Journal of Postharvest Technology, Vol 5, No 3 (2017)

Feb 20
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Assessment of smallholder rice postharvest operations at agricultural business centres (ABC) in Sierra Leone

Joseph Sherman Kamara, Alhassan Kamara, Bashiru Mansaray, Georgiana Allie, Sahr Marvin Bockari-Gevao


Agricultural Business Centers (ABCs) have been established in communities across Sierra Leone to boost the production and processing capacities of smallholder farmers, under a national agricultural commercialization process. The aim was to boost smallholder capacities for rice production as an incentive for food security and poverty reduction. Each ABC has been provided with the facilities required to achieve this goal. The aim of this study was to generate detailed description of the postharvest operations conducted at ABCs. Data was collected through structured interviews involving 60 ABCs from 12 districts. Data obtained showed that the ABCs conduct various postharvest operations. Majority of the conduct basic postharvest operations with only a smaller proportion conducting advanced operations like rice product branding (25%) and  grading (35%). They reported various forms of harvesting and postharvest losses. Harvested grains may be parboiled or not, sundried, milled using simple and improved facilities and grains are mostly stored in nylon fibre bags. During storage, rice grains get infested by storage pests (weevils and rodents), a problem they address with pesticides or other methods. Despite availability of improved facilities rice value addition systems at ABCs still operate at a very basic level and have a large room for improvement.

Online ISSN: 2348-4330 
NAAS Rating: 3.69 (2018)