Farmers' Knowledge and Perception on Beans Postharvest Constraints and Their Mitigation Methods in the Humid Rainforest and Highland Ecozones of Cameroon
Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International
Aims: This study sought to assess farmers' awareness and knowledge about bean postharvest constraints and their indigenous methods to mitigate them. Cameroon. Study Design: Random interviewing of bean farmers. Place and Duration of study: Interviewed farmers of the highland savanna and humid rainforest ecological zones which are two agro-ecological zones of Cameroon respectively from January 2017 to October 2018. Methodology: A structured questionnaire was randomly distributed to 519 bean
... s in order to document their perceptions on various constraints hampering beans postharvest handling/storage and their indigenous methods of mitigating these constraints. Of these, 356 were from the highland savanna and 163 from the humid rainforest ecozones Results: Most postharvest losses in beans are caused by insects and mold/rot. Insect pests were reported by 251 (69.5%) of farmers in the highland savanna and 134 (84.8%) in the humid rain forest, while mold/rot was reported by 108 (29.9%) of the farmers in the highland savanna and 11 (6.9%) in the humid rainforest. Farmers in both agro-ecological zones lacked adequate storage facilities, as reported by 147 (40.7%) in the highland savanna and 43% (275) in the humid rainforest. Most farmers in the highland savanna 118 (39.20%) and humid rainforest 67 (43.22%) stored bean grains for 1-3 months, though farmers in the highland savanna generally stored beans longer than those in the humid rainforest. The insect infestations were controlled mainly by using conventional pesticides and local plant materials while mold was mainly managed by proper drying of the produce. Conclusions: To mitigate these constraints, an integrated approach of storing appropriately dried insect-free grains in moisture proof storage containers/facilities and judicious use of synthetic pesticides and/or proven effective botanicals should be adopted. Thus, farmers should be trained on good bean preservation methods and effective plant-based products.