The impact of adoption of post-harvest handling technologies on maize products post-harvest losses in Kampala district
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Ugandan maize processors and farmers have been involved in maize production for both commercial and consumption purposes. Maize production thus forms an essential portion of the maize production system. This leads to the expansion of the maize product and food provision in Uganda at large. Maize is a major product produced in the Eastern and some central parts of Uganda. However, the mean quantities of maize are seen to be less than the potential attainable levels due to the Post-harvest Loss that are highly experienced in maize products. However, less has been done to assess the level to which Post-Harvest Handling Technologies via mitigating these PHL is involved in maize and its products. Objective The main objective of this research study was to assess the impact of Post-Harvest Handling Technologies on Post-Harvest Losses in maize and its products in Kampala processors and Kigumba farms. Methods A cross sectional study design was utilized in this research study. A sample size of 60 respondents in total was used, 35 were processors and 25 farmers. These participants were consented and briefed before being interviewed using the structured drafted questionnaires as a study tool. The data from the research respondents was analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics version 126.96.36.199. The analysis and interpretations were done using the frequencies & percentages and multiple response (cross tabulation), thus, the results and findings were presented in form of frequencies, tables and percentages. Results and findings The major findings of the research study indicate that the mostly used technology is storage with 28.8% in maize farmers and processing & milling at 20.0% in processors. These are followed by cleaning technology at 20.0% in both processors and farmers of Kampala and Kigumba. The research findings also indicate that the highest Post-Harvest Losses are experienced in storage with a mean of 33.84Kg and cleaning with a mean of 17.83Kg among xii the Kigumba farmers and Kampala processors respectively. And these PHL are majorly caused by weevils with 40.0% and Aflatoxins with 48.6% in farmers and processors respectively. The 𝒓 𝟐valuewas 0.085 among processor & 0.080 among farmers. Conclusion and research recommendation From the research study results, it is backed up and evidenced that Post-Harvest Handling Technologies play a big role in controlling Post-Harvest Losses in maize handling after harvest for both maize processors and maize farmers in Kampala and Kigumba, respectively. Thus, there is a great need to put up advanced and improved PHH technologies & strategies, and also need to extend them to the maize processing companies and maize farmers (suppliers) of both Kampala and Kigumba through trainings by extension workers, PHHT schemes and workshops in order to ensure value addition and eliminate these losses completely. This is also aimed to ensure expanded shelf-life of maize and its products and mitigate maize grain and product wastages. The government and private sectors also need to put up advanced storage facilities and cleaning plants and methods to eliminate the losses associated with maize handling at these points.