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ISSN : 2456-8643

Title:
POST-HARVEST HANDLING PRACTICES OF PIGEON PEA SEEDS USED BY FARMERS IN NORTHERN TANZANIA AND RELATION TO QUALITY OF THE SEEDS

Authors:
Tarmo, Theophil ; Danstun G. Msuya ; Paul J. Njau and Dominick E. Ringo,Tanzania

Abstract:
Handling practice in traditional informal seed systems can have influence on quality of the seeds. An exploration was made of post-harvest handling of pigeon pea farmer saved seed in northern Tanzania and relation of the practices with measured quality of the seeds. Seed samples with their prior handling practices were collected from 40 farmers in each of the two pigeon pea production leading Districts in Tanzania, Babati and Karatu. Laboratory tests were performed to establish physical quality of the seeds, using ISTA procedures. The study found use of bags predominating container storage because it is easier and much more convenient. Some farmers in both bag and container stored seeds were treating their seeds against storage insects; few of them practiced seed sorting. Effect of storage practice on subsequent quality of seed was very pronounced, especially on germination capacity. Effects were generally variable with storage practice, insecticide seed treatment, sorting, and where practiced (District). It is important to appreciate what farmers consider their convenience in post-harvest seed handling, but efforts must also be encouraged to safeguard the seed against storage insect pests, to counteract quick deterioration by proper drying and avoiding moisture absorption during storage, and to elevate quality by sorting.

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