Open Access Original Research Article

The Impacts of Natural Disasters on Smallholder Agriculture in Rural Cameroon

Roland Azibo Balgah, Gertrud Buchenrieder

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 233-243
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/7084

Problem: That climate change and subsequent natural disasters resulting from it will affect the agricultural sector is not new to anyone familiar with the disaster literature. However, the exact magnitude of such impacts remains to be estimated.

Methodology: Using empirical evidence based on a 25 year old natural disaster in rural Cameroon, we attempt to provide estimates on the immediate and long term impacts of a natural disaster on smallholder agriculture. A standardized questionnaire is applied on 301 smallholder farming households to assess the short and long term impacts of the 1986 Lake Nyos disaster on agriculture, mainly eliciting responses through a recall process. This is complemented by participatory discussions and observations.

Results: The results reveal that the disaster had significantly high negative impacts on livestock and human capital (P=0.01 respectively). Sampled households were found not have currently recovered even up to the levels before the 1986 disaster, after a quarter of a century.

Conclusions: The implications of such disasters on the agricultural sector and their possible effects in the short and long term include increasing efforts towards prevention, and the use of data as basis for disaster management

Open Access Original Research Article

NERICA Adoption and Impacts on Technical Efficiency of Rice Producing Households in Ghana: Implications for Research and Development

B. O. Asante, A. N. Wiredu, E. Martey, D. B. Sarpong, A. Mensah-Bonsu

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 244-262
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/7250

In an effort to enhance agricultural development in Ghana, rice producers have witnessed myriads of improved agricultural technology development and dissemination. Notably among them is the Multi-national NERICA Rice Dissemination Project (MNRDP). However the empirical evidence linking these technologies to productivity indicators is limited. This paper uses cross sectional data which were collected from 200 smallholder rice producers from major rice growing districts in Ghana, to examine whether adoption of NERICA rice varieties have impacted on technical efficiency. Taking  into  account  the  endogeneity  of technology adoption and assuming  that impact is heterogeneous across the population, The propensity score matching approach was usedto estimate average treatment effect (ATE) on technical efficiency. Theanalyses revealed an adoption rate of 68 per cent among sample rice farmers. The data further suggest an average technical efficiency of 69.1 per cent.  In addition, adoption of NERICA rice varieties was found to have a positive and significant impact on technical efficiency of rice producing households in the country. Besides NERICA adoption, other factors that significantly influenced technical efficiency include; education, household size, gender and non-farm income. The result also highlighted a positive influence of institutions such as NGOs and extension services on technical efficiency. The findings suggest that access to improved varieties is an essential factor to consider in promoting interventions aimed at improving technical efficiency of smallholder rice producers. Further, continuous provision of training through establishing and strengthening linkages between farmers and these institutions is recommended to enhance the smooth transformation of adoption efforts into efficient rice production among smallholder rice farmers in Ghana

Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of Risk Management Practices in Rice Production in Abia State, Nigeria

P. O. O Nto, J. A. Mbanasor, C. P. O Nto, A. E. Osuala

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 263-274
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/5620

The study was conducted to evaluate risk management practices in rice production in Abia State, Nigeria with the specific objectives to: (a) examine the profile of rice producers (b) identify sources of risk and the degree of influence on rice production. (c) examine appropriate risk management Practices. Data for the study were collected using well structured questionnaires administered on 60 farmers who were obtained through random sampling technique. Data were analysed using mean, frequency table, percentage, w-statistics and Pearson Criterion. Results of the study indicate that the highest risk sources to rice production were technical and political risk with mean rank of 1.29 and 2.29 respectively. The w-statistics was calculated to be 0.674 implying that concordance of rice producers’ judgment should be regarded as satisfactory hence can be used for policy formulation given that it was significant at 1% probability level. It is recommended that farmers should adopt technical methods of handling risk such as use of improved variety of seed, fertilizer, and pesticide in controlling risk. Also the government institutions charged with the responsibility of making the inputs available should be strengthened while extension services by government agencies should be reorganised to carryout effective extension services, on how to use the inputs. Besides, there should be rice insurance scheme to cover disaster like flood

Open Access Original Research Article

Competitiveness’s Determinants in the Avocado Export Sector’s Value Chain

J. A. Martínez, J. Bonales, A. G. Zamudio, J. Gaytan

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 275-289
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/6493

This article discusses the importance of innovation and knowledge as a sustainable competitive advantage in the value chain of avocado exporters located in Uruapan, Michoacán. The measurement of these dimensions is made to indicators used in this research model, in bringing the measure up to this level of analysis allows us to know the source of competitive advantage. The results of the measurement of innovation and knowledge generated by operators of the avocado value chain (growers, producers, packers, and transporters). Thus, the objective of the research is to determine to what extent innovation and knowledge are the main variables that affect the competitive advantage in the value chain avocado Michoacan’s exporters.

