Aims: The aim of this study is to determine microbial load of tomatoes including microbial species it constitute under storage with particular reference to raw and canned tomatoes.
Study Design: Random sampling of Tomatoes, from selected sources in Ondo State, Nigeria.
Place and Duration of Study: Sample: Akungba-Akoko and some communities in Ondo State. Analysis at Microbiology Laboratory, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko. August, 2011 to July, 2012.
Methodology: Pour plate techniques were used to enumerate microbial load of the samples. Discrete isolated colonies from these sources were sub-cultured using streak plate method to get purified cultures for the study. The bacterial isolates were Gram stained while fungal species were examined using lactophenol cotton blue stain. Standard microbiological methods were subsequently used to identify the tomatoes microflora.
Result: The bacterial load observed during the study ranged from 1 x 105 in CT3 to 38 x 105 in CT2 which are the canned sample sources. Similar range of 10 to 21 cfu/mL was recorded for the raw tomatoes. Microorganisms generally encountered include eight bacteria species such as, Leuconostoc Species, Pediococcusspecies, Staphylococcusspecies, Planococcusspecies, MicrococcusSpecies, BacillusSpecies, Streptococcus species and Clostridiumspecies. Similarly, three fungal species were encountered during the study. These include Saccharomyces species, Aspergillusspecies and Neurosporaspecies.
Conclusion: The microbial load and isolates from raw (local) tomatoes sources are at close range to those isolated from the canned tomatoes sources which still shows the natural protective lactic acid components of this food source. Exposure of canned tomato to air gives room for deterioration by microorganisms as shown in this study. So, both raw and canned tomato should be well protected from contaminants to limit proliferation of spoilage organisms coupled with improvement of canning Technology. Similarly, the nature of microorganism encountered can be used to determine some food preservation systems in the study area
To assess genetic divergence of sugarcane germplasm, an experiment comprising 25 sugarcane genotypes was conducted at Sugar Crops Research Institute (SCRI), Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, in quadruple lattice design during 2008-09. Among the 14 parameters evaluated, majority exhibited significant differences while some showed non-significant mean squares. The initial correlation matrix revealed medium to high correlations. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) showed that there were two principal components accounting for 88% of the total variation in the tested breeding material. The new components were named “Vigor”, and “Quality”. Principal Component Regression (PCR) indicated that these two accounted for 93.64% and 7.36% of variation in the yield, thus signifying the role of the “Vigor” Component. Cluster analysis using Ward’s method on the newly created variables using principal components revealed that there were 3 clusters at a linkage distance of 4.5. Cluster I and III had 11, and cluster II had 3 genotypes. Cluster I showed high mean values for Vigor Component while Cluster II for Quality Component and Cluster III showed genotypes with high mean yield. There was no correspondence of the clustering with the geographic location of the genotypes. It could be concluded from these analyses that there are two main components i.e. vigor, and quality accounting for maximum variation in yield. The genotypes in cluster I and II could be utilized as source for future selection or hybridization program for the improvement of these characters in sugarcane
Aims: The objectives of this study were to characterize, evaluate and work out the interrelationship among the agro-morphological traits with a view to exploiting them directly in the field (if possible) and forming a base for using these landraces in breeding program.
Study Design: A field experiment was done with fifty-one landraces of rice evaluated for 18 agro-morphological traits.
Place and Duration of Study: At the Research Farm of Zonal Adaptive Research Station Krishnagar, Nadia, West Bengal, India during the kharif season of 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Methodology: The experiment was set out in a randomized complete-block design with two replications to determine the nature and magnitude of the variability among the genetic materials, and the intensity of relationships among the traits using multivariate tools.
Results: The study analyzed the diversity of phenotypic traits of the landraces of rice. The analysis of variance found significant variability in eighteen quantitative traits used in distance analysis. All the traits except ligule length, culm length, number of grains panicle-1 and number of primary branches panicle-1 exhibited positive and significant correlation coefficients with kernel weight. Leaf length was positively and significantly correlated with leaf breadth (r=0.760), plant height (r=0.309) culm length (r=0.352); plant height showed similar associationship with flag leaf angle (r = 0.337), culm diameter (r=0.688), culm number (r=0.706) and panicle length(r=0.654). Principal component analysis revealed that six quantitative characters viz., leaf length, culm number, culm diameter, number of grains panicle-1, grain length/breadth ratio and grain length significantly influenced the variation in these cultivars. Cluster analysis permitted the separation of landraces into ten major clusters from diverse geographical location, suggesting environmental adaptation of the landraces.
