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Perception of Tomato Farmers on Effectiveness of Indigenous Postharvest Value Addition Practices in Surulere Area of Oyo State, Nigeria

Komolafe S.E 1 , Ogundiran T.J. 1 , Akangbe J.A. 1 , Ifabiyi J.O. 1 Ajibola B.O. 2

Abstract

The study examined the perception of tomato farmers on effectiveness of indigenous postharvest value addition practices in Surulere Area of Oyo State Nigeria. 160 tomato farmers were randomly selected and interviewed through structured interview schedule. Data obtained were subjected to descriptive and inferential statistics. Results revealed that majority of tomato farmers in the study area were; female, married, aged between 41- 45 years and had secondary school education. Harvesting of fully ripe tomato usually packed in basket/ raffia early in the morning were common indigenous handling and packaging practices to prevent post-harvest losses by tomato farmers in the study area. Indigenous preservative methods such as sun drying, pureed and sealed with oil in jars, boiled and sealed, cold water were mostly perceived to be effective indigenous preservative methods by tomato farmers in the study area. Regression analysis further revealed that age of respondent has positive influence on farmers’ perception of the effectiveness of indigenous preservative practices. In the view of the findings, it can be concluded that tomato farmers still hold to indigenous postharvest handling, packaging and preservative practices. It is therefore important that agricultural extension services should focus on the provision of facilities that will improve sun drying method commonly used by farmers in the study area.

Keywords: Tomato, post-harvest, indigenous, effectiveness, value addition.

1 Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.
2 Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension Technology, Federal University of Technology Minna, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria, E-mail: kemmas04@yahoo.com

INTRODUCTION

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill) fruit contained nutritional values and it is widely acceptable as food which makes the production highly profitable in Nigeria (Afolami & Ayinde, 2002; Haruna et al 2012; Usman and Bakari, 2013). Unfortunately, tomatoes quality and nutritional values can be affected by post-harvest handling and storage condition (Sablani et al 2006). Babalola et al. (2010) have however identified postharvest losses to be one of the problems faced by tomato farmers in the country. FAO, (2004) estimated postharvest losses of fruits and vegetables amounts to 35-45% of the annual production. Postharvest activities include harvesting, handling, storage, processing, packaging, transportation and marketing (Mrema and Rolle, 2002). It includes all points in the value chain from production in the field to the food being placed on the table for consumption.

Due to tomatoes perishable nature and mishandling of tomato during harvesting and post-harvesting, farmers are losing tangible quantity of their produce thus facing a drastic reduction in income generation (FAO 2004). USDA (2010) has attributed such loss to lack of knowledge about improved storage methods, packaging, transporting, processing and marketing of produce. This is because local farmers in the country sill use in indigenous practices in tomato production, storing and packing produce to prevent losses. Muhammad et al. (2012) concludes that the farmers lack general knowledge of postharvest handling despite their years of farming experience.

Asiabaka et al. (2001) noted that, if farmers do not adopt a new technology, it is because they do not understand well the technology, it is not compatible with existing practice or because they have perceived the technology to be too complicated or too risky and not because they are ignorant. Roger, (2003) further stated that the five important characteristics of innovation related to an individual’s perception towards decision-making process and eventual adoption are; relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, observable and trial. Ouma et al. (2012) affirmed that the use of improved agricultural technology is the solution to increased growth and agricultural productivity. It is against this background that this study examined indigenous post-harvest practices and attitude of tomato farmers to value addition in Surulere Area of Oyo State Nigeria. Specifically, the study aimed to; (i) describe the socioeconomic characteristic of tomato farmers in the study area, (ii) identify the indigenous methods of handling and packaging employed by tomato farmers, (iii) examine the perception on effectiveness of tomato postharvest preservative and processing value addition practices in the study area.

Hypothesis of the study

H01: There is no significant relationship between selected socioeconomic characteristics of respondents and their perception on effectiveness of tomato postharvest value addition practices.

