Open Access Case study

Awareness of the Parasitic Weed Alectra vogelii (Benth.) Amongst Extension Officers in Three Districts in Malawi

V. H. Kabambe, Y. L. B. Tembo, E. Kazira

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Volume 3, Issue 2, Page 432-442
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/3111

Aims: To determine awareness of legume witchweed A. vogelii, relative to well known cereal witchweed Striga sciatica (L). Kuntze, amongst government extension officers in three districts in Malawi.

Study Design: Survey.

Place and Duration of Study: Kasungu, Mchinji, Lilongwe and Balaka districts in Malawi

Methodology: A structured questionnaire was administered to 118 extension personnel in the study areas. The data were subjected to cross tabulation in SPSS to obtain frequencies of the various study parameters.

Results: Of the 118 officers, 36% were aware A. vogelii, compared to 91% that were aware of S. asiatica while Striga forbesii and S. gesneiroides were hardly known (< 2%). Predominant source of information for A. vogelii was meetings (24%), followed by brochures (17%) and college (3%) while the rest were less than 2 %. For S. asiatica the predominant sources were meetings (55 %), brochures (32 %), college (21 %), and radio (16 %).  Field days, newspapers, books, internet and projects were seldom sources (< 6%). The control measures known for both species were resistant variety, sanitation, rotation and manure application. Fewer personnel were aware of these as control measures for A. vogelii than against S. asiatica.  Generally, supervisory staff were more aware of control measures for both species than frontline staff.

Conclusion:  Results of this study have shown that little awareness exists on the parasitic weed A. vogelii compared to S. asiatica. The current extension methods involving meetings and brochures are operational at very low rates, while there is much less effort for dissemination with media and field days. Meetings are predominant means of information source, and that information flow between extension personnel in supervisory positions and frontline staff is minimum. Knowledge on control methods is poor, particularly for frontline staff

Open Access Short communication

Effect of NPK Fertilizer on Fruit Development of Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo Linn.)

F. M. Oloyede, G. O. Agbaje, I. O. Obisesan

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Volume 3, Issue 2, Page 403-411
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2102

The effect of NPK fertilizer on pumpkin fruit development was studied for two cropping seasons in 2010 at the Teaching and Research Farm, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria in 2010. The experiment was a randomized complete block design. The plants were treated with six NPK rates (0, 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 kg/ha). Data on fruit weight, circumference, length and dry matter were obtained at 7, 14, 21 and 28 days after fruit formation. Increasing NPK fertilizer enhanced the parameters evaluated across the sampling periods. Fresh fruit weight (g/fruit) in control was 39g, 123g, 822g and 1059g and this increased to 80g, 370g, 1350g and 1630g at 7, 14, 21 and 28 days after fruit formation respectively at 100 kg NPK fertilizer rate. Across the NPK levels, pumpkin fruit growth curve was sigmoid. The fruit took approximately 22 days from fruit formation to fruit maturity across all the NPK fertilizer levels. In conclusion, excessive NPK supply did not significantly increase the rate of fruit growth or the fruit size. Fruit growth duration of pumpkin was not influenced by NPK fertilizer application

Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of the Relative Weed Competitiveness of Some Lowland Rice Varieties in Sierra Leone

S. S. Harding, A. B. Jalloh

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Volume 3, Issue 2, Page 252-261
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2791

Weed management in lowland rice production is a major constraint leading to low yields. Studies were conducted during the wet cropping seasons of 2009 and 2010 at Rokupr Agricultural Research Centre (RARC) in the lowland ecology to assess the competitiveness of different rice varieties and to identify plant parameters associated with competitiveness. The experimental design was 6 x 2 factorial arranged in randomized complete block design (RCBD) in three replications. Six rice varieties and two systems (weed-free and in competition) were evaluated. The results showed varietal differences in their competitiveness against weeds. Average yield losses ranged from 13 to 67 percent in 2009 and 12 to 70 percent in 2010. With the exception of plant height, leaf area index (LAI) and tiller number correlated positively with competitiveness. The varieties NERICA L19, NERICA L20 and WAS 57-B-B-17-3-3-6-TGR20 an Inter-specific were found to be good competitors and high yielding, whilst Buttercup (the local variety) though competitive was low yielding. The varieties, NERICA L38 and ROK10 were the worse competitors but yielded similarly as NERICA L19 and NERICA L20 under weed-free plots. Therefore screening of rice varieties for competitiveness is important and could serve as a tool in breeding programmes to increase the competiveness of highly productive rice plant types without significantly affecting yields.