Conclusion: Thus, the present work identified the existence of inherent variability in the landraces of rice that could be used to exploit the variability directly or through crop improvement programs.
The objectives of this research were to determine the relationship between soil apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) and soil P distribution, and to compare the effectiveness of noncontact mobile electromagnetic induction (EM) and direct contact methods for relating ECa to soil P. Studies were conducted at two locations in Southwest Missouri on a long-term forage fertility plot site and three 1 to 1.5 ha sites within beef cattle pasture fields, all having received long-term poultry litter applications. For the long-term plot site, both the direct contact ECa sensor deep reading and the EM-38 (Geonics) sensor in the shallow mode had significant positive correlations with soil test Bray-1 P at both the 0 to 5 and 5 to 15 cm sampling depths. Significant spatial variation in soluble, soil test Bray-1 and total P were observed by landscape position within pasture fields. In general, soil ECa was not significantly correlated with soluble, soil test Bray-1 and total P at each individual pasture site, but when data was combined over all three sites, significant relationships were observed between ECa measured by the EM-38 sensor and soil soluble P, soil test Bray-1 P and total P, especially when the vertical (deep) mode was used. The difference in performance of the two sensors between the two studies was attributed to the proportion of coarse fragments contained in the soils and soil water content. These results suggest that soil ECa measurements may provide some useful information for evaluating spatial variation in soil P due to manure applications. However, further research is needed to assess the processes and factors affecting this relationship before it can be recommended for use for improved soil P management in individual farm fields with varying environmental conditions and management practices
Sugarcane germplasm screening and testing for superior attributes is a regular feature of the breeding program at Sugar Crops Research Institute, Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Sixteen genotypes which were in the final stages of selection were evaluated in three different environments for Genotype by Environment (G x E) interaction and stability performance. Combined analysis of variance showed highly significant variances for Environments (E), Genotypes (G), and their interaction (G x E). The effect of environments was very pronounced for all the characters highlighting their importance in the performance of genotypes. None of the genotypes was stable across the three environments for all characters. However, genotypes Mardan 93 and CP 77/400 showed a comparative stability for cane yield (t/ha)
Aims: Current information on nutrient status of south western Nigeria soils is needed to develop appropriate integrated nutrient management packages for sustainable cassava production within the area. This study is designed to provide information on fertility status of some soils of the area.
Study Design: A field survey.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in March 2009 within two agro ecological zones of Osun state, south western Nigeria.
Methodology: A field survey of 33 farmers’ fields in two agro ecological zones of Osun state namely; Iwo zone and Oshogbo zone was undertaken. Representative soil samples (0-20cm) were obtained from each field. Physical and chemical properties of soil samples were determined in the laboratory following established methods. Statistical analyses of soil data was carried out using appropriate techniques.
Results: The soils of the area are acidic (pH in water range: 5.4 -6.4) and 79% of the fields are deficient in soil organic matter. Nitrogen and phosphorus are below established critical limits for cassava production in half of the fields; exchangeable cations (calcium, magnesium and potassium) are present in adequate amounts in most soils. No significant differences (P .05) were observed between the zones for soil properties measured.
Conclusion: Farmer acceptable strategies for improving nutrients availability (particularly nitrogen and phosphorus), organic matter and overall soil health through use of fertilizers, organic materials and multipurpose legumes among other options are required for sustained cassava production.
