Assessment of post-harvest fish losses among artisanal fishers in northeast Nigeria
Keywords:Artisanal fishers, Food security, Post-harvest losses, Northeast Nigeria
Fish is a perishable commodity whose quality must be maintained along the production and supply chain. The study aimed at assessing post-harvest fish losses among artisanal fishers in Northeast Nigeria. A multistage random sampling procedure was adopted to select 227 respondents. Quantitative data were collected with the use of close-ended questionnaires. Data collected were subjected to descriptive statistics and a multiple linear regression model. The results of the study revealed that the majority of the fishers were uneducated married men, with mean age and fishing experience of 46 and 8 years respectively. On average, 23.15% of fish caught are lost daily at post-harvest which could be attributed to the non-availability of infrastructural facilities, low literacy level, and management problems. Furthermore, results from multiple linear regression show that age, educational qualification, fishing experience, packaging materials, the time frame of fishing activities, and days of fishing in a week were found to be statistically significant (p < 0.05) with post-harvest fish losses. Conclusively, to improve the livelihood, ensure food security, and reduce the cost incurred by the Nigerian government on food importation post-harvest losses should be averted through policy formulation geared towards reducing post-harvest losses, provision of infrastructural facilities, training, and retraining of fishers.