Assessing the post-harvest losses of coffee in Bushenyi District.
MetadataShow full item record
This study was conducted to assess the physical and economic post-harvest losses of coffee in Bushenyi district. The study was based on four (4) specific objectives; to assess the economic losses faced by farmers and the variables that influence these losses, to assess how farmers control post-harvest losses they are facing, to find out other possible ways to overcome post-harvest losses faced by coffee farmers and to find out challenges faced by farmers after harvesting.The study was carried out in four parishes in Nyabubare sub-county Bushenyi district namely, Nyarugoote, Nyabubare, Kigooma and Kiyagara and was conducted through a cross sectional study design. The study used quantitative and qualitative approaches. Sample size comprised of 80 respondents of which 40 were coffee growers, 20 were Coffee venders (traders) 15 from processing plants (cooperatives) and 5 local council leaders. Data was collected using: questionnaires. Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and document review were also conducted. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS v20.0) and presented in frequency tables, graphs and pie-charts.The study revealed thatmore than 67% of the coffee farmers in Bushenyi district made post-harvest losses ranging from 1-5kg from harvesting to selling off of coffee which is equivalent to Ugshs 8000-60,000 loss. These losses were found to be influenced by various factors which include; Time of harvesting coffee, Method of harvesting coffee, Storage of coffee after drying, Land (acres), Pre-harvest Agronomic Management Practicesand method of drying coffee. The study findings revealed that despite the post-harvest losses, most coffee farmers in Bushenyi district had put in place various strategies to control or overcome these losses by avoiding compaction and ensuring proper ventilation in store, avoiding coffee berries from contact with rain and water, harvesting ready coffee, using improved, dry and cool storage facilities, using appropriate drying materials and allowing coffee to dry completely, using dry tarpaulin to prevent moisture from soil and using polythene bags. The study however revealed that most coffee farmers in Bushenyi district face challenges of pest and diseases, climate change, price fluctuations, poor roads, thieves, infertile soils and lack of enough knowledge and skills on coffee growing,shortage of land, high costs of labour and scarcity of labour. The study concludes that if coffee farmers harvest their coffee at the time when it is purely ripe, use selective hand-picking of coffee, grow improved coffee, use good agronomic practices andallow the coffee to fully get dry, post-harvest losses will reduce. The study recommends that the government should promote agricultural awareness programs about coffee farming, subsidize agroinputs, tools and equipment and promote agro-based financial institutions. The study also recommends that coffee farmers should start of join farmer groups to assist in raising funds in form of savings and loans and to gain bargaining power over the prices during times of price fluctuations. Financial institutions should revise their credit policies to ensure that even smallholder coffee farmers who are organized in groups get loans to improve their coffee farms.