The study evaluated the productivity, yield and cooking quality of four cassava varieties grown on poor soils at Beposo in Wenchi Municipality in the forest/savannah transitional zone of Ghana, between October 2008 and October 2009. The trial included two local varieties selected by the farmers and 2 improved varieties developed by the national agricultural research system, and three fertilizer treatments. The fertilizer treatments were 4 t ha-1 poultry manure, 32-32-32 kg N-P2O5-K2O ha-1 and unfertilized controls. Mean fresh root yield of the four cassava varieties ranged from 8.9 t ha-1 (Afosa) to 30.6 t ha-1 (Bensre). Application of the mineral fertilizer resulted in between 140% and 300% increase in fresh root yield for the improved varieties and between 43% and 63% for the local varieties while application of poultry manure resulted in yield increase of between 86% and 124% for the improved varieties and about 48% for the local varieties. Fertilization significantly improved the mealiness in all the varieties with the local varieties being the mealiest. Farmers’ criteria when selecting a variety for planting included yield, mealiness and maturity. Farmers’ most preferred cassava variety was the local variety Bensre; the least preferred variety was the improved variety, Essam. Although the local varieties were less responsive to fertilization, they appeared to be well-adapted to local conditions and had preferred root quality attributes. These traits can be used for improving root quality and productivity in cassava breeding. Mealiness of cassava roots could also be improved on poor soils through fertilization
The culture medium of Oryctes monoceros larva has nutrient composition and significant quantities of mineral elements required for fungi growth. The presence of these major mineral elements such as Na, Ca, K, Mg, Mn, Fe and Cu in the larva served as growth factor. The present study was carried out to examine the effect of culture media of O. monoceros larva and potato dextrose agar (PDA) in supporting growth and sporulation of fungi. The O. monoceros larva medium best supported growth and sporulation of Ceratocystis paradoxa (3.52), Glomerella cingulata (3.15), Trichoderma harzianum (4.80), Fusarium oxysporium (4.52) and Byssochlamys nivea (3.32) while potato dextrose agar was less suitable for growth and sporulation of C. paradoxa (2.30), G. cingulata (1.83), T. harzianum (3.41), F. oxysporium (2.72) and B. nivea (2.36) in spores/ml two weeks after incubation. However, six months after incubation PDA medium best supported growth and sporulation when compared with less suitable O. monoceros depleted medium. The ability of these fungi to break down the oil content in the larva for utilization means it could probably form a base for new culture medium for fungi storage. The cost of O. monoceros is cheaper compared with PDA. In the absence of PDA, O. monoceros would be the alternative medium for fungi storage
Aims: Effect of nitrogen supply and genotypic variation for different traits related to nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) were studied in order to enhance the understanding of genetic basis of NUE and to find genetic materials for developing low-N tolerant maize genotypes.
Methodologies: Ten genotypes (5 open pollinated varieties and 5 hybrids) were evaluated at four N levels (0; 30; 90; 180 kg N.ha-1) in split plot randomized block design with three replications at farmer field in Tulungagung, East Java, Indonesia, from November 2011 to February 2012.
Results: The results showed that genotypes exhibiting contrasted responses to N nutrition. Nitrogen deprivation caused varied reductions of plant height, leaves area, chlorophyll content, stay green, N uptake, total dry matter, grain yield, grain number and a thousand grain weight among genotypes; but did increase days to 50% anthesis, 50% silking, anthesis-silking interval, crop recovery efficiency of applied N (REN), physiological efficiency of applied N (PEN), agronomic efficiency (AE) and NUE significantly (P = .05). Heritability estimates (h2) were high (h2 > 0.5) for most of measured traits at all N levels and ranged from -0.892 to 0.998. This indicated that it is possible to select genotypes are adapted to low N under both low and high N fertilization. High genotypic variation for grain yield was observed at all N levels, while for REN, PEN and AE were found at high-N and NUE at low-N. Reduction of N level from 180 to 90, 30 and 0 kg N.ha-1 caused reduction of 7.8%, 14.4% and 49.4% grain yields respectively. High grain yield were found in Bisi-2, Pioneer-21, NK-33, Bisma and DK-979 at high-N; and less yield reduction caused by N level reduction were found in DK-979, Madura, Bima-3, Bisma and NK-33, whilst high NUE traits were found in NK-33 and Pioneer-21.
