Implication Analysis of Pre and Post-Harvest Losses of Maize to Household Food Security in Kongwa and Kondoa Districts-Tanzania
Keywords:Pre- and post-harvest losses, household food security
AbstractThe contribution of food losses occurring in the food system to reduced household food security is undoubted. This study therefore investigated the status of the pre- and post-harvest losses in maize and their implication on household food availability, utilization and access in Kongwa and Kondoa districts. The study sites were selected because of their potential in maize production and losses. A mixed method approach was used to collect data for the study including secondary and primary data. Secondary data collection was achieved through literature review of published papers, reports, proceeding, policy documents and strategies relevant to agriculture. Primary data collection was achieved through discussion with key informants (14 people), focus group discussion (6 groups from each village comprising of 4 males and 4 females). A total of 376 (5.9%) households were surveyed and Transect Walk was also done to verify information obtained. Qualitative data was analyzed thematically using NVIVO software whereas quantitative data was descriptively analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software. The cumulative pre and post-harvest losses estimates were compared against provided pre and post-harvest losses threshold values. The comparison between pre and post-harvest losses was confirmed by two ways ANOVA analysis using Levene test. Findings showed that status of maize pre and post-harvest losses are below the thresholds of 31.2% and 40% whereby maize post-harvest losses are significantly (p = 0.015) higher than pre harvest losses. Pre harvest losses in maize were also significantly (p < 0.011) associated with reduced food availability while post-harvest losses are significantly (p < 0.000) associated with reduced food utilization. The study recommends increased awareness among farmers on the implication of food losses to household food security through trainings and seminars from agriculture extension officers.