Open Access Original Research Article

Assessing Smallholder Farmers’ Understanding of Environmental Effects of Modern Agronomic Practices in Ghana

Jones Abrefa Danquah, Robert Kwame Ahiadzo, Mark Appiah, Charity Odumale Roberts, Ari Pappinen

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1-16
DOI: 10.9734/JEAI/2019/45199

Aims: This paper seeks to assess smallholder farmers’ level of understanding of the environment effects of modern agriculture.

Study Design: Every second household or homestead was selected from the west to east direction using GPS. Thus, a systematic random sampling technique was employed to solicit the needed information.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in August 2017 at Dzodze, the District Capital of Ketu North, and its surrounding villages in Ghana.

Methodology: A total of 150 farmers were systematically selected and interviewed using an interview schedule guide. Farmers were asked to rank 10 indicator variables on a Likert scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the least important and 5 being extremely important. To test for the level of agreement and reliability among raters, Cronbach’s alpha (α = 0.85) was used. In addition, the Relative Importance Index (RII) was computed for the farmers’ ranks of environmental issues associated with modern agriculture. The highest score for all the variables per farmer was 60. This was converted into an index that ranges between 0 and 1. The index was employed in the Tobit regression model to econometrically estimate the effects of the socioeconomic and biophysical attributes on farmers’ understanding of environmental issues that are associated with modern agriculture. The Kendall Coefficient of Concordance was used to evaluate the level of agreement for the farmers’ rankings of the indicator variables.

Results: The results indicated that individual concordance (W) values were significant at P < 0.001. The indicator variables were ranked from the 1st to the 10th positions by the farmers as follows: Reduce Soil Fertility, Effects Human Health, Reduces Fish Catch, Increases Soil Toxicity, Contaminates Water, Increases Crop Diseases, Causes Soil Compaction, Increase Soil Salinity, Increase Soil Erosion and Increases Insect Infestation; however, the results of the Tobit model indicated that variables such as Education, Electronic Media, Farm Size and Experience were positive, whereas Age of Farm Household Head and Labour Endowment were negative and significantly related to smallholders’ understanding of the environmental effects of modern agronomic practices.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the study indicates the need for the proactive education of smallholder farmers regarding environmental concerns upon the adoption of modern agriculture technology.

Open Access Original Research Article

Abundance and Diversity of Insect Pests on Maize, Cowpea and Okra in a Comparative Experiment Testing Effects of Intercropping and Insecticide in the Cameroonian Guinean Savannah and Sudano Sahelian Agro-ecological Zones

Djidjonri Farsia Patient, Nukenine Elias Nchiwan, Hartmut Koehler

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1-20
DOI: 10.9734/JEAI/2019/45677

Intercropping has been shown as a non-chemical alternative to chemical control of insect pests. Field experiments were conducted during the 2016 and 2017 cropping seasons in the Guinean Savannah (Dang-Ngaoundéré) and Sudano Sahelian agro-ecological zones (Gouna-Garoua), Cameroon. We determined the diversity of insect pests of maize, cowpea and okra and evaluated the pest control efficiency of intercropping in comparison to the application of Cypermethrin. Experimental design was a split plot arrangement in a randomized complete block with four replications. The main factor was assigned for the use of insecticide and sub plots were devoted for cropping systems.

In unsprayed plots, the cowpea crop was found to be attacked by a total of 19 different insect species. Only three of these were considered major pests at Dang (Ootheca mutabilis, Megalurothrips sjostedti, Aphis craccivora) and three more species at Gouna (Maruca vitrata, Clavigralla tomentosicolis, Anoplocnemis curvipes). For maize and okra, we recorded only two major pests (Spodoptera frugiperda, Busseola fusca and Podagrica decolorata, Bemisia tabaci, respectively). They did not differ in the two sites.

Cypermethrin significantly reduced the number of these insect pests compared to the unsprayed plots in both sites. Also, intercropping significantly reduced the major insect pests. However, in detail the results differ with the crops, with years (2016 and 2017) and between the two sites.