Conclusions: NK-33, Pioneer-21, DK-979 and Bisma are expected to be as genetic materials for developing tolerant low-N varieties
Optimum and qualitative production of vegetables in the depleted soils during the dry season are best achieved through irrigation. Two experiments were concurrently conducted in 2010 to determine the effect of irrigated poultry manure on the vegetative growth and nutritional quality of Indian Spinach (Basella alba) in South Western Nigeria. Poultry manure (P) rates at 0 (P0+W), 5 (P1+W), 10 (P2+W), 15 (P3+W) and 20 t ha-1 (P4+W) were each irrigated with 6,000 litres of water per hectare (W) and the plots were arranged on a complete Randomized Block Design with four replications. The plot that had no manure but irrigated with 6,000 liters of water served as control. Compared with control, all the treatments significantly increased Basella height, leaf area (except P1+W), wet leaf weight and dry matter yield. The percentage increases in the leaf area of Basella alba were P1 + W (0.68%), P2 + W (6.48%), P3 + W (10%) and P4 + W (25.95%). Accumulation of crude protein, fat and ash were highest in P3 + W and were respectively 19.47, 4.34 and 13.49%. Crude fiber and dry matter yield were highest in P4 + W with increase of 15.3 and 0.1% respectively. Treatment P1+W had the highest carbohydrate with percentage increase of 18.51%. Compared with control, all the treatments significantly increased soil pH, OM, N, P, K and Ca. Fertigated poultry manure at 20 or 15 t ha-1 most increased basella growth, nutrient contents and soil chemical properties
In Ethiopia, food insecurity has always been a burning problem. The gap between demand for and supply of food can be minimized through protecting and managing soil fertility and thereby increasing productivity of crops. This study was conducted in major maize growing areas of southern Ethiopia. The objectives of the study were to assess soil fertility management options available to smallholder farmers and identify the factors that affect their decision making to apply a given alternative in maize crop. The study was based on the cross sectional data obtained from a random sample of 385 smallholder farmers. A multinomial logit model was employed to identify socioeconomic, institutional and environmental factors determining farmers’ decision regarding the choice of a particular soil fertility management option. The result indicated that size of farm, access to credit, availability of extension services and training pertaining to soil fertility management were important factors affecting the decision to use a particular soil fertility management practice
The effects of the fluorescent pseudomonad isolate CW2 on hyphae of Pythium ultimum (Trow) and Rhizoctonia solani (Kühn) and root colonization were studied in gnotobiotic systems under scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Results of SEM revealed that the frequency of bacterial colonization was higher in cucumber roots infested with the fungi than in healthy roots. Isolate CW2 caused irregular and abnormal fungal growth. Swellings and shrinkages of P. ultimum and R. Solani hyphae were obvious when cucumber roots were drenched with CW2. SEM studies were also conducted to evaluate the effect of CW2 on hyphae of both fungi on PDA medium. The hyphae of P. ultimum and R. solani showed distinct morphological alterations and degradation compared to untreated healthy control hyphae of Pythium or Rhizoctonia which were slender and uniform in shape. The results provide direct evidence of bacterial attachment and colonization to fungal hyphae of both tested spp. and show that fungal growth to be significantly reduced in the presence of isolate CW2
Aims: To determine whether the exogenous application of glycinebetaine (GB) can ameliorate the effects of water deficit on maize growth and physiological processes.
Study Design: Split plot design with water deficit being the main plot factor and GB application being the subplot factor. Treatment was a combination of water deficit level and GB application with 3 replications.
Place and Duration of Study: R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS, USA between May and July 2010.
Methodology: A pot experiment was conducted using 31-d old ‘TV25R19’ maize irrigated with 750 ml pot-1 day-1 (WW: well-watered), 450 mL pot-1day-1 (WD60, 60% of WW) and 300 mL pot-1day-1 (WD40, 40% of WW) grown with or without GB application at each stress level. GB was applied as a foliar spray every 5 days at a rate of 4 kg ha-1. Soil moisture content and leaf water potential, growth, biomass, and gas exchange parameters were measured in response to the treatment variables.
Results: Significant GB and water deficit main effects were observed for plant height (PH), leaf dry weight (LDW), ear dry weight (EDW) and total dry weight (TDW) (P £ 0.05) while GB main effects alone were observed for node number (NN) and stem dry weight (SDW) (P £ 0.05). GB application increased leaf area (LA) (5,454 cm2 plant-1) in WD60 plants relative to untreated plants. No GB effect was seen under other treatment combinations at 10 or 20 days after treatment (DAT) measurements. GB did not increase stomatal conductance or transpiration at 10 or 20 DAT in plants subjected to water deficit. GB application resulted in leaf water potential values in the WD60 treatment that were statistically similar to the well-watered plants. Volumetric soil water content did not change with foliar GB application across water deficit treatments except under mild stress after 18 DAT, where soil moisture was higher for GB treated plants.
