Open Access Original Research Article

Socioeconomic Factors and Soil Fertility Management Practices Affecting Sorghum Production in Western Kenya: A Case Study of Busia County

Syphyline J. Kebeney, Balthazar M. Msanya, Johnson M. R. Semoka, Wilson K. Ngetich, Anderson K. Kipkoech

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/12107

Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench), though ranked as the third most important staple food crop in Kenya, farmers still experience periodic crop failure and this is a threat to food and income security. This paper attempts to find the underlying factors responsible for low production and establish farmers’ perceptions on soil fertility management. A cross-sectional study was carried out in Busia County, to relate socioeconomic factors and soil fertility management aspects affecting sorghum yields. Structured interviews and observations were used for data collection, considering the variables: demographic factors, income, farmers’ perception on soil fertility replenishing options, access to agricultural advisory services and yields of sorghum. Results indicate that women are predominant (57.3%) sorghum producing farmers in the County. Literacy level reveals majority of the farmers (49.3%) have primary education as optimum suggesting sorghum production to be through hands-on experience. Individual land ownership was the norm with most farms being 1.5 to 2.0 hectares. Income among respondents is below USD 1.25 per day. Sorghum is ranked very important (56.7%) and is a resource against food shortage. Many farmers (41.3.0%) use traditional seed from previous harvests with 24.0% purchasing seed from agro-dealers or being provided by non-Governmental organizations/projects. Intercropping is associated with food security, improved yields and land inadequacy and not to soil fertility restoration. Inadequate knowledge on the role of legumes and crop residue recycling in soil fertility improvement exists and 38.7% of farmers have access to agricultural information. Gender, social norms, literacy, fertilizer use, accessibility to advisory services and farmers’ perception on soil fertility management options are concluded to impact on sorghum production in Busia County. The existing database on the alternative researched options to restore soil fertility and increase crop yields could be channeled through demonstration plots to farmers in a participatory manner in order to facilitate adoption.

Open Access Original Research Article

Potentials of Two Indigenous Plants Powder for the Control of Stored Maize Weevil, Sitophilus zeamais (Motschulsky)

E. I. Ogban, I. G. Ukpong, E. E. Oku, S. E. Udo, J. O. Ogbeche, R. O. Ajang

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 12-17
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/10475

Potentials of two indigenous plants powder derived from Acmella oleracea, Linn and Lantana camara, Linn were evaluated in the laboratory at ambient temperature and relative humidity (28±20C; 75±5% RH) for the control of stored maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais (Motsch). Powders obtained from air-dried flower heads of A. oleracea and leaves of L. camara were tested at 1, 3 and 5% (w/w) concentrations. Parameters assessed were effect of plant powders on weevil mortality (toxicity test), adult emergence (oviposition deterrence test) and germination (viability test) of seeds after storage. Results showed that the 3% and 5% plant powders significantly (p<0.05) increased weevils cumulative mortality and suppressed adult emergence compared to 1% powders and controls. The result also revealed that the efficacy of these plant powders on the weevils was dose-dependent with higher doses providing greater protection of the maize grains. Seeds viability test revealed that powder treatments had no deleterious effects on the germination potential of treated maize. The multiple insecticidal effects of these plant powders and their potential for local availability make them attractive candidates in upgrading traditional post-harvest protection practices. The outcome of this study is encouraging and a possible means of ensuring a steady supply of good quality maize grains.

Open Access Original Research Article

Relative Abundance and Diversity of Insect Species on Nine Genotypes of Pepper (Capsicum spp.) Grown under Field Conditions in Ghana

Enoch Selorm Kofi Ofori, Andrew Sarkodie Appiah, Wonder Nunekpeku, Emmanuel Kwatei Quartey, Matilda Owusu-Ansah, Harry Mensah Amoatey

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 18-28
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/12150

