Open Access Case study

Challenges Facing Small Scale Maize Farmers in Western Province of Kenya in the Agricultural Reform Era

Adijah M. Ali-Olubandwa, N. J. Kathuri, Dolphine Odero-Wanga, William. A. Shivoga

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 466-476
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/649

The national maize production levels in Kenya have been declining from an all time high of over 34 million bags to about 25 million bags over the years. The situation is made worse by agricultural reforms which have affected small scale farmers in Western Province, which is one of Kenya`s food baskets. This paper therefore addresses the challenges facing the small scale maize farmers in Western Province of Kenya in the agricultural reform era. Two hundred small scale farmers were selected through systematic sampling from Lugari, Bungoma, Mt. Elgon and Busia districts which were purposively selected. In addition one hundred extension staff was selected through systematic sampling. The small scale farmers were interviewed with the help of an interview schedule containing open and closed ended questions. While the extension staff filled a self administered questionnaire containing open and closed ended questions. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics with the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The results revealed that small scale farmers in Western Province lack awareness of improved agricultural practices and technical knowhow because the extension staff to farmer ratio is high. They also lacked finance, experienced high interest rates on credit facilities and uncertainty of the right seed to use due to flooding of the market by many seed companies.

Open Access Original Research Article

A Greenhouse Study on Growth, Yield and Anatomical Parameters of Three Pea Cultivars: under Different Irrigation Levels and Growth Regulators

M. M. Dohuky, C. G. Abdel, N. S. Khalid

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 121-173
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/390

This experiment was carried out during the fall season 2009-2010 in the vegetable greenhouse, Horticulture Department, Dohuk University. Three pea cultivars namely Local crinkle, Local Smooth and Canadian were subjected to three irrigation levels where plant irrigated whenever 25, 50 or 75% of pot available water capacity were depleted, besides plants were sprayed with either 100mgl-1 gibberellic acid (GA3), 100mgl-1indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), 2.5gl-1 micronutrient and distilled water as a check treatment. The objective was to evaluate the cultivar performance under adequate and inadequate irrigation during flowering, pod swelling and seed filling stages to find out which is the best, particularly under moderate and severe drought, besides that we intended to evaluate the possibility extent of boosting drought resistance of these cultivars by the aid of GA3, IBA and micronutrients. The obtained results exhibited that irrigating pea plants whenever 25% 0f pot available water capacity was depleted appeared to be the paramount irrigation treatment followed by that of 50% depletion and irrigation level of 75% are not advisable. 25% irrigation level manifested the highest leaf number per plant (26.33), plant height (141.15 cm), root dry weight (0.16g), flower number per plant (6.48), individual pod fresh weight (3.56g), seed number per pod (3.47), green pod yield per plant (14.53g), weight 100 seeds (23.02g), seed fresh weight per pod (1.44g), pericarp fresh weight (2.05g), aperture length of upper leaf stomata (4.38µm), stomata length of leaf lower surface (6.23 µm), stomata aperture length of leaf lower surface (4.75 µm), smallest vessel width (3.72 µm), protein content of dry seed (25.3%), GA3 (346.63 mgkg-1 dry seeds), and IAA (4109.72 mgkg-1 dry seeds). The best plant response was confined to these sprayed with micronutrient, then IBA and the lowest was GA3-treated pea. Pea sprayed by 2gl-1micronutrients manifested the highest root dry weight (0.16g), leaf dry matter percentage (26.36%), stem dry matter percentage (35.77%), flower number per plant (6.43), pod number per plant (4.49), individual pod fresh weight (3.01g), seed number per pod (3.64), yield of fresh pods per plant (13.33g), total pod number per plant (4.11), weight of 100 seeds (23.51), fresh weight of pericarp (1.6g), stomata length at upper leaf surface (6.05µm), stomata length at lower leaf surface (6.6 µm), stomata width at lower leaf surface (3.78 µm), stomata aperture length at lower leaf surface (4.61 µm), stomata aperture width at lower leaf surface (2.38 µm), stomata population at lower and upper leaf surface (5971.88 and 3792.19, respectively), chlorophyll percentage out of gross pigments (40.05%), proline content (0.0062µgg-1 dry seeds), ABA (713.31 mgkg-1 dry seeds) and IAA (3725.23 mgkg-1 dry seeds). Crinkle pea appeared to be the potent cultivar it gave the highest yield of green pod (14.6 g.plant-1), plant height (119.8cm), leaf dry weight (0.27g), root dry weight (0.25g), leaf dry mater percentage (28.79%), stem dry matter percentage (36.39%), flower number (6.75), pod number per plant (4.62), individual pod dry weight (1.21g), pod fresh weight (2.72g), seed number per pod (2.95), pericap fresh weight (1.51g), dry pericarp (0.57g), upper leaf surface stomata width (3.7µm), upper leaf surface stomata length (6 µm), stomata aperture length of upper leaf surface (4.32 µm), stomata aperture width of upper leaf surface (2.2 µm), aperture length of lower leaf surface stomata (4.64 µm), aperture width of lower leaf surface stomata (2.32 µm), stomata length at lower leaf surface (6.4 µm), stomata width at lower leaf surface (3.96 µm), the widest and lowest vessels width (10.37 and 3.8µm, respectively), vessels number per bundle (12.46) and chlorophyll percentage related to gross pigments (34.74%). Local smooth comes next then the worst cultivar was Canadian. Therefore, crinkle was most drought resistant pea cultivar.