Conclusion: GB’s effect was most evident in plants from the WD60 treatment. GB application significantly improved PH, LA, LDW, SDW, EDW and TDW and did not influence NN under WD60 conditions.
Aims: This study was aimed at identifying high yielding Ruiru 11 sibs in varying growing conditions. The study also intended to measure the extent to which cherry yields of Ruiru 11 are affected by the environment.
Study Design: Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in three different agro-ecological zones in Kenya namely Mariene in Meru County, Kisii near Kisii town in Kisii county and Koru in Kericho County between November 2008 and September 2011.
Methodology: Thirty four (34) Ruiru 11 sibs, all of which are resistant to Coffee Berry Disease and Coffee Leaf Rust, were evaluated in this study alongside two entries of SL28, a cultivar susceptible to the two diseases. One entry of SL28 was sprayed with copper fungicides to control, while the other SL28 entry was not sprayed with any fungicides. Planted at a spacing of 2m by 2m, each entry had 12 trees per plot per rep, giving a total of 1296 plants per experiment per site. Cherry yield recording was done during the peak harvesting period of May to July at Mariene and July to September at Koru and Kisii. The data was subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) using XLSTAT version 2012 statistical software and effects declared significant at 5% level.
Results: Significant (P = .05) yield differences among Ruiru 11 sibs were obtained in all years of evaluation at Koru but only in 2011 at Kisii and Mariene. There was a greater discrimination between sibs at Koru, followed by Kisii and then Mariene. Year effect was highly significant (P < .001) and equally distinguished in all sites but year x sib interactions were significant (P = .05) only at Kisii. Combined analysis for all environmental combinations showed highly significant (P < .001) differences between sibs, environments and their interaction. Environments made a greater contribution (42.6%) to the variation compared to sibs (7%). The interaction term also made a significant contribution (18.7%). The best sibs per site and those adapted to contrasting environments were identified.
Conclusion: The expression of high yield variation among Ruiru 11 sibs is a sign of high potential of intra-selection within the cultivar for yield improvement. Identified sibs can be recommended to farmers and also exploited in future breeding programmes for improvement of Ruiru 11 productivity and agronomic adaptability. The occurrence of significant sib by environment (G x E) interactions was an indication that the best improvement strategy should be a multi-site selection.
Aims: Precision farming becomes more and more an accepted way of crop production and helps to achieve a sustainable environmental friendly agriculture. Furthermore, growing interest in automated data acquisition and information processing is going to form another milestone towards improved farm management and an overall trace ability in agricultural food production. The benefit and effectiveness of using precision farming techniques is highly dependent on the capabilities of the utilized technology.
Study Design: The study was design based on the available report and hence it was decided to design the research work so as to collect maximum information including case studies.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was undertaken at our Institute i.e. CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, Durgapur, India during the period Aug. 2011 to Feb. 2012.
Methodology: This research is basically focused on the work done so far on the subject precision farming for small agricultural farm. Accordingly work was reviewed and consolidated points are discussed in this paper in the subsequent sections.
Results: Precision farming provides a new solution using a systems approach for today's agricultural issues, namely the need to balance productivity with environmental concerns. Precision farming aims at increased economic returns, as well as reducing the energy input and the environmental impact of agriculture.
Conclusion: The potential of this technology has already been demonstrated, but in practice, meaningful delivery is difficult as it needs large scale commercial application to realize the benefits. PA is facilitating the prospects and scope for switching over to modern agriculture leaving the traditional one by utilizing right resources in right time and management, which results an environment friendly sustainable agriculture
Aims: The work was established with objective of evaluating organic fertilizer doses and its effects on soil physical properties and forage yield. Thus, solarized manure and corn variety were used.
Study Design: Randomized strip-split plot design with three replications.
