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Determinants and income effect of yam postharvest loss management: evidence from the Zabzugu District of Northern Ghana

Ansah, Isaac Gershon Kodwo, Tetteh, Bright K. D., Donkoh, Samuel A.
Food security 2017 v.9 no.3 pp. 611-620
education, environmental sustainability, equations, farmers, food security, income, issues and policy, models, postharvest losses, yams, Ghana
Globally, postharvest loss reduction has been emphasized as an effective option for improving food security and environmental sustainability. Yam production in the Zabzugu district of Northern Ghana suffers from high postharvest losses, with varying degrees of economic, social and environmental implications. Improving the welfare of farmers through postharvest loss reduction requires farmers’ effective management of the losses. The purpose of this study is to examine how effectively farmers manage postharvest losses and the rewards derived from such efforts. Using a cross-section of 201 randomly selected yam farmers from major production communities in the Zabzugu district of Northern Ghana, we applied a simultaneous equation modelling approach to examine the contemporaneous correlation between postharvest loss management and income. Results provided evidence that good postharvest loss management improves welfare of yam farmers through increased income earnings and vice versa, especially for those who produce for commercial purposes. On the other hand, subsistence farmers were better at managing postharvest losses, though with lower monetary rewards. The policy implications are that interventions should target farmer education and training to improve the skills of farmers in managing postharvest losses.