Aim: To identify the different types and relative abundance of insect species on the nine genotypes of pepper, as a guide to instituting control measures against unacceptable crop damage.
Study Design: The experimental treatments were deployed in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD), replicated three times.
Place and Duration of Study: Nuclear Agriculture Research Center (NARC) farms and the laboratories of Radiation Entomology and Pest Management Center (REPMC) of Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI). The study was conducted during June-October, 2011.
Methodology: Seeds of the nine pepper genotypes (Anloga, Antillas, Archard, Big Sun, Bombardier, Forever F1, Legon 18, Poivron California Wonder (PCW) and Sunny F1) were sown in a nursery and transplanted 35 days after germination to an experimental plot measuring 40 m x 11.4 m in the centre of one acre area such that the experimental plot was surrounded by a homogeneously managed terrain. The experimental treatments were deployed in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD), replicated three times. Each replicate was allotted a plot size of 12 m x 11.4 m. Each replicate was subdivided into nine sub-plots, with each sub-plot planted to one genotype consisting of 30 plants at a spacing of 0.8 m x 0.6m. Plots were separated by a distance of 2 m. Random sampling technique was used on weekly basis to study the relative abundance, diversity and behaviour of the insect species on the genotypes.
Results: Thirteen different insect species were identified from the vegetative through to the maturity stage with relative abundance ranging from 0.04– 54.29%. The highest number of insects were found on the genotypes Forever F1 (26.2%) and Anloga (25.9%). Legon 18 and Sunny F1 registered the highest diversity of insect species, while PCW, Big Sun and Forever F1 recorded the least diversity. Aphis craccivora (Koch) (Hemiptera, Aphididae) was the most dominant pests sampled on four genotypes (Anloga, Antillas, Forever F1 and Legon 18) of the nine pepper genotypes. Similarly, Camponotus sp. was the most dominant predator on the pepper genotype Archard. For the rest of the genotypes, there were no significant difference (P=.05) in mean number of insects sampled per genotype. Three mutualistic insects namely Camponotus sp., Cheilomenes lunata (Fabricius) (Coleoptera, Coccinellidae) and A. craccivora were sampled on the pepper genotypes. The degree of association between any of these is displayed in Table 4. Mean number of C. lunata was highly significantly correlated (P=.01) with that of A. craccivora.
Conclusion: The high abundance of insect pests in the study area coupled with the pest status of the majority (53.28%) necessitates control measures to prevent economic loss during commercial cultivation in the area. Further work needs to be done on designing a friendly IPM strategy for the major insects encountered in the study so that crop loss due to insect pest infestation can be minimized.

Open Access Original Research Article

Side Effects of Sublethal Concentration of Two Neonicotinoids; Thiamethoxam and Thiacloprid on the Larval Parasitoid, Bracon brevicornis (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)

Essam O. Tabozada, Samy M. Sayed, S. A. El-arnaouty

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 29-35
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/12469

Aims: To assess the responses of the larval parasitoid Bracon brevicornis, exposed as larvae parasitized on Spodoptera littoralis larvae, to two neonicotinoids.
Study Design: The immature and adults stages of the larval parasitoid B. brevicornis were investigated on the treated 2nd larvae instars of Spodoptera littoralis at periods zero time, 1st, 3rd and 5th days of parasitism by these two neonicotinoids with contact method.
Place and Duration of Study: A laboratory experiments were carried out during the summer 2013 at Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, Egypt.
Methodology: Two neonicotinoids including thiacloprid and thiamethoxam at sublethal dose under constant laboratory conditions by spray method (direct toxicity) to the parasitoid adults and by contact method (indirect toxicity) on the parasitoid, B. brevicornis for five minutes to the 2nd larval instars of S. littoralisas as a host at zero time, 1st, 3rd and 5th days of parasitism.
Results: No significant difference was found between the two tested compounds on larval and pupal durations. thiacloprid have higher toxic effect than thiamethoxam on the larval parasitoid, B. brevicornis. Thiacloprid achieved low number of emerged adults /parasitoid's female, low emerged females, shorter male and female longevity.
Conclusion: Using of thiamethoxam for controlling sucking insect pests is more safer for the larval parasitoid, B. brevicornis than thiacloprid. We also suggest that thiamethoxam share programs of integrated pest management.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Role of Informal Credit on Agriculture: An Assessment of Small Scale Maize Farmers Utilization of credit in Jema`a Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Nigeria

H. O. Yusuf, P. Ishaiah, O. Yusuf, H. A. Yusuf, H. Shuaibu

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 36-43
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/12099

Carried out to Assess the roles of informal credit to small scale maize farmers in Jema`a Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The data were obtained primarily by administering questionnaires to 75 farmers that were purposively selected from 4 villages in Jema`a Local Government Area. Data were collected on socio-economic characteristics of maize farmers, cost and returns of maize production and constraints militating against informal credit acquisition. The study showed that maize production in the study area was profitable. It was recommended that Suitable mechanism should be explored to provide coordination of various informal credit sources existing in the study area in order to streamline their basic operation with a view to instituting common conditionality and guidelines for lending of credit to small scale farmers.

