Volume 4, Issue 1, March 2019, Page: 7-13
Marketability of Value-added Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata Duch.) Fruit in a Representative Peri-urban Kenyan Market
Jedidah Wanjiku Kiharason, Department of Environmental Studies and Resources Development, Chuka University, Chuka, Kenya
Dorcas Khasungu Isutsa, Department of Plant Sciences, Chuka University, Chuka, Kenya, and Department of Horticulture, Egerton University, Egerton, Kenya
Received: Jan. 20, 2019;       Accepted: Feb. 27, 2019;       Published: Mar. 19, 2019
DOI: 10.11648/j.ijfsb.20190401.12      View  104      Downloads  34
Abstract
Pumpkin (C. moschata Duch.) fruit is a highly nutritious horticultural crop with great potential for commercialization. However, in Kenya many households do not buy and utilize pumpkins regularly, leading to low demand. These scenarios increase post-harvest losses and provide no incentive for farmers to increase production in Kenya, which has an abundance of pumpkin landraces that unfortunately remain under-exploited and under-utilized. Their distribution and marketing is a great challenge due to easy perishability. Horticultural crops experience losses in quality and quantity in between harvest and consumption. The magnitude of post-harvest losses in fresh fruits and vegetables is estimated to range from 20% to 50% in developing countries. The present study determined marketability of fresh fruit, and the spoilage rate of fresh fruit in the various presentation formats (eighth, quarter and half slices and a control of whole fruit either wrapped or not with cling film). Selling was facilitated by four market women in Nyeri County of Kenya. Statistical analysis showed significant differences (P<0.05) in number of spoilt pieces over time, and between number of days to spoilage of whole fruit, compared to slice fruit. More quarter and half slices got spoiled after a few days of presentation to buyers. Nonetheless, quarter slices had the highest (54.5%) pieces sold, while half slices had the fewest (9.8%) pieces sold. However, no significant differences occurred in average number of pieces sold, or in amount of money from sale of fruit pieces of different presentation formats. Most consumers preferred buying smaller slices. Therefore, adoption and promotion of pumpkin presentation formats that effectively increase shelf-life is recommended to enhance production and utilization in Kenya.
Keywords
Pumpkin, Sale, Fruit, Post-harvest, Spoilage, Presentation Format
To cite this article
Jedidah Wanjiku Kiharason, Dorcas Khasungu Isutsa, Marketability of Value-added Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata Duch.) Fruit in a Representative Peri-urban Kenyan Market, International Journal of Food Science and Biotechnology. Vol. 4, No. 1, 2019, pp. 7-13. doi: 10.11648/j.ijfsb.20190401.12
Copyright
Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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