Improving the impact of post-harvest research and development on root and tuber crops: The needs-assessment approach. (143)

Authors

  • Andrew Westby Natural Resources Institute, Chatham Maritime, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TB, U.K.
  • Ulrich Kleih Natural Resources Institute, Chatham Maritime, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TB, U.K.
  • Andrew Hall Natural Resources Institute, Chatham Maritime, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TB, U.K.
  • Geoffrey Bockett Natural Resources Institute, Chatham Maritime, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TB, U.K.
  • David Crentsil Post-harvest Mangement Division, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, P.O. Box M37, Accra, Ghana
  • Gabriel Ndunguru Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre, P.O. Box 977, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Andrew Graffham Natural Resources Institute, Chatham Maritime, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TB, U.K.
  • Seth Gogoe Post-harvest Mangement Division, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, P.O. Box M37, Accra, Ghana
  • David Hector Natural Resources Institute, Chatham Maritime, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TB, U.K.
  • Silim Nahdy National Agricultural Research Organization, Kawanda Agricultural Research Institute, P.O. Box 7065, Kampala, Uganda

Keywords:

Root crops, Needs assessment, Post-harvest systems, Research and Development, Shortcomings, Planning and implementation

Abstract

Resources for research and development activities are limited and, therefore, it is important to accurately target research work and technical interventions to the true needs and opportunities of farmers, processors, or traders. This paper details the use of needs-assessment techniques to assess the constraints and opportunities in post-harvest systems. Two examples of needs-assessment studies and subsequent adaptive research and technology dissemination activities, are presented to demonstrate the use of needs assessment in the planning and implementation phases of the project cycle. The examples are taken from work in Tanzania and Uganda. Needs-assessment techniques have the potential to improve the relevance of post-harvest research and development and are recommended as part of a participatory approach to prioritising research, technology generation, and diffusion. The methods do, however, have their weaknesses and shortcomings and these are discussed.

Issue

Section

Research Papers