Effect of Three Storage Methods on the Quality and Shelf-Life of White Yam (Dioscorea rotundata) Cultivars Pona and Tela

  •  Bonaventure Maalekuu    
  •  Joseph Saajah    
  •  Alphones Addae    


Postharvest losses especially at storage are a major challenge in yam production. Hence, the study was aimed to investigate and find out the suitable storage method which would minimize losses incurred during storage. A survey was conducted to assess the pre-storage treatments applied to yam, methods adopted for storage and farmers knowledge on postharvest losses. Effect of storage methods on major factors that initiate and cause losses and proximate analysis to determine the nutritional variation of White yam cultivars, Pona and Tela were also conducted before and after storage. The survey revealed, only few farmers (28%) apply agro-chemicals to their harvested tubers before storage. The most common storage method used by the respondents is the yam barn (60%). Burial (30%) and heaps on floor (10%) storage methods were also used depending on time of harvest. The respondents also estimated 4-40% as losses often incurred after harvest and in storage due to injuries (31%), pests (23%), weight loss (4%), sprout (21%) and decay (40%). The storage experiment conducted however showed sprouting at storage as the major cause of loss (93%). The storage methods caused a significant reduction on the nutritional composition of the stored tubers. With the three storage methods (heaps on floor, yam barn and open sided) evaluated, the open sided storage performed best in respect to weight loss, sprouting, decay, pest damage and nutritional composition.

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