METHODOLOGY

The study was conducted in Surulere Local Government of Oyo State. Surulere Local Government shared boundary with Ifelodun and Araolu Local Government of Osun Local Government, Asa Local Government in Kwara State. Surulere is located within longitude 40 and latitude 80 , the local government lies with the tropical rain forest zone with its characteristics of wet and dry seasons with the average of 250mm. The temperature ranges from 700 - 900F throughout the season. The area is blessed with vast arable land, shifting cultivation is still the main method of farming in Surulere Local government since the rural population comprising mainly of peasants farmers. Farming is the main occupation of the people but few others have diversified into petty trading, carpentry and others. The Local Government is divided into 10 wards namely: Gambari, Bayaoje, Iresaapa, Arolu, Iresaadu, Iregba, Iwofin, Oko, Illajue and Magin.

The study population comprised of all tomato farmers in Surulere Local Government of Oyo State. Two stage random sampling was used in the selection of respondents for the study. The first stage involved a simple purposive selection of ten (10) villages in the local government namely: Gambari, Bayaoje, Araolu, Iresaapa, Iresaasadu, Illajue, Mayin, Iwofin, Oko and Iregba. The large number of tomato farmers and marketers necessitated the choice of this area in Oyo State. The second stage involved the random selection of sixteen (16) tomato farmers from the list of registered tomato farmers’ association from the selected villages. A total number of 160 farmers were used for the study.

Primary and Secondary data was used for the study. Primary data was gotten from the field survey through the administration of well-structured interview schedule. The structured questionnaire was used to solicit information from the respondents on issues that bothers on the set objectives of the study. The secondary data was gathered from related journals and library.Perception of effectiveness on indigenous postharvest practices among farmers in the study area were measured on 5 point likerttype scales of; 5= Strongly Agreed (SA), 4= Agreed (A), 3=Undecided (U), 2= Disagree (D), 1= Strongly Disagree (SD). The data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics such as frequency, percentage, mean score, mean ranking to achieve objective 1, 2 and 3. Also, multiple regression model was used to investigate the determinants of respondents’ perception of effectiveness of tomato farmers on indigenous postharvest value addition practices. The form of the regression model is given as:
Y = b0 + b1X1 + b2X2 +b3X3 + b4X4 + b5X5 + b6X6 +b7X7+ b8X8 + et

Where: b0 is constant term
b1………b9 = coefficient of regression
Y = Perception of effectiveness on indigenous postharvest practices (dependent variable)
Xn = Explanatory variables
X1 = Gender
X2 = Age
X3 = Marital Status
X4 = Household size
X5 = Educational level
X6 = Occupation
X7 = Farm experience
X8 = Farm size
et = Error term/disturbance term

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Socio-economic Characteristics of Respondents

Analysis of data illustrated in table 1 showed that 62.5% were females while 37.5% of the tomato farmers in the study area were males. The highest number of female respondents suggests that tomato farming in the study area is mostly practiced by females. This finding is not in line with Adepeju, (2014) who reported majority of tomato farmers in Ogbomoso, Oyo state were male.

Result presented in table 1 further show the mean age of respondents to be 43 years. Also, majority (81.6%) were married and 7.6% were widower. As regards educational status of respondents, results revealed that majority (55.6%) had secondary school education. With majority of the tomato farmers in the study area having secondary education implies respondents are literate to some extent to use value addition practices. This is in line with Mrema (2002) who stated the education imparts knowledge, creates awareness and makes inquisitiveness to explore and learn, helps become skilled and make desirable changes in adoption.

Results presented in table 1 further indicated that majority (74.3%) of the respondents have no other occupation aside tomato production with majority (46.8%) cultivating about 2 hectares. About 28.1% who have engaged in tomato farming venture for not less than 11 – 15 year. This finding implies that tomato farming in the study area is profitable.

