African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6638

Full Length Research Paper

Adoption of post harvest technologies used by small-holder farmers in Swaziland

B. R. T. Vilane1*, M. I. Shongwe1, N. M. Motsa2 and V. D. Shongwe3        
1Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Swaziland, P. O. Luyengo, M205 Swaziland. 2Department of Crop Production, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Swaziland, P. O. Luyengo, M205 Swaziland. 3Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Swaziland, P. O. Luyengo, M205 Swaziland.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 22 August 2012
  •  Published: 11 September 2012

Abstract

Post-harvest technology forms an important component of any agricultural system. It is vital in all circumstances, whether there is surplus or deficit. A lot has been done on the dissemination of post-harvest loss reduction technologies in Swaziland, but very little has been done to evaluate the adoption of such technologies. This study evaluated the adoption of post-harvest technologies by small-holder farmers. The objectives were to describe the existing post-harvest technologies in Swaziland and identify factors that influence adoption. Face-to-face interviews, using an interview schedule, were conducted targeting 70,850 small-holder farmers with a sample size of 382 selected from all ecological zones. The technologies identified were traditional in nature and those that were imported. Imported technologies were highly adopted (61.8%) as compared to traditional (38.2%) and this was due to the effort of the Ministry of Agriculture in promoting such technologies. Technology adoption was influenced by farmer oriented and technology based factors. Amongst the farmer oriented factors, females adopted more (57.3%) technologies than males (42.7%). Technology factors that were ranked highly in terms of adoption rates were; faster crop drying rate (46.1%), safety of crop (27.3%), and better crop protection (16.2%). Research should be conducted over time to determine crop losses within both traditional and imported technologies at farm level at all the ecological zones to come out with the best option.

 

Key words: Post-harvest technology, Swaziland, small-holder farmers.