Open Access Original Research Article

Distribution of Imidacloprid Residues in two Sandy Soils of Portneuf (Quebec) Under Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) Culture

Ndongo Bekolo, Ambang Zachée, Ngoh Dooh Jules Patrice, Kuate Tueguem William, Kone Nsangou Abdou

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 44-53
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/11955

Aims: The goal of this work was to confirm the results of leaching and dissipation of the imidacloprid obtained with intact soil columns and draining lysimeters.

Methodology: A study on the distribution of imidacloprid (insecticide) residual deposit was carried out on two potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) farms of Portneuf (Quebec). Two farms (PNF47 and PNF51) were selected. The soil was sampled once before and four to five times after imidacloprid application. Imidacloprid residues analysis was performed using HPLC.

Results: The results obtained show that the average concentration of imidacloprid after application is lower or equal to the theoretically expected values. The imidacloprid was recovered in the soil 2 to 6 days after foliar application at rates varying between 23.2 to 23.6%. The heterogeneity of active ingredient distribution on the soil at application, differential dissipation of this one and foliar interception explain these results. The coefficients of variation of the concentrations observed in the layer 0 to 5cm, 2 to 6 days after application vary from 76 to 96%. The soil contamination after harvest is 2 to 6% of the amount of imidacloprid applied. The vertical distribution profiles of the residual concentrations of imidacloprid after application show that, these vertical profiles of distribution vary from a sampling point to another. The residual concentrations in the deep layers of the soil are independent of the concentrations in the surface layers (absence of correlation).

Conclusion: The risk of pesticide leaching below the root zone of the soils studied is small in the context of crop rotation. But there is no zero risk. The data obtained can be used in the development, calibration and validation of the various models of digital simulation.

Open Access Original Research Article

Factors Affecting the Involvement of Women in Income Generating Activities in Sabon-Gari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Nigeria

H. A. Yusuf, K. J. Nuhu, H. Shuaibu, H. O. Yusuf, O. Yusuf

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 54-59
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/11132

This study examines factors affecting the involvement of women in income generating activities. Data for this study were obtained by the use of structured questionnaire. A total of 120 respondents were interviewed consisting of 60 women involved in income generating activities and 60 women control. The logit regression model was used to analyze the data collected. The result of the analysis revealed that age of the respondent (X1) and level of education (X3) significantly affects the involvement of women in income generating activities at 5% level of probability while family size (X4), access to credit (X5) and membership of an association (X6) significantly affects it at 10% level of probability. The study recommends that women should be sensitized on the importance of involving in income generating activities as this will help them to be self-reliant. It also recommended that women should be encouraged to attend adult literacy classes as this will help in better organizing and carrying out of income generating activities. In order to improve on their performance, the local government should assist women by linking them with financial institutions so as to acquire loan and women should be encouraged to form cooperative groups for easier access to loans.

Open Access Original Research Article

Uses of Jellyfish in Pre Sowing Seeds Treatment and Pest Control

O. S. Hussein, R. M. Sayed, O. I. Saleh

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 60-69
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/12196

Aim: Preliminary experiment on the effect of liquefied Jellyfish on seedling growth and the digested solution of jellyfish as insecticides.

Place and Duration of Study: Natural Products Research Department, National Center for Radiation Research and Technology, Atomic energy authority.

Methodology: Seeds of anise, canola, coriander, cumin and dill were experimented to study the effect of presowing soaking treatment in liquefied Jellyfish on seedling growth. Also, different concentrations of digested solution of jellyfish were examined as bio-insecticide against two insects Oryzaephilus surinamensis L. and Bactrocera zonata (Saunders).