Open Access Original Research Article

Efficacy and Profitability of Some Weed Control Practices in Upland Rice (Oryza sativa L.) at Badeggi, Nigeria

U. Ismaila, M. G. M. Kolo, U. A. Gbanguba

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 174-186
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/224

Field trial was conducted at the upland rice experimental field of the National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi, Nigeria (lat 09045΄ N Long 6007΄ E) in 2008 and 2009 to determine the efficacy of different methods of weed control and their profitability in inter-specific and intra-specific upland rice varieties (Oryza sativa). The trial was laid out in split plot design with two varieties of rice (NERICA 1 as inter-specific and FARO 46 as the intra-specific) assigned to the main plot while the seven weed control treatments [hoe weeding @ 25 days after sowing (DAS), @ 45 DAS, @ 25 and 45 DAS, @ 25, 45 and 65 DAS, application of 3’,3’ - dichloropropionanilide/2, 4 – Dichlorophenoxy acetic acid (orizo plusR) by Candel company ltd at 3.5 kg a.i. ha-1 @ 25 DAS, hoe weeding @ 25 DAS followed by orizo plus @ 3.5 kg a.i., @ 45 DAS and weedy check] constituted the sub – plots. Results showed that three hoe weeding at 25, 45 and 65 DAS, twice at 25 and 45 and at 25 followed by orizo plus at 45 DAS gave better weed control than other treatments. However, hoe weeding at 25, 45 and 65 DAS gave significantly greater grain yield of 3.1 t ha-1 than other treatments. Hoe weeding at 25 DAS followed by orizo plusR at 45 DAS gave the higher net profit of US$544.1 and US$514.7 for NERICA 1 in 2008 and 2009, respectively and US$404.9 and US$308.0 for FARO 46 in 2008 and 2009 respectively than other treatments. NERICA 1 gave the highest economic return when weed was controlled using hoe at 25 DAS followed by orizo plus at 45 DAS.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Pre-Planting Land Flooding Durations on Growth, Yield and Anatomical Parameters of Three Watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum.] Cultivars

C. G. Abdel, Karwan A. A. Bamerni

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 187-213
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/376

Three watermelon cultivars were grown on land flooded with an irrigation depth 10 cm which was sustained for 1, 2, and 3 week periods before planting date besides, unflooded control land. The obtained results revealed that growing watermelon on land flooded with 2 weeks period was the best, as compared to other flooding treatments. This treatment was exceeded that of unflooded in plant length (47.3%), plant stem diameter (26.9%), leaf area (43.7%), leaf area index (82.8%), fruit number per plant (30%), yield (48.8%), number of stomata in 1 mm2 (18.3%), number of cells per 1 mm2 (24.3%) and width of second trichome cell (64.4%), narrowest vessel diameter (28.75%). Moreover, this treatment revealed superiority over 1week flooding period in stem dry matter percentage (26.9%), narrowest width of vessel (27.84%), highest vessel width (12.12%). Two week flooding period also overwhelmed that of 3 week period in fruit number per plant (26.2%), width of narrowest vessel (12.84%) and width of hair second cell (43.7%). Subsequently, this treatment can be categorized as the first treatment in the sequence order. One week flooding period treatment comes next in the order. This treatment preponderated that of unflooded treatment in branches number per plant (19.8%), leaf fresh weight (47.1%) and number of cells at 1 mm2 in upper leaf surface (15.3%). Furthermore, this treatment was exceeded that of 3weeks period in number of branches per plant (24.8%). controls and 3 weeks flooding treatments were the worst and they inferior to others. Noura appeared to be the best positively responded cultivar to dry land cultivation as compared to other evaluated cultivars. This cultivar substantially exceeded Charlee cultivar in term of fruit individual (22.2%), rind weight (31.5%), rind thickness (9.2%), number of stomata in 1 mm2 (9.8%) the widest vessel diameter (20.5%) and number of xylem vassels (9.9%). Additionally, it profoundly surpassed Glorry cultivar in fruit flesh weight (29.1%), fruit diameter (12.3%), rind weight (22.4%), number of stomata in 1 mm2 (10.2%) and widest vessel diameter (15.19%) and number of xylem vassels (7.9%). Glorry water melon comes next in the category order. This cultivar was paramount to Charlee in term of plant stem diameter (19.1%). Therefore, Charlee was the worst responded cultivar and the order according to cultivar capabilities in drought resistance are as the following. Noura > Glory > Charlee. The best dual interaction treatment was growing Noura cultivar on land flooded for 2 week with water height of 10cm which manifested superiority over other treatments. Since it gave the highest (plant length (215cm), leaf dry matter percentage (22.13), fruit length (26 cm), yield (0.87 kgm-2), number of stomata in 1 mm2 (220), number of cells in 1 mm2 (819.5) and widest diameter of xylem vessels (11micron).

