S.C. Eze, S.I. Umeh, K.I. Ugwuoke, G.I. Ameh, C.C. Onyeke
Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Department of Applied Biology and Biotechnology, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, Nigeria
Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Key words: Yam tuber, Curing, Storage, Nanobiotechnology, Storage barn.
Postharvest losses of fresh yam tuber constitute a problem of food shortage in Africa. A 4 x 7 factorial experiment was therefore conducted at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka to investigate the potentials of curing and silverneem on the control of postharvest losses of yam tuber in storage. The treatments comprised of 3 levels of silverneem solution and no-treatment control thus: 0, 85.5, 175, 250 mg/ml and curing that ranged from S0 –S6 where the subscripts 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 represent the seven groups of the tubers that were being exposed to the sun daily until the last group which was removed on the 6th day. After curing, the tubers were treated by dipping in the prepared solutions and then air dried and then stacked in an improved yam storage barn. The dormancy period of yam was significantly (P ≤ 0.05) extended by the silverneem at the three levels of concentration. Rot incidence was also significantly reduced but weight loss was not affected. A combination of 4 days curing with dipping the tubers in 250 mg/ml of silverneem solution significantly (P ≤ 0.05) increased the dormancy period of yams. Curing beyond 4 days induced multiple sprouts on the tuber and significantly (P ≤ 0.05) increased sprout growth rate which resulted in greater weight loss. However, further research is recommended to explore other applications of silverneem in agriculture and at least to attain the optimum level for fresh yam tuber storage.
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