Journal of
Agricultural Extension and Rural Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Agric. Ext. Rural Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2170
  • DOI: 10.5897/JAERD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 393

Full Length Research Paper

Causes of losses and the economic loss estimates at post-harvest handling points along the beef value chain in Uganda

Juliet Kyayesimira
  • Juliet Kyayesimira
  • Department of Biology, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, P. O. Box 1410, Mbarara, Uganda.
  • Google Scholar
Wangalwa Rapheal
  • Wangalwa Rapheal
  • Department of Biology, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, P. O. Box 1410, Mbarara, Uganda.
  • Google Scholar
Grace Kagoro Rugunda
  • Grace Kagoro Rugunda
  • Department of Biology, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, P. O. Box 1410, Mbarara, Uganda.
  • Google Scholar
Grace Kagoro Rugunda
  • Grace Kagoro Rugunda
  • Department of Biology, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, P. O. Box 1410, Mbarara, Uganda.
  • Google Scholar
Joseph W. Matofari
  • Joseph W. Matofari
  • Department of Dairy, Food Science and Technology, Egerton University, P. O. Box 536-20115, Egerton, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Morgan Andama
  • Morgan Andama
  • Department of Biology, Muni University, P. O. Box 725, Arua, Uganda.
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  •  Received: 30 June 2019
  •  Accepted: 26 August 2019
  •  Published: 31 October 2019

Abstract

Uganda’s beef industry has been growing slowly and requires sustained monitoring of actors at post-harvest handling points in order to decrease public health risks and losses. This study documented causes of losses and estimated economic values at post-harvest handling points along the beef value chain. It was carried out at slaughter houses, transporters and butcher shops in the districts of Western, Central and Eastern Uganda. A cross sectional study was conducted among meat handlers who were interviewed to find out the losses incurred in the value chain. Microbial load from carcass swabs were collected and evaluated using standard microbiological methods to determine microbial contamination of beef. The causes of losses varied at different handling points. The actors at slaughter houses indicated the major losses were due to low beef demand (15.3%), insecurity (13.4%) and poor weight estimation methods (11.03%). Losses at the butchery included, beef waste (22.4%), drip loss (19.7%) and beef spoilage (18.4%). Microbial analysis showed the highest microbial prevalence at the butchery (70-100%) followed by slaughter (50-80%) and lastly transport (30-50%). Microbial contamination on carcass leads to spoilage and hence market loss because exportation does not admit contaminated foods. Actors reported beef waste and drip loss as the major causes of losses at the butchery. To reduce losses, public health care education for meat handlers and adherence to strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) are a key.

Key words: Losses, post-harvest, beef value chain, handling points, Uganda.