Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Mechanical Engineering Department, Ahmadu Bello University

2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

10.22105/jarie.2024.422732.1570

Abstract

Despite being the 16th-largest tomato producer in the world with the potential to dominate tomato exports, Nigeria still faces challenges, including a lack of crucial production inputs, low yields, outdated technology, significant postharvest losses (PHL), and a lack of infrastructure for processing and promotion. Although the PHL in tomato production and promotion are well understood worldwide, Nigeria still has a sizable knowledge gap in postharvest handling and management. So, to evaluate the perspectives of the key players (farmers, traders/middlemen, transporters/logistics, and processors) in this value chain, this study constructed a zone-specific production system, postharvest handling, and losses model for tomatoes. Three hundred fifty samples from the four districts comprised the value chain actors' survey, comprising 200 farmers, 115 traders/middlemen, 25 transporters/logistics, and 10 processors. A standardised questionnaire was used to perform the one-on-one quantitative interview. The study's findings indicated that most transporters had at least two losses, and at least one dealer had lost money. The main players in the supply chain cited problems such as the lack of market avenues, storage technologies, processing factories, close markets, and inefficient transportation methods. Furthermore, loading and unloading, breakage, rot, and accidents account for most tomato PHL losses. Therefore, it is advised that Nigeria's rich tomato market be exploited by establishing suitable processing facilities, appropriate sponsorship for farmers, and developing suitable transportation routes.

Keywords

Main Subjects