Open Access Original Research Article

Diallel Cross Analysis in Sugar Beet (Beta vulgaris L.): Identification of the Best Parents and Hybrids for Resistance to Bolting and Cercospora Leaf Spot in Sugar Beet Monogerm O-type Lines

Mohsen Niazian, Khodadad Mostafavi, Seyed Habib Shojaei, Elaheh Fayyaz, Ali Shahbazi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 214-225
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/485

Aims: In order to identify the best parents and hybrids for resistance to Bolting and Cercospora leaf spot 9 sugar beet O-type lines in format method of Diallel 9×9 were crossed.
Study design: 9 Sugar beet O-type lines in format method of 9×9 4 Diallel crossing was performed using II Griffing's method were crossed and with four control treatments in a triple lattice design with three replicates.
Place and Duration of Study: Safiabad Agricultural Research Center, Dezful, Iran during 2008-2009 growing season.
Methodology: Analysis of combining ability by using Griffing's method II Diallel crossing scheme after elimination of the control treatments. KWS scale from 1 to 9 (1= healthy plants and 9 = maximum injury) was used to estimation of resistance to Cercospora disease.
Results: General combining ability of O-types was significant for potassium, alpha amino nitrogen and alkalinity at 1% and for resistance to Bolting and Cercospora, molassed sugar, root yield, sugar yield and white sugar yield at 5% probability levels. Also, specific combining ability was significant for resistance to Bolting, potassium, root yield and sugar yield at 1% and for resistance to Cercospora and white sugar yield at 5% probability levels.
Conclusion: Additive and non-additive gene effects control the expression of resistance to Cercospora and white sugar yield. Also, resistance to Bolting was found to be mainly determined by the non-additive gene effects. The best parent and hybrid for resistance to Cercospora were RR607 and RR607 × 452, respectively. Furthermore, the best parent and hybrid for resistance to Bolting were 7173-36 and 436 × 436, respectively. Also the best parent for double resistance to Cercospora and bolting were RR607 and RR607×436 and RR607×7112-36 is the best hybrids.

Open Access Original Research Article

Residual Effect of Malathion (Organophosphate) and Sevin (Carbamate) Application on Potato (Solanum tuberosum)

M. O. Gafar, Y. M. I. Dagash, A-Z. Elhag, Y. O. Hassan

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 226-230
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/338

An experiment was conducted at Shambat Agricultural farm to study the effect of pesticides residues on soil and potatoplant. Potato was planted on January, 2009 on ridges with a spacing of 70 cm between rows and 10 cm between plants. Sevin and Malathion pesticides were added at different concentrations to evaluate their effect on the plant growth and soil. The measurement taken was plant height (cm), fresh and dry weight (gm), leaf area (cm2), pH, total nitrogen %, phosphorus (ppm), leaf number and size of tubers. The results revealed that both chemicals affected negatively the vegetative growth of potato and its yield. It was noticed that the yield was generally less due to the effect of the heavy clay soil of Shambat. Addition of Sevin increased the total soil nitrogen and reduced soil organic carbon while the reverse was noticed for Malathion. Both chemicals lowered soil pH, from alkaline to neutral or slightly alkaline. However, they increased soil salinity which in turn affected potato growth and yield.

Open Access Original Research Article

Anatomical Alteration in Response to Irrigation and Water Stress in Some Legume Crops

C. G. Abdel, Iqbal Murad Thahir Al-Rawi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 231-264
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/391

Anatomical alteration of leaf tissues components were investigated in regards to adequate and inadequate watering in Mungbean, Vetch and three Lentil cultivars namely Baraka, Adlib and Nineveh. The possibility of mitigating the alteration of these adversities by the aid of GA3 was also investigated. Lentil plants irrigated by 50% level appeared to be the most effective treatment. This treatment manifested the best results as it exceeded that of 75% level in terms of cuticle thickness (69.3%), epidermis thickness (12%), and spongy layer thickness (7%). Moreover, it also exceeded that of 25% level in epidermis thickness (22.6%), palisade thickness (2.8%), spongy layer thickness (21%), and thickness of lower epidermis (4.5%). Irrigation level of 75% exceeded that of 25% level in epidermis thickness (9.4%), palisade thickness (3.1%), spongy layer thickness (13.1%), and thickness of lower epidermis (13%). Common Vetch irrigated by 25% level was the paramount treatment. It exceeded that of 50% irrigation level in terms of cuticle thickness, epidermis thickness, palisade thickness, spongy layer thickness, thickness of lower epidermis, and thickness of lower epidermis cuticle by 54.9, 12, 13.3, 37.1, 37.9, and 71.9%, respectively. Mungbean irrigated every 2 days exceeded that of Mungbean irrigated every 8 days in cuticle thickness (42.9%), epidermis thickness (22.2%), thickness of lower epidermis (5.1%), and thickness of lower epidermis cuticle (25%). 200 mgl-1 GA3 Common Vetch treated plants exceeded that of untreated in term of stomata aperture length (22.4%), and stomata population (29.9%). Mungbean irrigated results every six days and sprayed with 200 mgl-1GA3 gave the highest stomata length (5.4 µm). Finally Baraka lentil cultivar revealed significant increases in stomata aperture 5.6% and 6.7%, as compared to Nineveh and Adlib, respectively. Baraka was also superior over Adlib stomata length (4%).

