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Smallholder grain postharvest management in a variable climate: Practices and perceptions of smallholder farmers and their service-providers in semi-arid areas

Smallholder grain postharvest management in a variable climate: Practices and perceptions of smallholder farmers and their service-providers in semi-arid areas

Nyabako, Tinashe, Mvumi, Brighton M., Stathers, Tanya ORCID: 0000-0002-7767-6186, Machekano, Honest M. and Siziba, S. (2020) Smallholder grain postharvest management in a variable climate: Practices and perceptions of smallholder farmers and their service-providers in semi-arid areas. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 23 (6). pp. 9196-9222. ISSN 1387-585X (Print), 1573-2975 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-020-01019-y)

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Abstract

Field data on current crop postharvest management practices and perceptions from smallholder farming communities in an increasingly variable climate are scarce. Our study used a multi-dimensional approach to explore the practices and perceptions of these communities and their service-providers regarding grain postharvest management in semi-arid Mbire and Hwedza districts in Zimbabwe. A total of 601 individual household interviews, six focus group discussions with women and men, and interviews with 40 district stakeholders and 53 community key informants were conducted. Farmers and service-providers explained how climate change was threatening food security; causing reduced and more variable maize and sorghum yields of below 0.5 t/ha, alongside higher grain storage insect pest pressure. Increased food insecurity and concerns regarding grain theft have driven a shift from bulk storage in traditional outdoor free-standing granaries to polypropylene bags stacked inside the living quarters. Poor and improper use of grain protectants in these circumstances exacerbate the health-related risks. Agricultural extension officers were the most common source of agronomic and postharvest information followed by farmer-to-farmer information exchange. Targeted postharvest training; participatory field trials involving agricultural extension staff, farmers and other service-providers; and policy dialogue around grain postharvest management and food security are proposed to help in strengthening the capacity to reduce grain postharvest losses under increasingly unpredictable conditions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: storage pest management, smallholder grain storage, climate change impacts, postharvest management policy dialogue
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Postharvest Science and Technology Research Group
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2021 08:16
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/24232

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