Table 1: Socioeconomic characteristics of respondents 
Socioeconomic Characteristics Frequency Percentage
Gender:
Male 60 37.5
Female 100 62.5
Age in years:
<35 8 5.0
36 – 40 35 21.8
41 – 45 50 31.3
46 – 50 24 15.0
51 – 55 20 12.5
>56 23 14.4
Marital status:
Married 131 81.8
Divorce 17 10.6
Widow/ widower 12 7.6
Educational level:
No formal education 3 1.8
Adult education 16 10.0
Primary education 48 30.0
Secondary education 89 55.6
Tertiary education 4 2.5
Occupation
Tomato farming 119 74.3
Cassava farming 20 21.5
Trading 21 4.2
Household size (people)
<5 24 15.0
6 – 8 38 24.0
9 – 11 53 33.1
12 – 14 20 12.5
>15 25 15.4
Year of farm experience
1 – 5 9 5.6
6 – 10 35 21.8
11 – 15 45 28.1
16 – 20 35 21.8
>20 36 22.5
Farm size in hectare
1 28 17.5
2 75 46.8
3 50 31.3
4 7 4.4
Source: Field survey, 2013

Indigenous value Addition Practices Employed by Tomato Farmers to prevent postharvest losses

Analysis of data presented on handling practices in table 2 revealed that majority (58.6%) of the respondents harvest their tomato early in the morning. Only 0.6% harvests their produce in the afternoon while 40.6% harvest their tomato in the evening. This finding does not agree with Ajagbe et al. (2014) who reported that majority of tomato farmers in Ogun State, Nigeria preferred to harvest tomatoes in the evening. This implies that majority of the respondents under this study were aware of the postharvest implication of the time of harvest on tomato produce and to ensure tomatoes were harvested at the coolest possible temperature. Within this favourable temperature period, farmers will be able to get to the market to sell to the consumers on the same day. This way, the rate of tomato spoilage will be reduced.

It was also revealed in table 2 that 30.6% of the respondents harvest their tomato when it is matured green, 51.9% harvest their tomato when fully ripe and 17.5% harvest their tomato when it is half ripe. Indication that majority of the respondents’ harvest their tomato when fully ripe is evidence for considerable losses of tomato produce among farmers in the study area. This is contained in a statement by Orzolek et al. (2006) that tomatoes (especially for the wholesale market) should usually be picked at the mature green to prevent the fruit from becoming overripe during long transportation/shipping and handling.

Table 2 also revealed that majority (72.5%) of the respondents use basket/ raffia in packaging their produce to the market, 8.8% of the respondents use plastic crates and 18.8% use bucket in packaging their tomato produce to the market. Majority of the respondents using basket to package their tomato produce implies reduce postharvest losses. This practice is in accordance with Kitinoja (2008) who recommends the use of plastic crate or baskets to package tomato produce because of its susceptibility in order to avoid the produce being compressed together and damage.

Table 2: Indigenous value addition initiatives of postharvest for handling    and packaging
Indigenous Methods Frequency Percentage
Time of harvest
Early morning 94 58.6
Afternoon 1 0.6
Evening 65 40.6
Stage of harvesting
Matured green 49 30.6
Fully ripe 83 51.9
Half ripe 28 17.5
Packaging materials
Basket/ raffia 116 72.5
Sack with mango leaves 14 8.8
Plastic crates 30 18.8
Bucket
Source: Field survey, 2013

Perception of Tomato Farmers to effectiveness of Value Practices for preservation and processing Perception of respondents on effectiveness of indigenous tomato postharvest value addition practices as presented in table 3 revealed effectives in the order of sun dried into chips was ranked first with mean score = 4.8, pureed and sealed with oil in jars, Boiled, sealed and sealed, peeled tomato preserves were ranked second with mean score = 4.3 respectively, cold water bath was ranked fifth with mean score = 4.2, fresh and frozen was ranked sixth with mean score = 3.7, fresh refrigerated was ranked seventh with mean score = 3.5, Ground and frozen was ranked eighth with mean score = 3.4, fresh frozen was ranked ninth with mean score = 3.3, processed into jams and processed into juice was ranked tenth with mean score = 3.2 respectively, picking and sorting initiative was ranked twelfth with mean score = 2.4, keeping fresh produce inside farm structure for cooling and keeping fresh produce under shady tree for cooling initiatives were considered the least effective which ranked thirteenth with mean score = 2.1. For sun dried into chip to be ranked first for its effectiveness, this implies that sun-drying of tomato into chip is the commonly used indigenous initiative to preserve tomato among farmers in the study area.