Open Access Original Research Article

A Mathematical Description of Pollutant Uptake in Plants by Single Cylindrical Root

Arun Kumar, Abdul Hafiz

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 265-280
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/639

 The classical model of plant root nutrient uptake given by Nye, Tinker and Barber is modified and extended for pollutant uptake in plants. An explicit closed mathematical description is given for the uptake, by a single cylindrical root for all cases of practical interest, by solving the absorption-diffusion equation for the soil pollutant concentration asymptotically in the limit of large time. This single root model can be used as a building block to construct a model for multiple root branching structure in a more realistic plant root system. The theoretical results derived analytically are compared with numerical results and experimental studies.

Open Access Original Research Article

Virulence of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici in Khuzestan Province of Iran

S. Elyasi-Gomari, V. P. Petrenkova

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 281-293
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/428

Yellow rust caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici is undoubtedly, the most important fungal disease of wheat especially in Central and Western Asia causes significant annual yield losses. To investigate the population structure of the pathogen, isolates were collected from four regions and tested on 26 differential genotypes with known resistance genes in greenhouse and field conditions on the territory of Khuzestan province in Iran during 2009 - 2010. According to the results of race determination, races 4E14, 4E15, 6E128, 6E148, 6E142, 6E130, 6E158, 134E4 and 166E232 were common in all locations during the course of this study. Isolates with virulence on lines with yellow rust resistance gene Yr2, Yr6, Yr7, Yr7+, Yr6+, Yr9, Yr17, Yr18, Yr25 and YrA represented the most frequent phenotypes. Virulence to Yr1, Yr3V, Yr4, Yr5, Yr10 and YrSU was not found in any of the tested isolates. At the adult plant stage, virulence on wheat genotypes Heines Kolben, Kalyansona, Lee, Avocet R, Federation* 4/Kavkaz, TP1295 and Nord desprez was common during the period of investigation. The frequency of virulence factors in the yellow rust population on the differential genotypes were above 91% for the resistance genes Yr2,Yr6, Yr7, Yr2, Yr6+, Yr18, YrA, Yr2, Yr17, Yr25 and YrA however, virulence frequencies for Yr7+ and Yr8 were less than 10%. Frequency of virulence factors was low for Yr 2+, Yr7+, Yr8, Yr3N and YrSd.

Open Access Original Research Article

Suppression of Verticillium Wilt of Olive by Pseudomonas fluorescens

S. J. Sanei, S. E. Razavi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 294-305
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/500

Protection of pathogen-free olive planting material from infection by Verticillium dahliae during plant propagation and/or at planting would help in the management of Verticillium wilt of olive. Despite the importance for rhizosphere functioning, rhizobacterial Pseudomonas spp. have been mainly studied in a cultivation-based manner. In this study, 8 isolates of Pseudomonas fluorescens obtained from roots of olive plants were tested for suppression of Verticillium wilt in nursery-produced olive planting stocks under controlled conditions. The antagonistic activity of P. fluorescens isolates from olive against defoliating (D) and nondefoliating (ND) V. dahliae pathotypes. The isolates of P. fluorescens isolates from olive varied in the ability to inhibit hyphal growth of D and ND V. dahliae on PDA. In planta bioassays were conducted under greenhouse conditions, by inoculating bacterial-treated and -nontreated 3- to 4-month-old, own-rooted plants of susceptible olive cv. Zard with the highly and less virulent V. dahliae. Results indicated that root treatment with some of P. fluorescens isolates significantly reduced the final disease incidence and severity, compared with the nontreated controls. Our results indicate that root treatment of olive plants with selected P. fluorescens isolates during nursery propagation can help in the biocontrol of V. dahliae in olive especially for ND pathotypes. No correlation was found between efficacy of tested bacterial isolates for in vitro antagonism of the pathogen and in planta suppression of Verticillium wilt.

Open Access Original Research Article

Variability of Pathogenicity in Fusarium xylarioides Steyaert: the Causal Agent of Coffee Wilt Disease

P. Tshilenge-Djim, A. Kalonji-Mbuyi, L. Tshilenge-Lukanda

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 306-319
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/213

Tracheomycosis (or Coffee Wilt Disease) is a vascular disease that causes damage in plantations up to 80% of production in the absence of treatment. The fungus of the disease is Fusarium xylarioides. An experiment in micro-plots was put in place to look for 9 strains of this species from different production regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo (Equateur, Nord Kivu and Province Orientale) in terms of their pathogenicity on coffee Robusta (clone L251). The results from this experiment highlight several levels of pathogenicity significantly different (P ≤ 0.05), and particularly high for aggressive strain Mindembo. The differences do not seem to be related to geographic origins. Mindembo strain, from Equateur, was more aggressive and induces a high mortality (50%). Strains Bunduki and MUCL 45580, originating in Equateur and the Province Orientale, showed high pathogenicity although lower than Mindembo. However, the strain Zobolia (Equateur) multiplies much more slowly and has caused no mortality 3 months after inoculation. This work has important implications for studies on varietal resistance.

