Farmers’ knowledge and perception of postharvest physiological deterioration in cassava storage roots in Ghana.

Backgrounds In spite of the essential role of cassava in ensuring household food security and employment for most rural farm households, postharvest physiological deterioration (PPD) of the roots which is serious abiotic stress in cassava renders the roots unmarketable, thereby reducing the economic value of the crop. This paper investigates farmers’ knowledge and perception of PPD in the storage roots of cassava among smallholders in Ghana. Methods A participatory rural appraisal and a formal survey involving 137 farmers across four agro-ecological zones were conducted using focus group discussion and semi-structured questionnaires, respectively. With the appropriate perception indices, farmers’ perceptions of each PPD attribute were assessed by the use of a 5-point Likert scale. The Kendall’s coefficient of concordance was used further to rank identified cassava production constraints. Results The result shows that a significant number of farmers were aware of PPD and the corresponding changes in the roots. It was also confirmed that PPD commences from 2 to 3 days after harvest. Farmers perceived PPD to be caused by pathogens, sunlight, mechanical injuries during harvesting and atmospheric air. The results further indicated that farmers have in-depth knowledge of PPD in cassava. The findings suggest the importance of PPD which is ranked as one of the major constraints in cassava production with about 40% agreement among the farmers. Storing of cassava roots in polythene and jute sacks were found to delay PPD for a few days. Conclusion There is the need to concert cassava research and development efforts to tap into, and investigate further the adaptability and sustainability of these storage practices and methods to minimize both PPD and deterioration of cassava roots during storage.

Citation: 
Prempeh, R., Manu-Aduening, J. A., Asante, B. O., Asante, I. K., Offei, S. K., & Danquah, E. Y. (2017). Farmers’ knowledge and perception of postharvest physiological deterioration in cassava storage roots in Ghana. Agriculture & Food Security, 6(1), 27.
Year: 
2017
Media Type: 
Journal Article
Geographic Focus: 

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