The Effect of Post-harvest Handling on the Quality and Marketability of Locally Harvested Tomato in Aks Case Study Uyo Senatorial District
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to ascertain the effect of post-harvest handling on the quality and marketability of locally harvested tomato in Akwa Ibom state. But for the successful completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following objective;
- To ascertain the effect of post-harvest handling on the quality of locally harvested tomato
- To ascertain if there is any relationship between post-harvest handling quality and the marketability of the product
- To ascertain the impact of post-harvest handling technique on the durability of the product
- To investigate the handling technique that aid easy marketability of the product
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Tomato (Solanumlycopersycum L) production is a major source of income for majority of households in Nigeria. It is cultivated in both tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is grown for its edible fruit which can be eaten raw in salad, cooked and made into puree in canning industries (Komolafe and Adegbola, 1979). Tomato is used as condiments for stew which is a regular feature of African meals. Hence it is an important ingredient in the confectionary industry. Today in Nigeria, it is very important in the diet of both rural and urban dwellers. Tomato contains protein, edible oil, vitamin A, B and C and mineral (Igene and Akinbolu, 1994). The bulk of the tomatoes traded in Nigeria are produced by small-scale farmers. Population growth and development has led to increase in demand and marketing activities for tomato. Tomato marketing is a source of livelihood (i.e it creates employment and generates income) to a sizeable number of households in Nigeria. In spite of the popularity of these plants, spoilage problem is commonly encountered in its marketing. The goal of transport in marketing is to convey produce from production centers to consumer markets with minimal loss of quality (Karaköy et al., 2012). An inefficient transport system is a disadvantage to tomatoes marketing since it has direct influence on cost, its quality and overall postharvest losses. As high as 10-20% postharvest losses occur due to delays in transport arrangements and long distances to urban markets (Sugri et al., 2013). This huge loss is unacceptable since economic resources would have been expended, and given that myriads of recommendations exist on postharvest quality management. A glut occurs at harvest and follows shortly by acute scarcity, which results in excessive price fluctuations. Post-harvest properties of tomato fruit include: color, firmness, total soluble solids of tomato and shelf-life of tomato (Akter and Khan, 2011; Babatola et al., 2008; Gautier et al., 2008; NurHossain et al., 2011; Safdar et al., 2010; Sargentet al., 1992; Tadesse et al., 2012a; Tadesse et al., 2012b) In Nigeria, postharvest storage and processing have been identified as the main causes of seasonal fluctuations of supply and price, high quality loss and socio-economic loss to producers. In Nigeria, tomatoes are harvested at vine-ripe due to lack of cool-chain and ripening facilities to handle mature-green to turning stages. However, as tomatoes ripen and senesce during transportation, greater care is required to minimize physical damage. Processing the fruits into preserved products could ameliorate this situation, unfortunately processing equipment is lacking, and some families prefer to use fresh tomato for cooking. Depending on the target market, tomato handling, transportation and marketing may require sophisticated technologies and facilities. However, simple recommendations exist to extend shelf life at ambient conditions. General recommendations are that tomatoes can be harvested at mature-green stage and ripened under controlled conditions Post-harvest perish ability is a major threat to the marketing of tomatoes. As high as 10-20% postharvest losses occur due to delays in transport arrangements and long distances to urban markets (Sugri et al., 2013). An efficient agricultural marketing system ensures that both the producers and consumers attain equilibrium benefit. Evaluation of tomato marketing efficiency would require information on post-harvest perish ability (Abbot and Markeham, 1986). Inefficient transportation of tomato to the market, is one of the problems of tomato marketing as it leads to high degree of spoilage (Afolabi and Ayinde, 2001). The rural growers and marketers of fresh tomato fruits recognize the perish ability of the product. Consequently it is sold off in a hurry, sometimes at uneconomic rates.
The researcher used descriptive research survey design in building up this project work the choice of this research design was considered appropriate because of its advantages of identifying attributes of a large population from a group of individuals. The design was suitable for the study as the study sought to examine the effect of post-harvest handling on quality and marketability of locally harvested tomato in Akwa Ibom state.
Sources of data collection
Data were collected from two main sources namely:
(i)Primary source and
These are materials of statistical investigation which were collected by the research for a particular purpose. They can be obtained through a survey, observation questionnaire or as experiment, the researcher has adopted the questionnaire method for this study.
These are data from textbook Journal handset etc. they arise as byproducts of the same other purposes. Example administration, various other unpublished works and write ups were also used.
PRESENTATION ANALYSIS INTERPRETATION OF DATA
Efforts will be made at this stage to present, analyze and interpret the data collected during the field survey. This presentation will be based on the responses from the completed questionnaires. The result of this exercise will be summarized in tabular forms for easy references and analysis. It will also show answers to questions relating to the research questions for this research study. The researcher employed simple percentage in the analysis.
The data collected from the respondents were analyzed in tabular form with simple percentage for easy understanding.
A total of 133(one hundred and thirty three) questionnaires were distributed and 133 questionnaires were returned.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study wasto ascertain the effect of post-harvest handling on the quality and marketability of locally harvested tomato in Uyo senatorial district of Akwa Ibom state
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of post-harvest handling of tomato in Akwa Ibom state.
Tomato is the most popular and widely grown vegetable in the world. In economic importance it is second only to Tomato. The quality of any fruit after harvest cannot be improved by the use of any postharvest treatment method or handling practices but can only be maintained. Understanding and managing the various roles that pre-harvest factors like fertilizer application, pruning, maturity stage, cultivar selection, and irrigation can play in the quality of fruits at harvest is very important in order to produce high quality fruits at harvest. Tomatoes are highly perishable and are subjected to rapid quality loss after harvest. Using best postharvest handling practices or factors such as optimum temperature, right relative humidity, and right gases in storage, the use of postharvest calciumchloride application and the best physical handling procedures to maintain the quality after harvest is also critical.
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