Results: Enhancement in germination parameters were observed in comparison to untreated control. The changes in protein pattern in seedlings from seeds soaked in liquefied jellyfish solution were investigated. Most of electrophoretic protein patterns in coriander weren’t affected by soaking in jellyfish. But, in dill or in canola seedlings new bands were created in samples from seeds soaked in jellyfish compared to those separated from control soaked in water. On the other hand, the digested solution of jellyfish was highly toxic with LC50 of 2.06 and 1.14 % for O. surinamensis and B. zonata, respectively.

Conclusion: These data suggest that liquefied jellyfish is useful as a priming solution for plants and its digested solution as bio-insecticide.

Open Access Original Research Article

Growth, Physiological, Yield and Quality Response in Chilli (Capsicum annuum L.) Under Wastewater Irrigation and Different Levels of Phosphorus

Saba Iqbal, Akhtar Inam, Seema Sahay, Arif Inam

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 70-81
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/9293

Aims: India is one of the most densely populated, developing and industrially fast growing country of the earth that not only facing the problem of water scarcity, but also the mismanagement of tremendous amount of wastewater (WW) produced every day. Therefore a study was conducted in the Aligarh city of India on chilli (Capsicum annuum L.) cv. Pusa Sadabahar to observe the suitability of wastewater for irrigation along with different levels of phosphorus and how minimize the use of chemical fertilizers in agriculture by supplementing mineral nutrients through wastewater.

Study Design:  Factorial randomized block design

Place and Duration of Study: The pot experiment was conducted during 2011-2012 in the net house of the Plant Physiology, Department of Botany, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.

Methodology: Three levels of water, 50% wastewater, 100% wastewater and groundwater (GW) were used along with four basal doses of phosphorus at the rates of 0, 20, 40 and 60kgPha-1 with a uniform basal dose of nitrogen and potassium with the rates of 60kgNha-1 and 50kgKha-1 respectively. Fertilizers were applied one day before sowing. Both the waters and soil were analyzed for various physico-chemical characteristics.

Results: All the growth, physiological, yields as well as quality parameters were recorded at 60 days after sowing. Results revealed that wastewater irrigation significantly increases the growth, photosynthesis, yield and quality of the chilli. Lower dose of phosphorus fertilizer at the rate of 40kg ha-1 together with wastewater proved optimum and gave greater shoot and root length, shoot fresh and dry mass, leaf area, photosynthetic rate, chlorophyll content, nitrate raductase, carbonic anhydrase, ascorbic acid and leaf nitrogen content than control and even to higher nitrogen doses along with groundwater.

Conclusion: The wastewater proved an effective source of essential nutrients and even it could not be supplemented the whole nutrient requirement of the chilli but it can reduced the quantity of fertilizers because wastewater also a source of nutrients.

Open Access Original Research Article

Diversity and Community Structure of Benthic Insects in Fish Farm Ponds in Southern Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa

Michel Laurince Yapo, Boua Célestin Atsé, Philippe Kouassi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 82-93
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/2718

Aims: The aims of this study were to determine diversity and community structure of benthic insects in fish farm ponds.

Study Design: Monthly samplings have been conducted from December 2007 to November 2008 in five fish farms (Layo, Banco, Azaguié, Anyama I and Anyama II) in southern Côte d’Ivoire. In each farm, sediments were collected in three ponds using a van Veen grab. In each pond, environmental variables such as transparency, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen and conductivity were measured in situ.

Methodology: Samples were taken in six replicates which were pooled to constitute a sample for each pond.

Results: A total of 31 taxa belonging to 18 families and 7 orders were recorded. Benthic Insects fauna is clearly dominated by Chironomid Diptera. Nilodorum fractilobus, Chironomus imicola, Stictochironomus sp., Tanypus fuscus and Ceratopogon sp. were the dominant taxa. Anyama II station recorded the maximum values of Shannon-Wiener diversity index and evenness. Insect community structure was visualized using Canonical Correspondence Analysis to show the affinities of each species for selected environmental parameters.

Conclusion: The species reported for the first time contributed to the list of insects’ species from Ivorian aquatic ecosyste