Open Access Original Research Article

Genotype by Environment (G x E) Modeling of the Variable Initiation of Parthenocarpy sensu stricto in Musa: Elucidation of the Environmental Components of Variable Expressivity of Parthenocarpy in a Facultative Apomictic Musa acuminata Subspecies Microcar

A. A. Shaibu, P. Okoro, G. Ude, B. A. Olukolu, I. Ingelbrecht, A. Tenkouano, M. N. Ogburia, F. Moonan, C. Dimkpa

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Volume 3, Issue 2, Page 262-276
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/1714

To better understand the genome by environment (G x E) interactions that need to be accommodated in order to better predict hybrid performance for a high breeding value vegetative parthenocarpy trait sensu stricto. An analysis of the possible environmental signals contributing to the variability of a vegetative parthenocarpy trait sensu stricto via the genome x environment initiation of a genetic lesion that temporally, developmentally and systematically results in abortion of a parthenocarpic developmental regime was performed utilizing Musa acuminata accession Borneo as a model plant. We examined the effect of the variable and potentially modulating environmental signals, and performed a dissection of the genetic components of expressivity and penetrance in the vegetative parthenocarpy in Borneo, utilizing 180 apomictic progeny planted at different developmental ages in duplicate at each of two ecoregional zones. A total of 2,160 floral rachis from 720 mats of Borneo were measured for their subsequent expressivity and penetrance for vegetative parthenocarpy across individual flowers produced from a single vegetative mat, across local duplicate mats, and across ecoregional zones. The results of our study have produced a predictive G x E Model for expressivity of vegetative parthenocarpy in Musa, with validation of this model by a variety of statistical and probabilistic methods. Since expressivity of vegetative parthenocarpy to similar environmental signals have been identified across the monocot to dicot plants such as tomato, the generalized use of models such as presented in our study may have broader applicability to a wider range of crop plants

Open Access Original Research Article

Socioeconomic Factors Influencing Adoption of Codapec and Cocoa High-tech Technologies among Small Holder Farmers in Central Region of Ghana

Richard Baffoe-Asare, Jones Abrefa Danquah, Festus Annor-Frempong

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Volume 3, Issue 2, Page 277-292
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/1969

Cocoa (Theobroma cacao Linn.) is single most important agricultural export crop and major source of foreign exchange to Ghana. This study examines the socioeconomic factors affecting adoption of CODAPEC and Cocoa High-Tech Technology packages introduced by Ghana government into cocoa production system to address the dwindling levels of productivity. The study employed a multi-stage random sampling technique to select 250 households from 25 communities in five of the eight cocoa districts in Central Region of Ghana. Tobit multivariate regression model was used to understand socioeconomic factors influencing farmers’ decision to adopt these technologies. Results generally indicate experience, training, age of household head, household size and social capital as the key variables that positively influence decision of farmers to adopt Cocoa Pest and Disease Control (CODAPEC) and Cocoa High-Tech Technology packages. Very old cocoa farms contribute to the non-adoption of these technology packages by the farmers

Open Access Original Research Article

Determinants of Credit Access and Demand among Poultry Farmers in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Sunday B. Akpan, Inimfon V. Patrick, Samuel J. Udoka, Edem A. Offiong, Uwemedimo E. Okon

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Volume 3, Issue 2, Page 293-307
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2810

Aims: The study examined the determinants of access and demand for credit among poultry farmers in Ikot Ekpene area of Akwa Ibom State in Southern Nigeria.