Open Access Original Research Article

Reaction of Some Olive Cultivars to Verticillium dahliae Isolates Agent of Vascular Wilt: A Comparative Study

S. J. Sanei, S. E. Razavi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 320-330
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/521

Verticillium dahliae Kleb. the causal agent of vascular wilt is an important pathogen of olive trees in growing areas of the world. To evaluate the reaction of the susceptibility of different commercial olive cultivars to the pathogen, six months old of eight commercial olive cultivars including Bladi, Kalamon, Koroneiki, Konservalea, Manzanilla, Mission, Rooghany, Sevillana and Zard cultivars and wild olive were root-dip inoculated. Nine-month-old nursery olive plants were inoculated with a non-defoliating (VCG4B, ND) or a defoliating (VCG1, D) isolate of V. dahliae. Resistance was evaluated by assessing symptom severity using a 0-4 rating scale and estimating the area under disease progress curves. Interaction between isolates of V. dahliae with different pathotypes and olive cultivars show that the defoliate pathotype cause higher disease severity index and stem colonization (p< 0.01). The percentage of plants killed and of those which recovered from the disease and stem colonization Index were used as additional parameters for including a particular cultivar into a defined category. One cultivar, ‘Bladi’, were susceptible or extremely susceptible to both pathotypes of V. dahliae. A second group showed differences of resistance depending on the pathotype used. They were susceptible or extremely susceptible to the D pathotype but resistant or moderately susceptible to the ND one. Finally, ‘Kalamon’ and ‘Koroneiki’ were resistant to both pathotypes of the pathogen. The resistance of these cultivars was evident by the plant ability to recover from infection with either isolates.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Planting Date and Boll Position on Fiber Strength of Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.)

Zhiguo Zhou, Yali Meng, Youhua Wang, Binglin Chen, Xinhua Zhao, Derrick M. Oosterhuis, Hongmei Shu

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 331-342
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/669

The effect of planting date and boll position on cell wall thickening of cotton fiber and development of fiber strength were studied by comparing the time course of the activity of key enzymes β-1,3-glucan synthase (callose) and sucrose synthase (SuSy) involved in cellulose biosynthesis, cellulose content and the indices of fiber structure X-ray diffraction of the fiber that developed at different planting dates or boll positions. The results showed that during the fiber cell wall thickening and fiber strength formation stage (25-50 days post-anthesis, DPA), there was an interactive effect between planting date and boll position. Different planting dates resulted in different mean daily temperatures during 25-50 DPA (TDPA 25-50), which was always an important factor that influenced fiber strength, while the impact of boll position in different temperature conditions was variable. When TDPA 25-50 was above 22.0°C, boll position might affect the cell wall thickening process and the fiber strength, while when TDPA25-50 was lower than 20.0°c, boll position affect little. The optimum conditions for the development of fiber cell wall thickening and the formation of fiber strength may be the eighth nodal position of the fruiting branch (PFB) and with the TDPA 25-50 of about 26.0°C.

Open Access Original Research Article

Variations in Micronutrients Content and Lipid Profile of Some Avian Eggs

Emmanuel Titus Friday, Omale James, Olajide Joseph Eniola, A. B. Utu Baku

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 343-352
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/448

Ten eggs each from avian species: duck, local fowl, exotic fowl, pigeon and guinea fowl were analyzed for protein, phospholipids, cholesterol, vitamins and some mineral elements using standard methods. Total lipids were high in duck (2.9±0.07mg/g) and local fowl eggs (2.0±0.04mg/g) and low in others while cholesterol was only high in local fowl (3.40±0.01mg/g). Phospholipids in exotic and pigeon eggs yielded values of 8.4±0.65mg/g and 7.5±0.55mg/g, respectively. Whereas Fe and Ca content in guinea fowl were 5.04± 0.45mg/g and 4.68±0.006mg/g, the vitamins, thiamine and riboflavin were almost twice these amounts. Mineral micronutrients were of significant amounts. The results of these analyses are discussed in line with the sources of essential nutrients obtained from avian species to ameliorate the acute shortage of animal protein and micronutrients in the diet of Nigerians.

Open Access Original Research Article

Economics of Insecticides Usage among Cowpea Farmers in Kaduna State, Nigeria

R. A. Omolehin, S. S. Adeola, Ben Ahmed, E. O. Ebukiba, O. B. Adeniji

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 353-362
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/540

This study carried out an economics of insecticides usage among cowpea farmers in Kaduna State. Specifically, the study estimated insecticides marginal productivity; the degree of response of demand for insecticides to changes in its prices and the return to cowpea production due to insecticides usage. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 150 cowpea farmers who used insecticides in controlling pest in cowpea production in the study area. Information collected includes those of inputs quantities and prices as well as quantity of cowpea output and its farm prices. The logistic specification of the damage control model and its corresponding demand function were used to estimate insecticides marginal productivity and the degree of demand’s response to changes in insecticides prices respectively. A budgetary analytical model was used to estimate the return to cowpea production. The study showed that insecticide marginal value product was Naira 310.06 and the ratio of MVP to insecticide price was 0.48. This is an indication that insecticides were not efficiently utilized. The demand elasticities for the various insecticides were greater than unity indicating that demand for insecticides used in cowpea production in the area studied was own price elastic. The study also found that a return of Naira 787.52 per hectare was obtained due to insecticide usage.

