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

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Feb 29
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Availability and utilization of postproduction facilities at Agricultural Business Centres (ABC) in Sierra Leone.

Joseph Sherman Kamara, Ansley Fomba, Mohamed Sankoh, Bashiru Mansaray, Samuel Raymond Jaia, Sahr Marvin Bockari-Gevao

Abstract


In the shift from subsistence to commercial agriculture the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone embarked on the mechanization of smallholder farming through farmer organizations by establishing community-based Agricultural Business Centers (ABC). This study was conducted to assess the postproduction machinery available at these centers, and the conditions around which they are utilized. Data was obtained through interviews and inspections conducted at 60 ABCs in 12 districts. The results show that most ABCs had access to basic rice postproduction facilities, but lacked other value adding machinery. The available machines were mostly powered by water-cooled diesel engines operated by an average of 2 to 6 persons. Most ABCs appeared to be satisfied with the conditions of the buildings and ancillary supplies but seemed to lack provision to protect from dust, fumes and excess vibration. The most common operations conducted were milling, transportation and drying (651, 373 and 333 hours per year), respectively. There were many breakdown reports, especially with rice mills, but repairs and maintenance opportunities were also said to be limited. We conclude that although the basic rice processing facilities were available at various centers, ABCs face major challenges that could impede the efficient utilization of these facilities.

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