Table 3: Percentage distribution of respondents according    to their perception on effectiveness of indigenous tomato postharvest value    addition initiatives
SD D U A SA Mean Rank
Cold water bath 63.1 0.5 23.4 - 8.2 4.2 5
Sun dried into chips 91.8 5.0 - - 3.2 4.8 1
Fresh frozen 3.8 27.0 67.9 1.2 3.3 9
Keep fresh produce inside farm structure for cooling - 4.4 1.9 90.6 3.2 2.1 13
Pureed and sealed with oil in jars 40.3 54.1 5.0 - 0.6 4.3 2
Boiled and sealed 40.3 54.1 5.0 - 0.6 4.3 2
Keep fresh produce under shady tree for cooling - 3.8 - 95.6 0.6 2.1 13
Picking and sorting 1.3 2.5 9.4 86.2 0.6 2.4 12
Ground and frozen 7.5 7.5 64.8 1.9 0.6 3.4 8
Fresh and frozen 22.6 25.8 50.9 - 0.6 3.7 6
Fresh refrigerated 9.4 36.5 53.5 - 0.6 3.5 7
Peeled tomato preserves 38.3 59.7 1.0 - - 4.3 2
Processed into jams 3.0 27.7 58.5 9.4 0.6 3.2 10
Processed into juice 3.0 27.7 58.5 9.4 0.6 3.2 10
Note: SA= Strongly Agreed, A= Agreed, Undecided, D= Disagree, SD= Strongly    Disagree. 

Hypothesis: There is no significant relationship between selected socioeconomic characteristics of respondents and their perception to effectiveness of tomato postharvest value addition initiatives. The result of regression analysis presented in table 4 revealed that gender was negatively influenced tomato farmers’ perception of effectiveness of indigenous postharvest value addition practices (p< 0.000) at 1% level of significant. Age was positively significant to perception of tomato farmers’ effectiveness of indigenous postharvest practices with p-value (0.062) at 10% level of significant. This means that the older the farmers get, the more their levels of perceived effectiveness of tomato indigenous values addition practices. This may be as a result of better experience in tomato farming and preservation. It may also be expected that the elderly will tend to attach more value to indigenous practices due to lesser complexity involved in those practices.

Table 4: Regression table 
Factors Coefficient Std error t - value P -value Conclusion
Gender -2.402217 0.5952622 -4.04 0.000*** Significant
Age 0.0702872 0.0373967 1.88 0.062* Significant
Marital status -0.0200696 0.4591748 -0.04 0.965 Not significant
Household size 0.02336 0.0661113 0.35 0.724 Not significant
Level of education 0.4753125 0.3488909 1.36 0.270 Not Significant
Occupation -0.6411536 0.4212996 -1.52 0.10* Not significant
Farm experience -0.0165169 0.0421062 -0.39 0.695 Not significant
Farm size 0.3645328 0.4705778 0.77 0.440 Not significant
Constant Adjusted R2 = 0.2027 20.41868 3.257076 6.74 0.000
P < 0.01
Coefficient significant: (***=1%, ** = 5%, * = 10%).

CONCLUSION

The study concludes that majority of tomato farmers in Surulere Local government area of Oyo State were; Female, married, aged between 41- 45 years and had secondary school education.

Harvesting of fully ripe tomato usually packed in basket/ raffia early in the morning were common indigenous handling and packaging practices to prevent post-harvest losses by tomato farmers in the study area. Indigenous preservative methods such as sun drying, pureed and sealed with oil in jars, boiled and sealed, cold water were mostly perceived to be effective indigenous preservative methods by tomato farmers in the study area. Regression analysis further revealed that age of respondent has positive influence on farmers’ perception of the effectiveness of indigenous preservative practices.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The following recommendations were made based on findings of this study:

  1. Agricultural extension services should focus on the provision of facilities that will improve sun drying method commonly used by farmers in the study area.
  2. Tomato farmers are encouraged to come together or join existing cooperative group for easy access of facilities for postharvest practices.

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