Awareness of Farmers on Effect of Harvest to Mill Gap Duration on Quality of Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum)

Noah Mandele *

Department of Food Science and Agro-Processing, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P. O. Box-3019, Morogoro, Tanzania.

Bernard Chove

Department of Food Science and Agro-Processing, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P. O. Box-3019, Morogoro, Tanzania.

Rashid Suleiman

Department of Food Science and Agro-Processing, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P. O. Box-3019, Morogoro, Tanzania.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Aims: The aim of doing this research was to assess farmer's understanding on the impact of time interval from harvest to mill on sugarcane quality as the basic raw material for sugar production.

Study Design:  A cross-sectional research design was used

Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out from July to December 2023 in Kilombero Valley located in the eastern part of Tanzania, between latitude 7 0 42'42'S and longitude 37 0 00'00'E. 

Methodology: The study involved two districts Kilombero and Kilosa of which three wards in Kilosa district and one ward in Kilombero were selected, two villages were selected from each ward to form a total of eight villages. A purposeful sampling technique was used to select eighty farmers from 8 villages and 10 employees of Kilombero Sugar Company, forming a total of ninety respondents. A constructed closed and open questionnaire were used to collect information from respondents. The questions were constructed, translated into Swahili and pre-tested and presented to the respondents. The data collected was then coded and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS).

Results: According to the findings, around 52.5% of those interviewed were aware of the 12- to 30-hour delay in cutting burnt sugarcane. The majority of farmers, around 70%, reported delays in transportation due to poor infrastructures as well as truck breakdown. The time to transport harvested sugarcane was between 12 and 72 hours. Farmers' perceptions of factors affecting sugarcane quality rated delays in processing and transportation as very important factors, delay in cutting burnt sugarcane as an important factor, and large distance and burning of sugarcane as slightly important factors affecting sugarcane quality.The impact of these series of delays, respondents explained, that affect sugarcane quality particularly sucrose losses, weight losses, and consequently affect their income Sucrose was mentioned by respondents as quality criteria for selling sugarcane. About 68.8% of the interviewed respondents, described that percentage of sucrose measured from their harvested sugarcane was between 9 and 11%, and the minority 2% obtained sucrose levels was between 12 and 14%.

Conclusion: Farmers' understanding on the impact of the harvest-to-mill gap is critical, as a raw sugarcane provider, frequent training on variables influencing sugarcane quality attributes is required. The government has to place greater emphasis on authorities tasked with delivering extension services to farmers that include Agriculture officers employed by district councils, Sugar Tanzania Sugar Board, Kilombero Sugar Company, and the National Sugar Institute.

Keywords: Farmer’s awareness, sugarcane, harvest to mill, deterioration, burning, sugarcane postharvest losses


How to Cite

Mandele, N., Chove, B., & Suleiman , R. (2024). Awareness of Farmers on Effect of Harvest to Mill Gap Duration on Quality of Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum). European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, 16(4), 59–69. https://doi.org/10.9734/ejnfs/2024/v16i41408

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