Sweetpotato (Ipomea batatas) is a versatile crop that serves the roles of food and nutrition security, cash crop in both raw and processed forms. It is a source of livestock feed and has great potential as a raw material for industrial processing. The potential of sweetpotato has been greatly under exploited by the fact that it has been regarded as a poor man’s food and is mainly grown under marginal conditions for subsistence by most producers, who are rural small-scale farmers in developing countries, such as Kenya and Uganda. Losses in the highly perishable root crop and its leaves are exacerbated by lack of appropriate postharvest knowledge, technologies and facilities. Inadequate information on available cultivars also limits the maximum utilization of the crop and leaves. The current review examines production potential, post harvest handling practices, marketing, and physicochemical and nutritional properties of sweet potatoes.
BACKGROUND:The recently developed Robusta coffee wilt disease resistant (CWD-r) varieties in Uganda outperform the local landraces, both in yield and resilience. However, their uptake has been slow due to limited information on their cup worth. This study profiled the cup worth of the five most commonly grown CWD-r across the Lake Victoria Crescent, Western Mid-altitude farmland and Central Wooded Savannah agro-ecologies. RESULTS: Significant correlations (P ≤ 0.05) were observed between soil nutrients and coffee bean size but this was not the case for biochemical and cup quality. The proportion of coffee beans retained on screen 15; minimum acceptable size through coffee commercial markets, ranged from 58.09% in Mukono to 92.49% in Mityana. Interestingly, the bean size of variety KR4 was hardly influenced by environmental variations, with portions of beans retained on screen 15 being relatively the same (80.30% Ibanda, 89.50% Mukono, 98.20% Mityana). Coffee cup quality for most of the varieties was scored as premium (70-79%) across three agro-ecologies, with the exception of KR4, which was scored specialty grade (≥80%). Coffee blends generated were used to make coffee products with specialty score (82.25%) and a distinctive aroma complex.CONCLUSION: In this study, blends of CWD-r resulted in superior cup scores (76-82%). These findings show that CWD-r varieties have a high cup worth with potential for wide adaptation in Uganda's Robusta coffee growing agro-ecologies. Most importantly, variety KR4 has resilience across three agro-ecologies with a consistent high bean size and superior cup quality, making it a candidate variety for the market and breeding.
Currently, there is a high demand for amaranth due to its ability to withstand harsh climatic conditions, making it an ideal crop in the changing climate. There is also increased awareness and education on its nutritional and overall health benefits, and the availability of improved recipes. However, the presence of hazards can hinder the commercialisation of amaranth, which is in most cases traded informally. Food safety issues along the amaranth value chain should, therefore, be addressed to cope with both production and safety demands. The objective of this study, therefore, was to develop a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan for hazards in the amaranth value chain in Uganda. The seven principles outlined by Codex Alimentarius were followed to develop the HACCP plan. A tree diagram was further used to identify each potential hazard at each processing stage and Critical Control Points (CCPs) along the chain. For the CCPs identified, reliable control mechanisms and corrective actions were established to fulfil the requirements set by the critical limits to guarantee the safety of the products. Verification and records systems were proposed to determine the effectiveness and traceability of the HACCP plan. For each of the identified CCPs, samples were collected purposively and analysed for chemical and microbial contaminants. From the analysis, fifteen processing stages, starting from the land section to cooking and serving, were identified. Out of these, eight stages were defined as CCPs. These were site selection, land and seedbed preparation, irrigation, market display/humidity control, washing before preparation, chopping, cooking, and holding time and serving. At CCP 1, soils were contaminated with lead and cadmium, mercury and aflatoxins but at considerably low levels. At CCP 2, organic fertilisers were only contaminated with E. coli. At CCP3, E. coli was present in irrigation water. Heavy metals were also present in the irrigation water but were below the critical limits. At CCP4, E. coli was absent in water and display surfaces. E. coli was, however, present on raw amaranth. S. aureus was detected on vendors' hands. At CCP5, water was not contaminated with E. coli. At CCP6, only personnel hands were infected with S. aureus and Enterobacteriaceae. No contamination was detected in CCP7 and CCP8. Strict control of E. coli in manure and water and S. aureus and Enterobacteriaceae on personnel hands is required to ensure the amaranth value chain attains good food safety output.
Common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L) may be contaminated with heavy metals and aflatoxins. Cooked beans may also be contaminated with micro-organisms due to poor hygiene and sanitation practices. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), which is a globally recognised food safety program, was proposed as a suitable program to minimise/eliminate the risk of contamination. Therefore, the objective of this study was to develop a HACCP plan for dry common beans in Uganda and an accompanying food safety toolkit. The seven principles of HACCP as outlined by Codex Alimentarius were followed to develop a HACCP plan for the dry common beans value chain in Uganda. A decision tree diagram was further used to identify each potential hazard at each processing stage and Critical Control Points (CCPs) along the chain. The identification of the CCPs was further supported by an evaluation of the actual risk and severity of the hazard. For the CCP identified, reliable control mechanism and corrective actions were established to fulfill the requirements set by the critical limits to guarantee the safety of the products. Verification and records systems were proposed to determine the effectiveness and traceability of the HACCP plan. For identified CCPs, a co-creation methodology was used to develop the food safety toolkit. This was carried out in four sessions that included a background of the chain actors' ambitions to determine the suitability of the toolkit, assessment of CCPs, expert advice on the CCP and an exercise to develop concepts for each CCP. From the analysis, fourteen processing stages starting from land selection to cooking and serving were identified. Out of these, four stages were CCPs. These were land selection and preparation, storage, post-harvest drying, and cooking and serving. Hazards at the CCPs included heavy metals, mycotoxins, and micro-organisms such as S. aureus, E. coli, and Salmonella spp. A combination of good hygiene and sanitation practices and good agricultural practices were recommended as control measures against the hazards. To further equip the value chain actors with mitigation strategies, a food safety toolkit whose usefulness is to give the actors a systematic means to control identified CCPs was developed. In this regard, the toolkit and HACCP plan will complement each other. From the study results, implementation of the toolkit, followed by an assessment of its uptake and impact on livelihoods and food safety risks is recommended.