Open Access Original Research Article

Grain Yield Performance and Stability Analysis of Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) Genotypes in Western Tigray, Ethiopia

Fiseha Baraki, Yemane Tsehaye, Fetien Abay

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/JEAI/2019/45744

The experiment was carried out in three different locations (a total of 7 environments) of Western Tiray, Ethiopia from 2011-2013 cropping seasons and thirteen sesame genotypes were evaluated. The objective of this study was to estimate the stability of sesame genotypes and to determine the association of the stability parameters and sesame seed yield. The design was a randomized complete block design with three replications and a total plot size of 14m2. The Additive Main effects and Multiplicative Interaction (AMMI) model for grain yield noticed significant effects of the genotypes (37.3 % sum of squares (SS)), environments (29.5 % sum of squares) and  Genotype x Environment interaction (25.9 % SS). The AMMI model extracted five significant interaction principal component analysis (IPCA) with a total of 96.9 % SS and 90.3% corresponding degrees of freedom. According to the total rank value (TR), G12, G11 and G4 were the furthermost stable and widely adapted genotypes respectively, where as G8 and G9 were the furthermost unstable genotypes. Grain yield was positively associated with all of the ranks of stability parameters at different significance levels. Grain yield (GY) had significant and positive correlations with YSI, Pi, S1 and CV. Regarding to the inter-parameter correlation coefficients, neither of the stability parameters were negatively correlated among each other. Environments E1, E2, and E4 were unfavorable environments; while E5, E6 and E7 were favorable environments and E3 was moderately favorable environment for most of the genotypes.

Open Access Original Research Article

Enhancing Planting Value of Rice Seed through Priming with Humic Substance

Johnson Adedayo Adetumbi, Isaac Olawale Orimadegun, Solomon Tayo Akinyosoye, Oluyemi Titilola Akintayo, Opeyemi Adeola Agbeleye

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/JEAI/2019/46194

A study was carried out at seed testing laboratory of Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ibadan to examine the response of rice to treatment with Plant Growth Regulator (VimpelTM) developed in Nigeria, with a view to determining the effect of the humic substance on germination and seedling growth rate of the seed. FARO 44 rice variety was divided to five parts before priming each lot with four varied concentrations: (0%, 25%, 50% and 100%) and one control (dry unprimed seed). Fifty seeds in three replicates were drawn from each concentration after two (2), four (4) and eight (8) hours of priming (duration) and planted into separate planting round transparent plastic bowl filled with sterilized river sand. Each treatment was replicated three times and the experiment was repeated twice. Data was collected on final germination percentage (FGP), mean germination time (MGT), coefficient of velocity of germination (CVG), seedling vigour index (SVI), germination rate index (GRI), relative seedling growth rate (RSGR) and speed of germination index (SGI). Rice seed priming with PGR (VimpelTM) did not significantly improve seed germination but the growth rate is significantly influenced with priming with humic substance. Priming with 50% concentration of humic substance for 4 hours significantly improve the seedling growth rate of rice.  Therefore, priming rice seed with humic substance can improve seedling growth and vigour of rice under upland and lowland cultivation.

Open Access Original Research Article

Floristic and Phytoosociological Survey in a Caatinga Fragment under Extensive Grazing in Patos-PB Municipality

Sérvio Túlio Pereira Justino, Roberta Patrícia de Sousa Silva, Amanda de Lira Freitas, Francisco das Chagas Vieira Sales, Angélica de Araújo Lima, José Lenildo Barbosa Leite da Silva, Leonildo Victor Santos de Lima, Albergma Estevão de Queiroz Magalhães Cavalcante, Felipe Silva de Medeiros

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/JEAI/2019/46658

Introduction: The caatinga is a typical Brazilian semi-arid vegetation, where dominant shrub species and some dispersed arboreal individuals are found, in addition to the marked presence of cacti

Aims: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the arboreal-shrub component, analyzing the floristic composition and phytosociology in caatinga area under extensive grazing in the Paraíba hinterland

Methodology: The study area extends over 60 ha, and presents vegetation of the caatinga type with the presence of extensive cattle grazing. The vegetation data were obtained using the simple random sampling method, with plots with a standard size of 20 x 20 m, and randomly arranged 15 sample units. In each sample unit were measured all living or dead individuals, with Chest Height Circumference (CAP) ≥ 6 cm as well as total height of each individual. Phytosociological parameters were analyzed and floristic diversity was determined using the Shannon-Weaver index (H '), Simpson dominance (S), Pielou equability (J').

Results and Discussion: There were 1285 individuals belonging to 9 families, 16 species, 15 genera. The Fabaceae family obtained the largest number of individuals and species, with the Poincianella pyramidalis species being the most important, with 650 individuals. The first class of diameter, concentrated the largest number of individuals with 627 individuals (48.8%), followed by the second class with 464 individuals (36%) confirming a tendency to reverse in the diameters classes. Regarding height distribution, it was observed that 1154 individuals (89%) are grouped in the first three classes. In relation to floristic diversity, the shannon-wienner index was 3,094 nats / ind, while the furrow index was 0.995, simpson 0.999.

Conclusion: The species Poincianella pyramidalis presented the highest parameters of horizontal structure, whereas indexes indicated that the study area presents a low diversity, proving that the extensive grazing has been changing the floristic composition of the area.