The article is generated from scientific research and has a descriptive-correlational design, describes the subject matter and determines the correlation of the independent variables with the dependent variable competitive advantages in the value chain of export companies’ avocado in Michoacan. The sample size was: Nurserymen 51, 354 Producers, Packers 29 and Transporters 8. The general hypothesis is: innovation and knowledge are the main variables that affect the competitive advantage of the links in the value chain avocado exporting Michoacan’s companies and will be contrasted with the Likert Scale, using a questionnaire to obtain information of the object of study field

Open Access Original Research Article

Factors influencing Soyabean Production and Willingness to Pay for Inoculum Use in Northern Ghana

Robert Aidoo, J. Osei Mensah, Andrews Opoku, R. C. Abaidoo

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 290-301
DOI: 10.9734/JEA/2014/6011

Aim: This study was aimed at providing empirical information on key drivers of soyabean production in northern Ghana and factors that determine farmers’ willingness to pay for inoculum use in the production of the crop.

Research Design and Methodology: A total of 240 grain legume producers were sampled from the three northern Regions in Ghana, out of which 188 were soyabean producers. Farmers who were selected through a combination of stratified and simple random sampling techniques were interviewed with the use of standardized structured questionnaires to elicit primary information for analysis. The Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) estimation procedure was used to estimate a Cobb-Douglas Soyabean production function. In addition, a binary logistic regression model was used to examine factors that determine farmers’ willingness to pay for inoculum use in soyabean production.

Results: Evidence from the study showed that area cultivated and farming experience significantly influenced soyabean output positively at the 5% level. However, quantity of labour employed in production and educational level had significant negative relationship with soyabean output, all things being equal. Farmers’ willingness to pay for inoculum was found to be positively influenced by experience in soyabean production, access to credit, percentage of produce sold and awareness about inoculum at the 5% significance level. Male farmers were found to be more willing to pay for inoculum than female farmers, and distance from home to farm was found to be negatively related to farmers’ willingness to pay for inoculum, ceteris paribus.

Conclusion: In an attempt to step up soyabean production and increase the uptake of inoculum among farmers without subsidy, awareness creation about inoculum, credit access and commercial orientation of farmers should be targeted as the key variables in any strategy or policy formulation

Open Access Original Research Article

Egyptian Apricot Stone (Prunus armeniaca) as a Low Cost and Eco-friendly Biosorbent for Oxamyl Removal from Aqueous Solutions

Sahar M. Ahmed, Somaia G. Mohammad

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 302-321
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/7116

In this work, activated carbon was prepared from apricot stone (ASAC) waste to remove the insecticide oxamyl from aqueous solutions. The effect of different parameters such as adsorbent dose, the initial oxamyl concentration and contact time were investigated. Adsorption isotherm, kinetics and thermodynamics of oxamyl on ASAC were studied. Equilibrium data were fitted to the Langmuir, Freundlich, Temkin and Dubinin-Radushkevich (D-R) isotherm models. Langmuir isotherm provided the best fit to the equilibrium data with maximum adsorption capacity of 147.05 (mg/g). Kinetic studies were also undertaken in terms of pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order and intraparticle diffusion kinetic models for oxamyl on ASAC. The adsorption process follows the pseudo-second order kinetic with high coefficients correlation. The thermodynamic parameters ∆Gº, ∆Hº and ∆Sº determined, showed that the adsorption of oxamyl onto ASAC was feasible, spontaneous and endothermic. The results showed that ASAC is an efficient adsorbent for the adsorptive removal of oxamyl from aqueous solutions

Open Access Original Research Article

Factors Determining Urban Poverty of Farming Households in a Tropical Region

Nsikak-Abasi A. Etim, Glory E. Edet

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 322-335
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/7145

The study identified and estimated the factors that determine urban poverty using the Tobit regression model. The study was conducted in Akwa Ibom State, Niger Delta Region, Nigeria between February 2012 and July 2012. With the aid of questionnaire, primary data were obtained from 120 farming households using multi-stage sampling procedure. The participatory research involved 80 males and 40 females. Data were subjected to Tobit regression analysis. Results of Tobit regression showed that whereas sex of household head, farm size, ownership of assets, farm income, access to extension services and modern farming input, were inversely related to poverty depth; depending ratio, years of farming experience and marital status were directly related to poverty. Result further revealed that farm size, ownership of certain assets, access to modern farming inputs and farm income were negative but significant (P<.01). Dependency ratio and household heads farming experience were positively related to poverty depth and significant (P<.05) whereas access to extension services and sex of household heads were negatively related to poverty level and significant (P<.05). Expanding the size of cultivable lands, raising incomes from farming activities, and increasing the size of residential apartments could decrease the probability of being poor. Reducing the number of dependent household members and ensuring ready availability and accessibility of basic amenities like water supply and health care facilities to urban households are some measures that could curb the likelihood of poverty in the region