Coffea canephora has non-limiting but unexploited yield and quality potential when compared with C. arabica. Coffee tree density optimization can improve fortunes of smallholder farmers. An attractive example is that high productive countries where high plant densities do increase area yield but across boardrecommendations are illogical especially with variety and agroecological variations. We aimed to compare two spacing regimes for growth response and pest incidence using Kituza Robusta clone. Randomized complete block designs with three replications and eight plants per plot were established at four agroecologically diverseon-farm locations. Eleven plant growth variables were measured. In addition incidences of five key pests were assessed. Data was collected on a 3-month interval starting from 12 up to 21 months after planting. Highly significant differences between spacing regimes (p<0.01) were obtained for majority of variables. Mean growth response was generally higher under 3 m x 1 m (high density) than 3 m x 3 m (low density) particularly with stem girth, plant height, length of longest primary branch, and leaf blade length. Conversely, pest incidence of black coffee twig borer, leaf eating beetles, leaf miners, and tailed caterpillars, except skeletonizers was higher under high than low plant densities. The findings provide aguide on implications of high plant densities on growth robustness which is translatable into yield potential; amidst a pest prevalence dilemma in studied type of C. canephora.
Application of advanced agronomic practices may affect the sensory attributes of plant products. The study determined the trader physical acceptability of farmer preferred African eggplant (nakati) genotypes (E11, E15 and E16); and later studied the impact of bio-control treatments; Trichoderma spp (TRI). and Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) on consumer sensory appeal of genotypes using standard sensory evaluation methods. The trader acceptability of genotypes based on leaf number, succulence, smoothness, colour, and shininess were significantly different; except for the hard-textured leaves of E11 (P ≤ 0.05). Leaf appearance (E11) and stalk-leaf quantity (E15 and E16) were preferred by high-end and low-end markets, respectively. Consumer sensory acceptability of bio-control-treated samples, above 85% of E15 and E16 was liked based on reduced bitterness (P ≤ 0.05). Using descriptive sensory tastes, results showed that soil bio-control treatment with TRI during the light rain season significantly improved the palatability of E15 and E16. Therefore, use of TRI during light or dry season improves sensory appeal of nakati.
Coffea canephora has high but inadequately exploited genetic diversity. This diversity, if well exploited, can sustain coffee productivity amidst climate change effects. Drought and heat stress are major global threats to coffee productivity, quality, and tradable volumes. It is not well understood if there is a selectable variation for drought stress tolerance in Robusta coffee half-sibs as a result of watering deficit pre-exposure at the germination stage. Half-sib seeds from selected commercial clones (KR5, KR6, KR7) and a pipeline clone X1 were primed with deficit watering at two growth stages followed by recovery and later evaluated for tolerance to watering deficit stress in three different temperature environments by estimation of plant growth and wilt parameters. Overall, the KR7 family performed the best in terms of the number of individuals excelling for tolerance to deficit watering. In order of decreasing tolerance, the 10 most promising individuals for drought and heat tolerance were identified as: 14.KR7.2, 25.X1.1, 35.KR5.5, 36.KR5.6, 41.KR7.5, 46.KR6.4, 47.KR6.5, 291.X1.3, 318.X1.3, and 15.KR7.3. This is the first prospect into the potential of C. canephora half-sibs’ diversity as an unbound source of genetic variation for abiotic stress tolerance breeding.
Plant density in Robusta coffee is an unresolved issue in low volume producing countries especially when compared with leading producers. In this study, we aimed to compare the response of Robusta coffee to pest incidence, disease severity, growth and yield potential in two contrasting spacing regimes. Two spacing regimes of 3mx3m and 3mx1m were evaluated for selected parameters in a randomized complete block design with three replications. There was a highly significant difference in pest incidence between the spacing regimes (p<0.01) for all the pests except scales (p=0.126). The black coffee trig borer incidence was higher under close spacing of 3mx1m than for 3mx3m with a mean difference of 13.2%. There was no significant association between spacing regime and leaf rust disease incidence while the association was significant for red blister disease (χ2=33.56, df=1, p<0.001). Significant difference in growth response between spacing regimes (p<0.05) were also obtained for change in canopy height (dCAH), number of primaries, number of stems and leaf size. For instance, dCAH was higher under 3mx1m spacing than for 3mx3m spacing. A significant difference in yield potential existed between the spacing regimes (p<0.05) for average yield per tree and average yield per hectare (aYH). Close spacing produced a higher aYH (5.82 t cc/ha) than wide spacing (4.80 t cc/ha). Whereas yield potential is high at high tree densities, associated prevalence of biotic constraints calls for supportive stress management package for farmers.
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