The Role of Women in Post-Harvest Handling of Peanuts: The Case of Reducing Aflatoxin Along the Supply Chain in Ghana
Type of Degreethesis
Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology
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Peanuts are an important food and cash crop for rural farmers in Ghana. However, contamination of peanuts by aflatoxins, which have been linked to food poisoning and health related problems such as liver cancer and malnutrition in children, poses a threat to the country’s public health sector. Contamination typically occurs during post-harvest operations like drying, sorting, processing and storage where women play a major role. This role positions the women as the main controllers of aflatoxin contamination and food safety. This study determines factors that influence supply chain participants awareness of aflatoxin and post-harvest handling practices. Based on face-to-face interviews with participants in the peanut supply chain, this thesis addresses factors affecting chain actors’ involvement in post-harvest activities and their awareness of aflatoxin contamination. This thesis finds that socio-demographic factors such as age, household income, and household size significantly influence women’s role in peanut post-harvest handling activities. Further results show that agricultural training was a significant determinant of awareness of aflatoxin and womens’ role in ensuring food safety in peanut post-harvest along the supply chain.