Open Access Original Research Article

Genetic Architecture of Some Leaf Yield and Quality Attributes in Dual-purpose Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp.)

Jean-Baptiste Tchiagam Noubissié, Emmanuel Youmbi, Nicolas Yanou Njintang, Ange Ndogonoudji Alladoum, Marcel Richard Nguimbou, Joseph Martin Bell

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 400-413
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/646

Aims: Cowpea’s use as leafy vegetable has been widely neglected in research. The present study was aimed at finding out the nature and magnitude of genetic variability in dual-purpose cowpea for leaf yield and quality attributes.
Place and Duration of Study: Ngaoundéré University (Cameroon), from 2008 to 2009.
Study design and Methodology: Fourteen pure lines and ten F1 hybrids derived from a 5 x 5 half-diallel cross were grown in Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications to assess the genetic mechanism of leaf yield index (LYI), leaf area (LA), leaves per plant (NLP), leaf protein (LN) and phosphorus (LP) content.
Results: Analysis of variance indicated significant differences (p<0.01) among genotypes for all traits. Moderate to high heritability in broad-sense (0.49-0.90) was recorded for the characters indicating major role of genetic variance in the expression of these polygenic traits. Diallel analysis showed significance (p<0.05) of the effects of general combining ability (GCA), specific combining ability (SCA), the involvement of additive and dominance genes. These genes were asymmetrically distributed among the parental genotypes. Dominant genes had an overall positive effect for leaves per plant, leaf yield index and phosphorus content while high protein content and surface area appeared to be associated mostly with recessive genes. Correlations between the leaf attributes and seed yield components were significant only for leaves per plant and seeds per pod (-0.73), pods per plant (-0.69); leaf yield index and seed weight (0.69); leaf protein content and pods per plant (-0.77).
Conclusion: These results could be exploited in breeding programs to develop nutritional superior cowpea varieties which could be used for harvesting of both leaves and seeds.

Open Access Original Research Article

Improving the Malting Qualities of Rice Grain Using Gibberellic Acid (GA3)

E. Owusu-Mensah, I. Oduro, N. T. Dziedzoave, K. J. Sarfo

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 432-439
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/361

Application of exogenous gibberellic acid stimulates high production of hydrolytic enzymes in malts. To investigate this effect on rice malt, different concentrations of the GA3 hormone were applied with the aim of establishing the optimum level that significantly affects rice malting qualities. Parameters evaluated included germination energy, shoot length, and enzymatic activity (diastatic and alpha amylase) of the rice malt. Shoot length, and enzyme activity were significantly affected by the GA3 hormone at concentrations of 0.001, 0.1, 10, and 100 mg/L. 10 mg/L of GA3 solution stimulated the highest production of diastase (1305 U/g dry malt), and shoot length of 2.93 cm after 60 hours of germination. Alpha amylase activity was increased by twofold. The maximum diastatic activity of GA3 treated rice grains was found on the 8th day of germination, occurring earlier than the untreated which peaked at the 10th day. GA3 treatment at a concentration of 10mg/L is adequate to stimulate higher production of diastase in rice malt.

Open Access Original Research Article

Influence of the Size of Nursery Bag on the Growth and Development of Cashew (Anacardium occidentale) Seedlings

F. Adu-Berko, I. A. Idun, F. M. Amoah

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 440-449
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/516

Cashew is one of the most important cash crops in Ghana where it is largely grown in the coastal, transitional and guinea savannah belt. Its cultivation is largely a small holder activity and serves as their main source of income. However, cashew orchards in these areas are expanding as a result of its economic potentials. Therefore cashew (Anacardium occidentale) seedling growth as influenced by the size of polythene bag for nursing was investigated using 4x6 inches, 4x7 inches, 5.5x6 inches, 5x7 inches, 5.5x7 inches and 7x10 inches polythene bag size categories in order to assess the possibility of using other polythene bag sizes smaller than what farmers use currently (7x10 inches) in relation to germination ability of the cashew seeds and seedling growth in order to minimize nursery production cost. The complete randomise design was used for two months of nursery trial with four replications. Data was collected on percentage germination, days to seedling emergence, number of leaves, plant height (cm), stem girth (mm), leaf area (cm2) and root length (cm) and were statistically analysed. The results showed a relationship between the parameters and the polythene bag sizes. The results showed that seedlings of polythene bag sizes 5.5x7 inches and 7x10 inches were superior to the sizes of polythene bag 4x6 inches, 4x7 inches, 5.5x6 inches and 5x7 inches seedlings both at emergence and seedling growth. The size of the nursery bag had a significant influence on seed germination, seedling vigour, number of leaves, plant height, stem girth, leaf area and root length at nursery growth. It was concluded that optimum performance was observed with bag size of 5.5 x 7 inches.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of World Bank Assisted Fadama II Project on the Performance of Fish Farming in IMO State, South East Nigeria: A Comparative Evaluation

A. Henri-Ukoha, D. O. Ohajianya, F. O. Nwosu, S. U. O. Onyeagocha, U. E. Nwankwo

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 450-457
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/589

The study was designed to investigate the effect of Fadama II project on the performance of fish farming in Imo State. A sample of 30 fadama fish farmers and 30 non-fadama fish farmers were selected by multistage random sampling technique. Data were collected with a well structured questionnaire administered to 60 randomly selected fish farmers. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, productivity model and ordinary least square multiple regression technique. The results show that the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers show that majority of the respondents were educated and had appreciable experience in fish farming which enhances their activities. Size of pond and capital invested in the business are important factors that determine output of both group of farmers. Cost of water was found to be insignificant and negative among the non-fadama farmers. It becomes imperative therefore that in order to enhance farmers’ income as well as their standard of living, it is recommended that they should be encouraged to join the fadama projects.

