Tale of an orange: from the farm to the city
Sixty citrus farmers, 19 intermediaries and 11 traders were randomly selected from nine Local Government Areas in Benue State to track the fate of orange fruits from the farm to the consumer. Data collected included production figures, causes of postharvest losses and the impact of the losses on livelihoods. The farmers produced approximately 25,460 units of 50-kg bags of sweet orange annually, which is less than one third of the yield potential. The farmers experienced about 10% losses due to improper postharvest handling and pests and diseases. More losses were incurred due to the lack of processing facilities. Citrus accounted for 60% of the income generated by farmers and 72% of these farmers relied on intermediaries for sales. The heavy reliance on intermediaries had negative impacts on the income of farmers because they had the power to dictate farm gate prices. Nevertheless, they played a vital role in ensuring that oranges made it to the market. All intermediaries and traders used polypropylene sacks to package their oranges for transportation. This alongside the poor transportation methods used increased fruit losses. Incurring losses had adverse impacts on the livelihoods of all actors along the value chain.
Ugoh, S.A. (2018). Tale of an orange: from the farm to the city. Acta Hortic. 1225, 183-192
citrus, postharvest losses, Benue, livelihood, Nigeria