Weeds are a severe constraint to crop production in the tropics. A field experiment was conducted in the Teaching and Research Farm of the University of Buea in 2015. The objective of the study was to assess the contribution of weeds to postharvest losses in taro (Colocasia esculenta L. Schott). The treatments were weed-free and weed-infested plots. After harvesting, the taro corms and cormels were stored for one month on floor made of earth. The yield of corms and cormels obtained from the weed-free treatment was 89.5% more than that from the weed-infested plots. At five days after storage, 100% of the corms and cormels from the weed-infested plots were all rotten while only 3% of corms from the weed-free plots had spots. After one month of storage, 50% of the corms from the weed-free plots had spots while none of the cormels from the same plot was affected. The taro corms and cormels obtained from the weed-infested plots had a high disease incidence and were of low quality (grade) compared to those from the weed-free plots. This study therefore, demonstrates the importance of weed management as a key preharvest (agronomic) practice that can be deployed to prevent drastic reduction of postharvest losses in taro production.
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RUFORUM Working document series
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