Open Access Original Research Article

Integrated Harvesting Techniques for African Egg Plant (Solanum macrocarpon L., cv. Igbagba)

David O. Ojo, Oladiran Olaleye, Olakunle O. Alabi, Joseph T. Atobatele, Jonas N. Chianu

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 458-465
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/558

This study elucidated the influence of harvesting height and frequency on concurrent seed and shoots production of the African Eggplant, Solanum macrocarpon L., cv. Igbagba/Igbo. The overall aim was to use the outcome to make recommendations that would enable African resource poor farmers secure the much needed increase in income for improved livelihoods. The study was carried out between April to November 2004 on the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT) Ibadan, Nigeria commercial vegetable production fields. Result shows that harvesting at 0.08 m above ground level was optimal and significantly highest for leaf, stem, shoot, seed and total yields except at 0.12 m above ground level for seed production. The result of financial profitability analysis shows that harvesting 0.08 m above ground level and fortnightly was most profitable for leaf, shoot and total yields compared to all the treatment combinations. Harvesting 0.12 m above ground level and monthly, however, was most profitable for seed production when compared to all treatments combinations. The study concluded noting that integrated harvesting techniques for shoot (leaf + stem) and seed production proved economically viable and optimize resource use efficiency better than growing S. macrocarpon sole either for shoot or seed.

Open Access Original Research Article

Assessment of the Performance of Sweet Potato Marketing System in South East Agro Ecological Zone, Nigeria

H. N. Anyaegbunam, P. O. Nto

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 477-485
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/608

Aims: To determine the sweet potato marketing channel, gross marketing margin and returns, marketing efficiency and state the policy implications of the study.
Study design: Cross sectional study
Place and Duration of Study: South east agro ecological zone of Nigeria, between January 2010- December 2010
Methodology: A multistage randomized sampling procedure was used in selecting 120 wholesalers, 240 retailers age range 35-45 and then 24 markets respectively. Structured questionnaire was used to collect information from the respondents. Information collected bordered on volume and value of sales, cost of transportation and channel of distribution. Data were analyzed using marketing margin and Net-return analyses, Efficiency ratio, Chi square and Duncan multiple range tests.
Results: The study showed that sweetpotato marketing is not efficient but lucrative. This is as depicted by the results. Net margins realized were N14,632,N24,100,N24,600 and N28,603 on the wholesalers sector while N3,256,N5728,N5775 and N10,000 were realized on the retailers sector. Efficiency results revealed that none of the states/sectors had efficiency of 100%.The efficiencies range (20-80%). There were significant differences in marketing efficiencies in the markets across the states studied. 
Conclusion: Lack of infrastructural facilities is the main problem militating against efficient marketing system in the zone under study. It is therefore, recommended that infrastructural facilities should be provided for the marketers to reduce spoilage and distressed sales .This will improve marketing efficiency.

Open Access Original Research Article

Genotype x Environment Analysis of Upland Medium Duration, Nationally Coordinated Rice Evaluation Trials (CRET) for Varietal Recommendation

A. T. Maji, A. S. Gana, E. O. Bright, M. N. Ukwungwu, A. A. Ochigbo

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 486-493
DOI: 10.9734/ajea/2011/334

Multi-locational rice evaluation trials were conducted in six locations across Nigeria to select promising varieties that could be cultivated by farmers. Entries were planted in a randomized complete block design replicated three times in each location. Grain yield records of the entries were taken in all the locations. Data were analysed using combined analysis of variance, regression, Additive Main Effects and Multiplicative Interaction (AMMI) and pattern analysis. G x E analysis of transformed data showed that there was no significant differences in grain yield among varieties and at the locations (p=0.05). There was however a high interaction of G x E (location) and location x year (p=0.05). Joint regression analysis which gives a measure of stability showed that WAB 96-1-1, IDSA86, M2 and IR47701-6-3-1 were the most stable varieties across the locations. Using AMMI analysis two varieties, IR47701-6-3-1 and IRAT 317 are the best varieties having high linear response to environments and could also produce high grain yield in poor environments. The pattern analyses group the varieties into three groups. This provides regional stability of the varieties and therefore specific site selection of the cultivars.

