Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) production and postharvest evaluation study was undertaken in thirty (30) districts selected from the Northern Regions of Ghana, by employing the Participatory Rural Appraisal (P.R.A.) procedure. Thirty (30) districts, ten (10) from each Region (Upper West, Upper East, North East, Savannah and Northern), were chosen. Interviews and focus group discussions were held using both closed and open-ended questionnaires, and involved 600 individual key informants; 20 from each district/community and thirty (30) focus group discussions in all. The main aim of the research was to solicit general information regarding the core production constraints and postharvest activities and marketing of groundnuts as it pertains in Northern Ghana, which is the major producing area in the country. The Statistical Package for the Social Scientists (SPSS version 17.0) and Microsoft Excel were used to analyze data obtained from the questionnaire; Results were summarized into means, using standard error and percentages, where necessary. The association between storage structures and duration of groundnuts in storage was tested by the Chi-Square statistic method. Results obtained from the study shows that ‘China’ local groundnut variety was the most cultivated (76.5%, 99.5%, 96.5%) in all three regions (N/R, U/E and U/W respectively). A participatory rural appraisal ranked drought (4.43), disease (3.53), yield potential (3.50) and pests (3.23) as the major and most important production constraints. Majority (41.0%) of the farmers who were aged between 40 and 49, had no formal education (74.7%) and maintained an average farm size of 4 acres, out of which groundnut farm sizes were about 1 to 2 acres. Most of the farmers also preferred ‘Chinese’, ‘Agric-Manipinta’ and ‘Obolo’ groundnut varieties based on high yield potential (pod and seed size), ease of harvesting, drought-tolerance, earliness and high market value. Reason for choice of variety was high yielding (73.33%) and ease of harvesting and drought tolerance (32.67%). Most efficient Storage structure for groundnuts was Jute sack (93%). Average length of storage was 5-6 months (74.45%). Most common storage pests were Grain weevils (57; 9.50%) and Cercospora sp. (28; 4.67%). Most common storage diseases were Aflatoxin (78; 13%) and Aspegillus sp. (21; 3.50%). Improvement in the storage structures, therefore, has a higher likelihood of increasing the duration of groundnut in storage. The major end use of groundnut according to the study was groundnut paste (50%). Groundnuts had ready market (489; 81.50%) according to farmers. Relay of information across the value chain was mostly by colleague farmers (39.33%),MoFA (31.33%) and NGOs (13.83%). The scale of measurement used was common for bowls and 100 kg bag. Average market price of a 100 kg bag and a bowl were Ghs136.55%, Ghs3.43 respectively.

Author (s) Details

D. Oppong-Sekyere
Department of Ecological Agriculture, Bolgatanga Polytechnic, P.O.Box 767, Bolgatanga, Ghana.

Prof. R. Akromah

Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana.

E. Y. Nyamah
University of Cape Coast Business School, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana.

A. D. Ninfaa
Department of Ecological Agriculture, Bolgatanga Polytechnic, P.O.Box 767, Bolgatanga, Ghana.

M. M. Braimah
Department of Agricultural Engineering, School of Engineering, Bolgatanga Polytechnic,  P.O.Box 767, Bolgatanga, Upper East Region, Ghana.

Mrs. M. M. Akpalu
Department of Ecological Agriculture, Bolgatanga Polytechnic, P.O.Box 767, Bolgatanga, Ghana

A. R. S. Salifu
Department of Ecological Agriculture, Bolgatanga Polytechnic, P.O.Box 767, Bolgatanga, Ghana.

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