Effect of training in good rice (Oryza Sativa) cultivation and postharvest practices on quality of milled rice produced in the Ahafo Ano North District, Ashanti Region

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
There has been many interventions from Ghana government in infrastructure provision and capacity building including training for small scale rice farmers to improve locally produced rice. However, the question of whether the training helped improve the quality of the local rice is not known. The purpose of this study was, therefore, to investigate the effects of training in good rice cultivation and postharvest practices on the quality of milled rice produced by Ahafo Ano North of Ashanti region. Trained and non-trained farm zers were purposefully and randomly selected and interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Physical qualities such as milling degree, milling recovery, percent head rice, grain dimension, chalky grain, percent broken grain and 1000 grain weight were assessed. Chemical quality properties such as proximate composition, functional and pasting properties were also determined using official standard methods. The results showed that trained (53.1%) and non-trained (1.9%) farmers prepared and implemented rice cultivation activity plan. Most of the trained farmers (67.9%) obtained their seed rice from reliable and certified sources such Ministry of Food and Agriculture and other donor rice related projects while 81.5% of the non-trained farmers sourced their seed rice from other rice farmers. Paddy fields were first cleared, ploughed, bund constructed, puddled and levelled by trained farmers (72.8%) while non-trained farmers (98.1%) only cleared their paddy fields using cutlass and later applied herbicides on the re-growth. Trained farmers (80.2%) made use of bund and interlocking bund as water harvesting structures with 90.7% of the non-trained farmers using dug-out to supply water to their crop. Most of the trained farmers (71.6%) practiced transplanting method of sowing rice while the non-trained farmers (50%) combined direct and transplanting methods of sowing rice. Both trained and non-trained farmers applied vi fertilizer with 75.3% of the trained farmers applying the fertilizer two to three times during cultivation period, whereas the 68.5% of the non-trained farmers applied the fertilizer only once during the cultivation period. Most of the trained rice farmers (82.7%) threshed their paddy within one to three days after harvest, but non-trained rice farmers (92.6%) threshed paddy after it has been left on the field for more than three days after harvest. Knowledge of farmers after training on good rice cultivation and postharvest practices was significantly (p˃0. 01) higher than before the training. The milled rice from the trained rice farmers were significantly higher in the polished rice by weight (341.43g), head rice (54.0%), milling degree (89.89%) and milling recovery (68.29%) than milled rice from the non-trained rice farmers, i.e. in the polished rice by weight (302.35g), head rice (41.81%), milling degree (80.81%) and milling recovery (60.50%). The proximate analysis carried out on the trained and non-trained farmers‟ rice sample showed no significant difference (p˃0. 01) from each other. The result of a functional property of rice flours from trained and non-trained rice farmers sampled showed significant differences in only solubility index (40.01%, 32.00 %) and breakdown (1157.5Rvu: 1244.0Rvu) respectively for pasting properties. The break down showed significant differences (1157.5Rvu, 1244.0Rvu), when pasting properties were analyzed for trained and non-trained rice flour sample respectively. Thus, the training had an impact on the physical quality of milled rice produced than on the chemical quality parameters and therefore, the non-trained farmers should be trained so as to produce a good physical quality milled rice.
A thesis submitted to The School of Research and Graduates Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of Master of Philosophy (Postharvest Technology) Degree.