Open Access Review Article

Insights into the Physiological, Biochemical and Molecular Basis of Postharvest Deterioration in Cassava (Manihot esculenta) Roots

Andrés Salcedo, Dimuth Siritunga

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 414-431
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/784

Due to its favorable agronomic traits, tolerance to abiotic stresses and adverse environments, cassava is the most important source of dietary carbohydrates for 750 million people around the world, and is produced mainly by subsistence farmers in marginally agricultural land. Physiological postharvest deterioration (PPD) of cassava roots is an endogenous and complex process that restricts their storage potential to only a few days after harvest. This physiological phenomenon is one of the main constraints in cassava agriculture with an enormous impact on the cassava market chain. It is estimated that losses due to PPD in cassava production in Latin America and the Caribbean and in Asia reach 10% and 8%, respectively, whereas in Africa they reach 29%.Several years of research have been accumulating evidence to consider PPD as a wounding stress deficient process involving changes in enzymatic activity and oxidative stress. The primary symptoms, the development of dark bluish or brownish radial veins or streaks near xylem vessels of the root pith tissue, appear within 2-3 days after harvest and spread to the neighboring parenchyma tissues producing a more general browning discoloration throughout the root. Secondary post-harvest deterioration, often appears when the roots suffer moderate to severe damage at harvest and is mediated by a wide range of pathogenic microorganisms, Several strategies have been proposed to overcome the problem, but each alternative has its limitations due to the variable results, lack of objective and systematic methodology for PPD evaluation, applications not conducive for use at farmer-level, limited genetic variability or absence of genetic and biochemical information. The present review examines the socioeconomic impact of PPD, the physiological, biochemical and molecular processes occurring in the root during PPD, as well as the current and future alternatives to overcome the problem.

Open Access Review Article

Organic Farming by Vermiculture: Producing Safe, Nutritive and Protective Foods by Earthworms (Charles Darwin’s Friends of Farmers)

Rajiv K. Sinha, George Hahn, Pancham K. Singh, Ravindra K.Suhane, Allam Anthonyreddy

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 363-399
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2011/519

Agrochemicals which ushered in the ‘green revolution’ in the 1950-60’s, boosted food productivity, but at the cost of environment and society. It increased food production but also destroyed the ‘physical, chemical and the biological properties’ of soil over the years of use. It killed the beneficial soil organisms and also impaired the power of ‘biological resistance’ in crops making them more susceptible to pests and diseases. No farmland of world is free of toxic pesticides today. Over the years it has worked like a ‘slow poison’ for the soil and society. According to UNEP and WHO nearly 3 million people suffer from ‘acute pesticide poisoning’ and some 10 to 20 thousand people die every year from it in both the developed and the developing countries.
Organic farming by earthworms (Sir Charles Darwin’s ‘friends of farmers’) can provide a sustainable and also highly economical solution to the various problems created by the destructive agrochemicals in farm production. Earthworms vermicompost are scientifically proving to be an ‘extraordinary powerful growth promoters and protectors’ for crops (5-7 times over other bulky organic fertilizers and 20-40 % higher over chemical fertilizers). They are rich in NKP, micronutrients, beneficial soil microbes like ‘nitrogen-fixing’ and ‘phosphate solubilizing’ bacteria, ‘mycorrhizal fungi’, humus and growth hormones – auxins, gibberlins and cytokinins. It has very high ‘porosity’, ‘aeration’, ‘drainage’ and ‘water holding capacity’ and makes the soil soft. More significantly it also protect plants against various pests and diseases either by suppressing or repelling them or by inducing biological resistance in plants to fight them or by killing them by their beneficial microbes (chitin and cellulose degraders). ‘Vermiwash’ (liquid filtered through the body of worms) and the ‘vermicompost tea’ (solution of vermicompost) also works as very ‘powerful bio-pesticides’ eliminating the use of toxic chemical pesticides.
Agriculture has also been responsible for huge emissions of greenhouse gases and induction of global warming. Of the increase of atmospheric carbon over the last 150 years, about a third (33.3 %) is thought to have come from agriculture. Chemical agriculture has further augmented GHG emissions. From their production in factories to their transport and use in farms agrochemicals generate huge toxic wastes and pollution and greenhouse gases. Aggressive tillage of compacted soils (due to use of agrochemicals) depletes the ‘soil organic carbon’ (SOC) and emits large volumes of CO2. Chemical nitrogen from the soil is oxidised as N2O which is 312 times more powerful GHG than CO2. Organic farming by vermicompost ‘sequesters’ large amount of ‘atmospheric carbon’ and bury them back into the soil as SOC improving soil fertility and also ‘mitigating global warming’. Soil amended with vermicompost have significantly greater ‘soil bulk density’ and hence porous and lighter and never get compacted needing no or low tillage. Production of vermicompost divert huge amount of wastes from ‘landfills’ which emit large amount of powerful greenhouse gases like CH4 and N2O along with CO2. Every 1 kg of waste diverted from landfills prevents 1 kg of greenhouse gas emission equivalent to CO2. It is like a ‘win-win situation’ for the nation, farmers, environment and the society.
The objectives of this review paper is to scientifically prove that vermiculture technology with the aid of earthworms and its metabolic products (vermicast) can boost farm production without agrochemicals (completely organic) and justify the beliefs of Sir Charles Darwin who called the earthworms as ‘friends of farmers’ centuries ago. Besides, it will provide several social, economic and environmental benefits to the society by way of producing ‘chemical-free’ safe, ‘nutritive and protective’ foods (even against some forms of cancers) for the people, salvaging human wastes and reducing the needs for costly landfills, mitigating global warming by sequestering carbon into soil.