Contribution of Purdue Improved Crop Storage (Pics) Bag Technology 1N Monitoring Post-Harvest Loss Trends & Reduction in Maize Production. a Case of Dokolo District
Author: BUSINGYE DOREEN ELIZABETH
Supervisor: Marius Murongo Flarian
This study sought to investigate the contribution of Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bag technology to monitoring post-harvest loss trends and post-harvest reduction in maize production using a case of Dokolo district. The study objectives were; To establish the adoption rate of the PICS bags technology in the reduction of post-harvest losses in maize production in Dokolo District; To establish the extent of maize losses among farmers who use PICS bag technology in maize storage and maize production in Dokolo District and To compare post-harvest losses in maize production between farmers in Dokolo District who adopted PICS bag technology and those who have ignored it. A case study design was adopted and data collected from a sample of 198 respondents. Self-administered questionnaires, interview guide and documentary review guide were used in the study. SPSS Version 16 was used to analyse quantitative data and findings were presented in a tabular format showing frequencies, percentages, mean and standard deviation. Qualitative findings were presented in themes in a narrative form. From the study findings, it was revealed that there was a good adoption rate of the PICS bags technology in the reduction of post-harvest losses in maize production in Dokolo District. Farmers in Dokolo district grow maize and used PICS bags in storing their produce so as to reduction of post-harvest losses in maize production every season since 2014. Challenges for the adoption include lack of awareness, being too expensive, usability, accessibility and availability of the PICS bags. To a large extent, the maize losses been reduced among farmers who use PICS bag technology in maize storage and maize production in Dokolo District. If bags are not tighten well in order not to allow in air and keep the maize safe away from weevils, they can be affected by pests. However, the pests die when they are stored in the PICS Bags. There are fewer post-harvest losses in maize production between farmers who adopted PICS bag technology compared to those who have ignored it. PICS Bags are pest controller bags. Never the less the farmers had a special facility for storing PICS and ordinals bags. Farmers that used PICS Bags needed nothing to do with fumigation as all their produce was safe relation compared to the ordinary Bags that needed fumigation at the store would be filled with pests allover consuming the stored maize. It was revealed quality of the maize after storage in PICS was excellent and therefore, the study recommended that government should empower households on the adoption of the Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) since they are designed to store crops and reduce post-harvest losses from pests such as bruchids, also known as weevils. Since some farmers had difficulty accessing PICS bags at points that were far away from the village. Dissemination strategies should consider the different constraints men and women face accessing PICS bag distribution centres to ensure that both men and women can purchase the bags.