5, 4-6.

[4]   von Grebmer, K., Torero, M., Olofinbiyi, T., Fritschel, H., Wiesmann, D., Yohannes, Y., Schofield, L. and von Oppeln, C. (2011) Global Hunger Index. The Challenge of Hunger: Taming Price Spikes and Excessive Food Price Volatility. Deutsche Welthungerhilfe, International Food Policy Research Institute, and Concern Worldwide, Bonn, Washington, DC, and Dublin.

[5]   Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (2010) Agriculture Sector Development Strategic and Investment Plan (2010/11-2014/15). Kampala, Uganda.

[6]   FAO (2011) Global Food Losses and Food Waste—Extent, Causes and Prevention. FAO, Rome.

[7]   Nunnally, J.C. and Bernstein I.H. (1994) Psychometric Theory. 3rd Edition, McGraw-Hill, New York.

[8]   AOAC International (1999) Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC International. 6th Edition, 5th Revision, Vol. 11, AOAC International Publishers, Gaithersburg, MD.

[9]   Pitt, J.I. and Hocking, A.D. (1997) Methods for Isolation, Enumeration and Identification. In: Fungi and Food Spoilage, Springer, Boston, MA, 21-57.
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-6391-4_4

[10]   Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) (2011) Final Draft Uganda Standard. Sorghum Grains—Specification. FDUS EAS 757:2013.

[11]   Kerruish, R.M., and Unger, P.W. (2010) Plant Protection 1—Pests, Diseases & Weeds. Fourth Edition, RootRot Press, Hughes, Australia.

 
 
Top