African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6688

Full Length Research Paper

Evaluation of indigenous technologies of fresh cocoyam (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott) Storage in Southeastern Nigeria

Eze S. C.
  • Eze S. C.
  • Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
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Ugwuoke K. I.
  • Ugwuoke K. I.
  • Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
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Ogbonna P. E.
  • Ogbonna P. E.
  • Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
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Onah R. N.
  • Onah R. N.
  • Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
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Onyeonagu C. C.
  • Onyeonagu C. C.
  • Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
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Onyeke C. C
  • Onyeke C. C
  • Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.
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  •  Received: 04 November 2014
  •  Accepted: 22 January 2015
  •  Published: 19 February 2015

Abstract

Cocoyam (Colocasia esculenta) also referred to as taro is an herbaceous root crop and its non availability throughout the year has implicated lack of good storage methods. Survey and storage experiments were therefore, conducted at the Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka to establish the scientific basis for adopting the indigenous technologies by the farmers and indentify the best among the technologies. The experiments were carried out in two phases. Phase (1) involved collection of farm level information on the existing fresh cocoyam preservation practices from the farmers through questionnaire interview while phase (2) involved the storage of cocoyam using some of the technologies based on their frequency of application by the communities. The storage experiment was laid out as 3 x 2 x 4 factorial in completely randomized design (CRD) and replicated four times. The storage techniques (treatments) were Pit + Casia alata + soil, Pit + Jatropha curcas leaf extracts + soil and no extract control. Twenty-four pits of each 0.7 m deep and 0.33 x 0.33 m2 were dug at the experimental field under plantain and banana shades. Out of the 720 farmers sampled, 34.7% used Pit + C. alata leaf + soil to store their cocoyams while only 11% represent those who did not add botanicals. Weight loss from cocoyams treated with C. alata leaf extracts inside storage pits was significantly (P ≤ 0.05) lower than those treated with J. curcas and no treatment control. Similarly, treatment of cocoyams with both J. curcas and C. alata siginificantly (P ≤ 0.05) reduced rot incidence compared to no treatment control but there was no significant effects of these botanicals sprout weight. Among the leaves used for storage of cocoyam in the study area, J. curcas and C. alata leaf extracts outstandingly reduced post-harvest losses of cocoyam suggesting that these botanicals posses some anti fungal or anti bacterial properties that reduced rots in the stored cocoyam.

 

Key words: Cocoyam, botanical extracts, pit, shade, storage.