Open Access Original Research Article

Character Association and Selection Indices in Sugarcane

Mohammad Tahir, Iftikhar Hussain Khalil, Per H. McCord, Barry Glaz

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 336-348
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/6086

Sugarcane is an important crop of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. However, the yield per unit area is below some advanced sugarcane growing areas of the world, and the national average of Pakistan. Improved methods of selection resulting in higher yielding sugarcane cultivars would help in increased yield. Information about direct and indirect effects of yield contributing characters and subsequently developing a selection index would greatly improve the process of cultivar development. An experiment comprising 26 sugarcane genotypes coupled with 2 check cultivars was grown in a randomized complete block design with 3 replications at Sugar Crops Research Institute, Mardan, Pakistan during 2011-2013. Data were collected on stalk and yield attributes. Genotypic path coefficients revealed that Tiller2, growth2, and Pol had positive direct effects on cane yield.  Selection indices based on growth2, Pol, tiller2, and cane yield showed that individuals selected based on these characters simultaneously gave a genetic advance of above 60. CPF-225, MS-2003-CR5-245, MS-2003-CR7-243, and MS-2003-CR8-407 could be selected as the best genotypes according to these selection indices. This study showed that applying path coefficient analyses followed by development of selection index could be a worthwhile selection strategy

Open Access Original Research Article

Optimizing Seed Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Tuber Yield and Size Distribution through Integrated Irrigation Water, Nitrogen and Phosphorus Mineral Nutrient Application

K. Gathungu Geofrey, N. Aguyoh Joseph, K. Isutsa Dorcas

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 349-361
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/6738

Potato is the world's fourth important food crop after wheat, rice and maize because of its great yield potential and high nutritive value. In Kenya, potato is constrained by low seed tuber production in the informal sector. This is partly due to improper fertilizer regimes and irregular rainfall patterns. Therefore, a study was conducted in a rain shelter at the Horticultural Research Farm of Egerton University in Kenya from 19th August to 19th December 2011 (Trial I) and 5th April to 6th August 2012 (Trial II) to determine the effects of integrated irrigation water, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) supply on tuber yield and size distribution. The layout was a split-split plot design with irrigation (40%, 65% and 100% field capacity) assigned to main plots, N (0, 75, 112.5 and 150 kg N/ha) to subplots and P (0, 115, 172.5 and 230 kg/ha P2O5, corresponding to 0, 50.6, 75.9, 101.2 kg P/ha) to sub-subplots. The treatments were replicated three times and repeated once. The irrigation water rates were applied in drip tube lines. Nitrogen was supplied as urea (46% N) in two equivalent splits, at planting time and at 5 weeks after planting. Phosphorus was supplied at planting time as triple superphosphate (46% P2O5). Data were collected on number, yield and size distribution of tubers at harvest and subjected to analysis of variance. Significantly different means were separated using Tukey’s Studentized Range Test at P = 0.05. The 65% irrigation water and the high N and P rates resulted in relatively high number, yield and quantity of seed potato sizes I and II. The 100% irrigation water increased the ware-sized seed potato tubers and reduced the quantity of chats. Therefore, integration of moderate irrigation water and high rates of N and P is recommended for optimizing seed potato tuber grades

Open Access Original Research Article

Sugarcane Genotype Performance in Three Environments (Based on Crop Cycle) at Mardan, Pakistan

Mohammad Tahir, Iftikhar Hussain Khalil, Per H. McCord, Barry Glaz

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 362-375
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/6615

Sugarcane breeders often face significant genotype x environment interactions in their trials grown under multiple environments. Hence, genotypes need to be tested for their stability across different environments keeping in view the significant interactions. An experiment comprising 28 sugarcane genotypes (including 2 checks) was planted in two plant and one ratoon crops during 2010 to 2013 in a randomized complete block design with 3 replications. Data were recorded on cane, yield, and quality characters. Analyses of variance showed significant mean squares for crops, genotypes, and their interactions. The linear contrasts of two plant crops were found non-significant for tillering, vigor rate, stalk diameter, Brix, Pol, recovery, and cane yield. However, the contrast for plant crops versus ratoon was non-significant for stalk diameter only. Shukla’s stability variances and yield stability indices (Ysi) showed that no single genotype was stable for all characters. However, genotypes MS-2003-CP-209, MS-2003-CP-275,CoJ-76, MS-2003-CR2-131, and MS-2003-CR5-245 were stable for cane yield. The results of the study indicate the importance of genotype x environment interaction and stability in the ongoing varietal development program