An Assessment of the Microbial Content of Water used for Irrigation and their Effects on the Postharvest Quality of Cabbage (Brassica Oleracea Var. Capitata) in the Tamale Metropolis

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An assessment of the microbial content of water used for irrigation and their effects on the postharvest quality of cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) was carried out in the Tamale Metropolis from January to May, 2011. Fifty percent each of the total producers and consumers of cabbage in the metropolis were randomly selected and interviewed. The equipment used for irrigation were buckets, watering cans and rubber hose and the main source of water for irrigation in the metropolis was pipe water. Water samples were taken from all the five sites (Nobisco, Lamashegu, Gumani, Waterworks and Choggu) on a monthly basis for quality analysis. The Most Probable Number (MPN) method was used to estimate faecal and total coliforms present in the samples at the Ghana Water Company Limited Laboratory, Tamale. It was found that water used for irrigation in the area was heavily polluted with both total and faecal coliforms. The findings also revealed that both producers and consumers were aware of the effects of irrigation water on postharvest quality of cabbage. Therefore cabbage produced in the area should be thoroughly washed with brine and vinegar before use.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Horticulture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Postharvest Technology