Study Design: A multi-stage random sampling technique was employed to select 90 poultry farmers. Structured questionnaires and personal interviews were used to collect cross sectional data used in the study.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in Ikot Ekpene senatorial district of Akwa Ibom state in Southern Nigeria.

Methodology: Independent double hurdle model was specified and used to determine factors influencing credit accessibility and demand among poultry farmers in the study area. Various tests were conducted to validate the used of the model. The variance inflation factor (VIF) was also employed to test the multi-collinearity among variables used in the analysis.

Results: Empirical result from the first hurdle model revealed that the farmers’ age, gender, farm size, membership of social organization, extension agent visits, distance from the borrower’s (farmer) resident to lending source, years of formal education and household size are important determinants of access to credit in the study area. On the other hand, the amount of loan demanded by the poultry farmers was significantly influenced by the  farmers’ experience in poultry business, cost of hired labour, previous years of experience on credit, present of surety, farm size, perceived loan repayment period, years of formal education and net farm income.

Conclusion: poultry farmers in the study area should form cooperative societies to take advantage of ease of accessing and obtaining credit from credit institutions. The extension system in the study area should be strengthened for effective information dissemination especially on credit issues. Operators of credit institutions should endeavor to locate some of the lending outfits nearer to the poultry farmers. Also, to increase the demand for credit in the study area, the study advocated for the re-assessment of the collateral needs of the lending agents and the duration of loan to the poultry farmers among others.

Open Access Original Research Article

Production Performance of Indigenous Chicken (Gallus domesticus L.) in Some Selected Areas of Rajshahi, Bangladesh

R. Kumar Dutta, M. Saiful Islam, M. Ashraful Kabir

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Volume 3, Issue 2, Page 308-323
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2846

Aims: The present study on management practices, productive performance and profitability of indigenous chickens evaluated the existing indigenous rearing practices with the objectives to pave the way for improvement of this variety into sustainable income in favour of the small-scale urban, semi-urban and rural households in the study areas.

Study Design: The current status of indigenous chicken householders of the urban, semi-urban and rural areas was surveyed. Availability of a large number of chickens and good communications facilitated data collection from the study areas.

Place and Duration of Study: The study areas included six Upazillas (Sub-Districts) of Rajshahi, Bangladesh viz., Boalia, Godagari, Motihar, Mohonpur, Poba and Rajpara. Data were collected during the period from July 2010 to June 2011.

Methodology: Stratified random sampling techniques were used to collect the experimental data through direct interview schedules. A total of 150 households (6 Upazillas × 5 villages × 5 households per village) were selected where the average flock size was 30 birds, consisting of 12 chicks, 12 growers, 4 hens and 2 cocks.

Results: Management practices, production performance, associations between production parameters and profitability of indigenous chicken rearing in Rajshahi, Bangladesh were evaluated. The farmers raised their chickens in 6ft×4ft×4ft shed made of mud, straw, bamboo, wood and tin and they practiced traditional methods that included the uses of ash and lime to control ecto-parasites and floor disinfections, respectively. They also maintained regular vaccination programmes. The chickens of the study areas died of various diseases including bacillary white diarrhea (BWD, 39.56%), Newcastle disease (38.89%) and fowl cholera (32.29%). Moreover, disturbances from wild animals provided negative impact on rearing that caused appreciable mortality (3.15%) of the chicks. The indigenous poultry farmers opined that they are facing problems in terms of capital shortage, lack of institutional credit facilities, medicine and veterinary services. Weight of day-old chicks (WDC) was highest in Mohonpur and Rajpara and lowest in Boalia; growth rate (GR) was higher in Boalia and Mohonpur but lower in Godagari and Poba. The death rate (DR) was lower in all Upazillas except Boalia. The fertility rate (FR) and hatchability (HT) were higher in Boalia and Mohonpur and lowest in Poba. The higher first laying age (FLA) was found in Godagari and Mohonpur, whereas the average egg production (AEP) was found higher in Mohonpur, Poba and Rajpara but lowest in Boalia. The average chicken raised (ACR) was higher in Motihar and Poba while lower in Godagari and Mohonpur. The average marketable size (AMS) was highest in Boalia and lowest in Motihar. Most of the production parameters showed positive and significant correlations. With regards to rearing indigenous chickens, profitability calculated as cost-benefit ratio (CBR) was estimated to be 1.24 and 1.19 per family and per bird, respectively.

