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Prioritizing issues of losses in african indigenous vegetable: evidence from solanum aethopicumvalue chain in Uganda

Author: 
Kasharu, A.K., Kizito, E. B., Masanza, M., Jjagwe, J. and Namutebi, A.
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

This presents the results of a study that was conducted in central Uganda to expound on the issues of Solanum aethopicum (Nakati) value chain, perception of losses in the supply chain and the consequent solutions to overcome the challenges. The specific objectives of this study in central Uganda were to; (i) identify and map the value chain actors of S. aethiopicum (Nakati) vegetable production and marketing and (ii) evaluate farmers’ perception on issues of vegetable losses in S. aethiopicum supply chain. A PRA was conducted at Namulonge, Kabanyoro, Busukuma and Zirobwe villages on 7th August 2016, 9th August 2016, 10th August 2016 and 12th August 2016, respectively with the farmers to understand the S. aethiopicum actors’ perception of Nakati vegetable losses and mitigating solutions. A pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire was used to generate the appropriate. The results of value chain actors mapping revealed that there were on average, 60 input suppliers, 41 Nakati farmer groups, 45 wholesale traders, 48 retailers, 3 processors and 63 transporters. On the other hand, during group discussions, members listed a number of vegetables grown in their communities which include Spider plants, Cabbage, Ntuula, Tomatoes, Nakati, Okra, Egg plant, Green pepper, Bugga, and Katunkuma. On an ascending scale where 1 is the most important 10 least important, participants ranked the importance of vegetables. Nakati emerged as the number one vegetable, followed by Ntuula in the second position. The third position is occupied by vegetables Bugga while cabbage are ranked number four. The participants further ranked Katunkuma in a position five and while Aubergine was put in position six. Nakati is a popular vegetable because it grows very fast and is fairly tolerant to water stress situations. Consequently when all other leafy vegetables have dried due to draughts, Nakati fresh leaves are still available for household consumption and sale in local markets. A sizeable number of constraints were highlighted by vegetables producers. The four most highly ranked and reported constraints by farmers include; high inputs costs (34.8%), high post-harvest losses (15.8%) erratic weather (15.6%) and pest and diseases (11.4%). Overall, high post-harvest losses combined with occurrence of pests and diseases are recognized as the major limiting factors in vegetables production. Farmers suggested several solutions to overcome vegetables production constraints. Some are of policy and institutional nature. Worth noting are the four mentioned solutions namely; increase in agro input support system (12.5%), increase availability of improved vegetables varieties (25.3%), subsidy on inputs (10.2%)and request for more training on vegetables husbandry /more extension agents (11.3%).

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