On-farm Assessment of Post-harvest Losses: the Case of Groundnut in Malawi, Series Paper Number 43.

Tsusaka, T W and Singano, C and Anitha, S and Kumwenda, N (2017) On-farm Assessment of Post-harvest Losses: the Case of Groundnut in Malawi, Series Paper Number 43. [Socioeconomics Discussion Paper Series]

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An on-farm measurement was conducted in 2015 of groundnut post-harvest loss (PHL) in Central Region of Malawi, aiming to assess the PHL in quantity and quality along the post-harvest processes at the farm level. A total of 15 voluntary farmers from Mchinji, Lilongwe, and Kasungu districts participated in the on-farm assessment using the count and weigh method. The assessment began in April and was forced to end in August due to an unexpected change in funding availability. The close monitoring through resident enumerators revealed that during lifting, drying, stripping, and transport to homestead, an average weight loss of 133.6 kg (shelled nuts equivalent) per hectare was incurred, which is equivalent to 13.7 % of the harvest without post-harvest losses, translating into a value loss of USD 189.7 per hectare. In particular, the lifting process suffered an average loss of 57.3 kg per hectare, due to such factors as hoe damage, weed infestation, and theft. For on-field drying after lifting, 13 % of the farmers practiced the Mandela cork, the best-bet drying method for controlling aflatoxin, while the rest of the farmers dried on ridges or in small drying rounds. During the drying and stripping processes, farmers experienced a mean weight loss of 73.9 kg per hectare, due to factors including attacks by rodents, spillage by children, and biting by workers. As a means of transporting nuts from the field to homestead, farmers used ox-carts (47% of farmers), bicycles (33%) and walking (20%). The mean weight loss during this transportation was 2.4 kg per hectare, due to use of torn sacks and direct loading onto ox-carts without use of sacks. Regarding quality loss, aflatoxin diagnosis was conducted on nuts sampled at two points in time: after drying and after one month of storage. The average contamination level was 0.87 ng/g after drying and 0.88 ng/g after one month of storage. Although the overall level seemed stable, the individual-level changes were large, and so were the district-level and individual-level variances. Seven percent of the farmers registered a level greater than 4 ng/g, which would not be accepted by major international markets such as the European Union. Mitigation measures at each stage of post-harvest operations and methodologies for assessing post-harvest losses in groundnut are discussed.

Item Type: Socioeconomics Discussion Paper Series
Divisions: Research Program : East & Southern Africa
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes
CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM)
Series Name: Socioeconomics Discussion Paper Series
Uncontrolled Keywords: Post-harvest Loss, Groundnut, Malawi
Subjects: Mandate crops > Groundnut
Others > African Agriculture
Others > Legume Crops
Others > Malawi
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2017 09:33
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2017 08:27
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/10049
Acknowledgement: The authors thank CRP (CGIAR Research Program) PIM (Policies, Institutions and Markets) led by IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute) for funding the study. Appreciation is extended to CRP GL (Grain Legumes) for administrative support provided for the implementation of the study. The opinions expressed here belong to the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of ICRISAT, DARS, CRP PIM, IFPRI, or CGIAR System Organization. Any remaining errors are the sole responsibility of the authors.
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