Conclusion: The study revealed some vital information on management practices and productivity of indigenous chickens where profits for rearing indigenous chickens per family and per bird were BDT 0.24 and BDT 0.19, respectively. The raising of indigenous chickens in urban, semi-urban and rural areas of Rajshahi, Bangladesh, therefore appeared to be an efficiently feasible enterprise which requires better understanding of the socio-economic aspects of the small-scale poultry farmers

Open Access Original Research Article

Growth and Foliar Yield Responses of Waterleaf (Talinum triangulare Jacq) to Complementary Application of Organic and Inorganic Fertilizers in a Ultisol

N. U. Ndaeyo, A. O. Ikeh, K. K. Nkeme, E. A. Akpan, E. I. Udoh

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Volume 3, Issue 2, Page 324-335
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2599

Aims: Growth and foliar yield responses of waterleaf (Talinum triangulare Jacq) to complementary application of organic and inorganic fertilizers were studied in a Ultisol.

Study Design: The experiment was laid out in a randomized complete block design with three replicates.

Place and Duration of Study: The University of Uyo Teaching and Research Farm, located at Use Offot - Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria and was conducted between March, 06 and June, 06 in both 2009 and 2010 cropping seasons.

Methodology: Treatments were various combinations of organic and inorganic fertilizers applied to the soil, and these included  NPK (15:15:15) at 400 kg ha-1, poultry manure (PM) at 5 t ha-1, PM at 2.5 tha-1 + NPK at 200 kgha-1, PM at 3.75 tha-1 +  NPK at 100 kgha-1 , PM at 1.25 tha-1 + NPK at 300 kgha-1 and control (without amendment).

 Results: There were significant differences (P<0.05) among treatments in height, number of branches, number of leaves, stem girth, leaf area, and total foliage yield of waterleaf in both years. Generally, application of PM alone and complementary use of PM and NPK, irrespective of the ratio, enhanced waterleaf growth and total foliage yield better compared to application of NPK alone and the control treatment. Total foliage yield from 100 kgha-1 NPK + 3.75 tha-1 of PM treatment (56 .03 tha-1 30 and 54 36 tha-1 31 in 2009 and 2010, respectively) superseded other treatments by 38 - 78% in 2009 and 35 -78% in 2010.

Conclusion: With the high cost, scarcity, and environmental problems associated with the use of mineral fertilizer in Nigeria; and based on the foliage yield obtained in this study, it is obvious that the use of organic manure in combination with mineral fertilizer (particularly with 100kgha-1 NPK + 3.75tha-1 PM or 200kgha-1 NPK + 2.5tha-1 PM treatment) can sustain waterleaf production. It is also demonstrated that it would be more rewarding to apply 5tha-1 PM alone compared to sole application of 400kgha-1 mineral fertilizer for waterleaf production in a Ultisol

Open Access Original Research Article

Modeling the Influence of Nitrogen Rate and Plant Density on Seed Yield, Yield Components and Seed Quality of Safflower

Ashraf A. Abd El- Mohsen, Gamalat O. Mahmoud

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Volume 3, Issue 2, Page 336-360
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2886

