Performance of Post-Harvest Handling Strategies Used By Maize Farmers in Kakabara Sub county, Kyegegwa District
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This study was conducted mainly to analyze the performance of different post-harvest strategies on the profitability of maize Kakabara Sub County, Kyegegwa district. To profile the different post-harvest handling strategies used by farmers in Kyegegwa district, to determine the profitability of each post-harvest handling strategy, to determine the factors that influence the farmer’s choice of a post-harvest handling strategy. It was a descriptive across sectional study which employed quantitative data collection techniques with the use of questionnaires and analysis was done using SPSS version 16. The main findings of the study indicate that the different post-harvest handling strategies used by farmers Selling maize immediately after harvest, Selling a fraction of maize immediately after harvest and storing some for future, Selling fresh maize only and a fraction dried. Findings as per the computed gross margin showed that as a result of employing the post-harvest strategies, profits are registered hence making the venture attractive. Also, such factors like farmer’s attitude, strategy knowledge, cost of the strategy, availability of the technology, nature of the market and transport costs incurred were found to influence the farmer’s choice of a post-harvest handling strategy. It was concluded that farmers use various post-harvest strategies in order to gain from the maize production and these among others include Selling maize immediately after harvest that also includes drying especially using the sun, shelling which is done by use of the shelling machine, storage especially in residential houses and transportation which is commonly done by the use of a bicycles and at times motorcycles. Since most of these mechanisms are not so expensive and costly, they end up making some profits on their farming activities. The choice to adopt a given post-harvest strategy is determined by cost of the strategy, availability of the technology and transport costs incurred. The study recommended that there is need to conduct training nearer to the farmers maybe at sub-county level, provision of enough training materials like charts in local languages, use of more local languages during the trainings so that farmers can easily understand and know more about the post-harvest maize handling strategies. There is need for government and other agricultural agencies aimed at minimizing maize post-harvest losses at during storage to construct better storage facilities for farmers.