Place and Duration of study: The experiment was conducted during 2007 and 2008; in the experimental agricultural center of the Agriculture and Zootechnic Collage of Durango University, located at km 28 of Gómez Palacio-Tlahualilo road, Durango, Mexico. Planting was carried out on April 15, 2007 and June 2, 2008.
Methodology: The first factor (A) studies was crop with the levels: A1; corn, variety San Lorenzo and A2; combination corn-soybean with the same variety for corn and Cajeme for soybean, the second factor was cow manure with the levels of B1 to B5 of 0, 40, 80, 120 and 160 Mg ha-1 and one additional level of chemical fertilizer of 100-150-0 of nitrogen phosphorus and potassium, respectively; The main evaluated variables were: soil temperature (°C), soil moisture (%) and Green forage yield (Mg ha-1).
Results: The results indicate no statistical difference between factor (A) levels; but in factor B statistical differences among levels were found and the best was 120 Mg ha-1 with a production yield of 67.22 and 71.60 Mg ha-1 in 2007 and 2008 respectively. The treatments with cow manure application always had the highest, soil moisture percentages and lower temperatures in compare with treatments without cow manure application, outstanding the 120 and 160 Mg ha-1 treatments.
Conclusion: Organic fertilizers have a positive effect on physical soil characteristics and forage yield; being a good alternative for farmer in forage corn production.
Aim: To investigate the determinants of technical efficiency of rice farmers at Tono Irrigation Project.
Study Design: Cross sectional.
Place and Duration: The Kassena-Nankana District of Upper East Region of Ghana in the 2007/2008 cropping season.
Methodology: One-step estimation of the Stochastic Frontier Model.
Results: The technical efficiency estimates ranged from 0.41 to 1.00 with a mean value of 0.81. The factors that determined farmers’ technical efficiency included education and the adoption of modern inputs such as seeds and chemical fertilizers.
Conclusion: The sustainability of the farmers’ high efficiency will be dependent on the continuous support they receive in the areas of input supply and education, among others.
Aims: In the present investigation mutations were induced by EMS in rain fed mulberry genotype RFS135 and evolved mutants were evaluated for crop improvement by morphometric and phytochemical studies.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of sericulture, Jnanabharathi, Bangalore University, Bangalore-560056, Karnataka, India, between June 2006 and July 2010.
Methodology: The active bud sprouts of vegetative cuttings of RFS135 in multiple sets were
treated for twelve hours intermittently (every one hour) with three different concentrations (0.1%, 0.3% and 0.5%).Further M1V1 and M1V2 generation clones were evaluated for biomass, nutritive and morpho-metric characters.
Results: The results revealed that concentrations of 0.1% and 0.3% EMS treatment were effective in significantly altering the morpho-metric characters, biomass yield and phyto chemical constituents. The significant variation in the morpho-metric characters such as height of the plant, number of branches, stem girth, number of leaves per plant and increased biomass was recorded among the M1V2 clones of 0.1% EMS treatment (p=0.0001) and 0.3% EMS treatment (p=0.0006). Further significant improvement was recorded in nutritive parameters such as proteins, reducing sugars, minerals and moisture content. Moisture retention capacity and Chlorophyll contents were also found to be high in mutant clones recovered from 0.1% and 0.3% EMS treatments.
Conclusion: This suggests that EMS at lower concentrations below 0.5% can be safely used for crop improvement in mulberry and can also be tried in other vegetative propagated crops.
Aim: To investigate the factors influencing technical efficiency of tomato farmers at the Irrigation Company of Upper Region (ICOUR).
Study Design: Cross sectional.
Place and Duration: Kasena-Nankana District of the Upper East Region of Ghana in the 2007/2008 cropping season.
Methodology: One-step estimation of the Cobb-Douglas Stochastic Frontier Model.
Results: Mean technical efficiency was found to be 0.71, ranging from 0.36 and 0.99. The relatively high efficiency levels were as a result of agricultural intensification measures (such as the adoption of modern inputs) that the farmers followed as well as high levels of education and long years of experience in cultivating tomatoes. The most indentified effect of tomato influx into the country was that it drives farmers out of production. As a way out the farmers suggested that there should be a review of the country’s cross border relations with its neighbors.
Conclusion: The farmers at ICOUR are technically efficient. Their main problem however borders on the fierce competition they face from their foreign counterparts.