To study the effect of nitrogen rate and plant density at different levels on yield, yield components and quality traits of safflower (cv. Giza 1) an experiment was conducted as split plot design in randomized complete block design arrangement with three replications, during the successive seasons 2010/11 and 2011/12. The factors consisted of four levels of nitrogen (0, 40, 80 and 120 kg N ha-1) and four different densities (80,000, 100,000, 133,000 and 200,000 plants ha-1). Different statistical analyses such as ANOVA, polynomial regression, correlation, and stepwise multiple linear regression were used. The multiple statistical procedures showed that the main effects of nitrogen rate and plant density levels were significant (P = 0.01) for yield and yield components studied. A rise in nitrogen rate and plant density increased seed and oil yield, whereas plant height, number of branches plant-1, number of heads plant-1, seed yield plant-1 and 1000-seed weight decreased as plant density increased. In general, the highest plant density (200,000 plants ha-1) and the nitrogen level (80 kg ha-1) was the best treatment in this research to attain high safflower seed yield under environmental conditions of Giza Governorate, Egypt. Polynomial models of seed, oil yield and yield components based on the ANOVA were fitted. Polynomial regression analysis indicated that the relationship between the nitrogen amount applied and safflower seed, oil yield and yield components could be defined by using a quadratic function. Also, the results revealed that, yield and yield components were significantly affected by plant density in linear responses. Correlation analysis showed a positive and significant correlation between seed yield ha-1 and each of number of heads plant-1, seed yield plant-1, number of branches plant-1 and 1000-seed weight. Stepwise regression analysis showed that number of heads plant-1 explained 45.57% and along with seed yield plant-1, number of branches plant-1 and 1000-seed weight explained 81.63% of total variations for seed yield (kg ha-1)

Open Access Original Research Article

Estimation of Field Environment Variability for Germination and Seedling Traits in Madhuca indica Gmel

Mohd. Saleem Wani, Latief Ahmad

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Volume 3, Issue 2, Page 361-373
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2823

Objective: The study was conducted to estimate the pattern of field environment genetic variation for twenty genotypes of Madhuca indica Gmel distributed over different sites/locations of district Allahabad and adjoining areas of Uttar Pradesh, India.

Study Design: Study under Randomised Block Design (RBD).

Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in field environment in the nursery of the School of Forestry and Environment, Allahabad Agricultural Institute, Deemed-University, Allahabad, situated at 25.28ºN latitude and 81.55ºE longitude, located at an altitude of 98m amsl, during July, 2010.

Materials and Methods: Candidate plus trees of Madhuca indica were marked using the following criteria; Height (m), Diameter at breast height (m), Seed length (cm), Seed diameter (cm), free from disease and insect-pests and straight, non-forked cylindrical bole. Following the above criteria, fresh and fully ripened open pollinated seeds of 20 plus trees were collected from different geographical locations in district Allahabad and adjoining areas in Uttar Pradesh India, during July 2010. Germination tests were conducted under field (open) environment between 30-35ºC. Three replications of 40 seeds each were used for the test. 120 seeds of each plus tree were simultaneously sown under field environment in nursery in polythene bags, in three replicates used RBD design. The germination count was recorded on every alternate day for 30 days. Observations on morphological traits were taken after one growing season. The recorded observations were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) to understand the significance of differences among 20 plus tree progenies. Various genetic parameters like genotypic coefficient of variance (GCV), phenotypic coefficient of variance (PCV), broad sense heritability, estimated genetic advance and genetic gain were determined by previously described methods.

Results: The results revealed, higher values for phenotype coefficient of variation as compared to genotypic coefficient of variation in corresponding germination and seedling growth characters, indicating that the characters are greatly influenced by the field environment. The heritability and expected genetic gain were also observed to be high to moderate for these characters. There is wide scope for early screening of the genotypes because of the positive and significant correlation at 5% level of significance among germination and seedling growth characters with each other except for few characters times with each other such as internodal length with number of leaves per seedling, number of leaves with dry weight of shoot, fresh weight of root and total biomass of seedling.

