On-farm maize storage systems and rodent postharvest losses in six maize growing agro-ecological zones of Kenya

Edoh Ognakossan, K and Affognon, H D and Mutungi, C M and Sila, D N and Midingoyi, S G and Owino, W O (2016) On-farm maize storage systems and rodent postharvest losses in six maize growing agro-ecological zones of Kenya. Food Security, 8 (6). pp. 1169-1189. ISSN 1876-4517

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Rodents are one of the major postharvest pests that affect food security by impacting on both food availability and safety. However, knowledge of the impact of rodents in on-farm maize storage systems in Kenya is limited. A survey was conducted in 2014 to assess magnitudes of postharvest losses in on-farm maize storage systems in Kenya, and the contribution of rodents to the losses. A total of 630 farmers spread across six maize growing agro-ecological zones (AEZs) were interviewed. Insects, rodents and moulds were the main storage problems reported by farmers. Storage losses were highest in the moist transitional and moist mid-altitude zones, and lowest in the dry-transitional zone. Overall, rodents represented the second most important cause of storage losses after insects, and were ranked as the main storage problem in the lowland tropical zone, while insects were the main storage problem in the other AEZs. Where maize was stored on cobs, total farmer perceived (farmer estimation) storage weight losses were 11.1 ± 0.7 %, with rodents causing up to 43 % of these losses. Contrastingly, where maize was stored as shelled grain, the losses were 15.5 ± 0.6 % with rodents accounting for up to 30 %. Regression analysis showed that rodents contributed significantly to total storage losses (p < 0.0001), and identified rodent trapping as the main storage practice that significantly (p = 0.001) lowered the losses. Together with insecticides, rodent traps were found to significantly decrease total losses. Improved awareness and application of these practices could mitigate losses in on farm-stored maize.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : West & Central Africa
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals
Uncontrolled Keywords: Postharvest losses, Rodents, Maize, On-farm storage, Food security, Kenya, Rodents, Pests
Subjects: Others > Maize
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2016 10:25
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 08:47
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/9742
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12571-016-0618-2
Acknowledgement: This work was supported by the RELOAD Project, financed by the GIZ. The authors sincerely thank all the farmers involved for their cooperation. The authors also acknowledge the support provided by Agricultural officers of the sub-counties surveyed.
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