Conclusion: Respectively as such genotypes S20, S9, S12 and S19 showed better performance as compared to other genotypes and are recommended for further genetic improvement programme in this species

Open Access Original Research Article

Improving Marketable Quality of Tomato: a Simulation of Shipping Conditions in Ghana

I. Sugri, S. A. Sargent, F. Kusi, A. D. Berry, R. A. L. Kanton, W. Pelletier

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Volume 3, Issue 2, Page 392-402
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2618

Aim: The study assessed the influence of a sequence of anticipated hazard elements (impact, compression, vibration) and shipment conditions on marketable quality under varying temperatures and ripeness stages.

Study Design: The vibration test simulates a truck operating at highway speed and determines the ability of shipping units to withstand vertical and compression forces resulting from stacking during transport. Storage at 30ºC depicted ambient conditions; 15 and 20ºC are optimum temperatures for ripening; and pink and light-red ripeness depict typical harvest maturity in Ghana.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted at the Postharvest Science Laboratory of the Horticultural Sciences Department of the University of Florida from September to December 2011.

Methodology: Round-type tomato at pink and light-red ripeness were subjected to a vibration test and incubated in ripening chambers set at 15, 20 and 30ºC. Critical data was taken on days to red-ripe, CO2, ethylene production, color, firmness, weight loss, pH, titratable acidity and soluble solids content.

Results: Overall, the influence of vibration and ripeness on marketable shelf life was marginal; however temperature significantly (P≤0.05) influenced shelf life. Vibration increased weight loss, respiration and ethylene production, which were plummeted at lower temperature. Days to red-ripe indicated that tomato should preferably be marketed by 2-4, 8-12 and 10-15 days at 30, 20 and 15ºC respectively, at pink to light-red ripeness under current distribution conditions. Best chemical properties were maintained at 15 and 20ºC; vibration and ripeness did not influence chemical properties, but increasing temperature affected all physico-chemical properties.

Conclusion: The study concludes that despite the cumbersome shipping conditions, tomatoes could be marketed at premium quality if lower storage temperatures were accessible. These facilities are beyond the purchasing power of small-holder traders, thus the involvement of the State and/or Private Sector to providing these facilities would be beneficial; particularly in urban markets where retail prices will merit such investments

Open Access Original Research Article

A Linear Programming Approach to Food Crops and Livestock Enterprises Planning in Aba Agricultural Zone of Abia State, Nigeria

K. C. Igwe, C. E. Onyenweaku

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Volume 3, Issue 2, Page 412-431
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/1609

Linear programming technique was applied to farm data obtained from thirty arable crop farmers during 2010 farming season to maximize gross margin from various combination of arable crop and selected livestock enterprises. Optimization and reallocation of available resources were found to bring significant changes in the existing plan. Twenty enterprises were observed in the existing plan made up of one sole crop, fourteen crop mixtures and five livestock enterprises across poultry, fish and piggery which an average farmer would make a gross margin of N232, 317.12. However the LP maximization model recommended that for optimum gross margin of N374, 850.00 which is about 61.35% of the existing gross margin, an average farmer should devote 0.31 hectare to yam/maize/melon, 0.33 hectare to cassava/maize/cocoyam and 1.30 hectares to Cassava/Maize/Yam/Mucuna Floanei while 0.14 of 500 birds of broiler 1 raised usually between January – May and 0.11 of 1000 fish of fish 2 done between July – December and 0.07 of 15 pigs be produced. Given the mean farm size of 0.45 hectares, the farming orientation is still subsistence. It is recommended that crop mixtures be undertaken by farmers in combination with poultry and fish enterprises for improved gross margin. Policies of Government should be geared towards encouraging individual extension services to achieve increased farm advisory services to help deal with the problem of misallocation of farm resources among farmers as well as possibility of achieving stable wage among farm labour

Open Access Original Research Article

Factors Affecting Agricultural Productivity among Arable Crop Farmers in Imo State, Nigeria

P. C. Obasi, A. Henri-Ukoha, I. S. Ukewuihe, N. M. Chidiebere-Mark

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Volume 3, Issue 2, Page 443-454
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2030

The main objectives of the study were to examine and identify the factors that affect agricultural productivity in Imo State, Nigeria. The method of proportionate random sampling technique was used in selecting a sample of 99 farmers who were interviewed using validated, structured questionnaire. Primary data collected were analyzed using frequencies, means, and the Ordinary Least Squares multiple regression analysis technique. The results of the analysis show that the marginal value products estimated for farmland, planting materials, chemical fertilizer and labour are 0.0654, 0.0615, 0.0871 and 0.0831 respectively. Yam/cassava/maize/vegetable/melon combination was identified as the main crop combination practiced by the farmers in the state. Analysis of resource use efficiency shows that the farmers are highly efficient in the use of planting materials but highly inefficient in the use of land and chemical fertilizer. The results of the multiple linear regression analysis on the determinants of agricultural productivity show that age, level of education, years of farming experience, farm size, extension contact, fertilizer use, planting materials and labour use are the main determinants of agricultural productivity in the state. It is recommended that extension agents should teach farmers to use the right quality and quantity of chemical fertilizers, and the use of high yielding planting materials to enhance farmers’ productivity

Open Access Original Research Article

Relationships between Farmers’ Behaviors towards Environmental Resources and Water Resource Management: The Case of Khuzestan Province, Iran

Abdolazim Ajili, Tahereh Mousavi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Volume 3, Issue 2, Page 455-469
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2451

Aims: The present study concerns the environmental behaviors of farmers active in the Zohreh-Jarrahi, Maroun and Gotvand irrigation networks regarding water management in the farm.

Study Design: Cross-sectional study

Place and Duration of Study: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the afore-mentioned irrigation networks in the Khuzestan province between January of 2008 and October of 2009.

 Methodology: Using the simple random sampling technique, 278 farmers (26, 70 and 128 farmers from the Zohreh-Jarrahi, Maroun and Gotvand irrigation networks respectively) were chosen. This sample comprised of 258 males and 20 females, aged 16-87 years old. The theoretical framework of the present study was based on the key aspects of the health belief model (HBM), later completed by adding a few other effective variables. The data were then analyzed by the multivariable technique, using SPSS software.

Results: The findings of this study indicate that the key aspects of the health belief model significantly predict the farmers’ water management behaviors. In other words, understanding the advantages and barriers associated with the preservation of water resources influences the farmers’ water management behaviors through affecting their attitudes. Furthermore, existing attitudes towards water management practices in thereat, understanding the barriers associated with the preservation of water resources, and last but not least, perceived susceptibility against threats to water resources, all directly influence the farmers’ water management behaviors. Access to information regarding advanced water management techniques in the farm is another variable included in the theoretical framework used for this study, playing a key role in predicting the farmers’ management attitudes and behaviors.

Conclusion: The present study demonstrates a successful and clear application of the health belief model to water management in the farm using a few other significant variables, while enhancing the HBM for application to other issues related to the preservation of environmental resources. A few suggestions have been proposed at the end of the present study based on research findings

Open Access Review Article

Role of Zinc in Plant Nutrition- A Review

B. Hafeez, Y. M. Khanif, M. Saleem

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Volume 3, Issue 2, Page 374-391
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2013/2746

Zinc is plant micronutrient which is involved in many physiological functions its inadequate supply will reduce crop yields. Zinc deficiency is the most wide spread micronutrient deficiency problem, almost all crops and calcareous, sandy soils, peat soils, and soils with high phosphorus and silicon are expected to be deficient. Zinc deficiencies can affect plant by stunting its growth, decreasing number of tillers, chlorosis and smaller leaves, increasing crop maturity period, spikelet sterility and inferior quality of harvested products. Beside its role in crop production Zn plays a part in the basic roles of cellular functions in all living organisms and is involved in improving the human immune system, due to its insufficient intake, human body will suffer from hair and memory loss, skin problems and weakness in body muscles