Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluating the Impacts of Land Degradation on the Quality of Soils and Their Variations between Different Clusters in Mosiro Irrigation Scheme, Narok County, Kenya

Edward Mare Muya, Violet Kirigua, Victor Wasike, Leonard Simiyu Nafuma, Esther Macharia, Elias Gitonga Thuranira, Peter Onyango Owenga, Haron Goro, Benard Kariuki Waruru, Alla Lusi Chek, Jeremiah Kimigo, Peter Mbindio Maingi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/10659

Aims: To study the impact of land degradation on soil quality
Study Design: Comparative analysis of soil quality indicators in year 2002 and 2013 in Mosiro Irrigation Scheme.
Methodology: Changes in soil indicators determined in 2002 and 2013 were analyzed using ANOVA at 95% confidence level through Genstat Computer Software. The same indicators were applied to identify and characterize different clusters whose degree of variations were analysed using the same statistical method.
Results: The results showed that all the soil quality attributes changed in the range of 21.4 and 79.1%. The greatest change was recorded in potassium which decreased by 79.1%, followed by phosphorous (60% decrease).
The increase in sodium by 47% had a negative implication in terms of its increased potential to cause soil structural deterioration, while the increase of soil pH from 6.74 to 8.18 implied increased tendency of soil to fix most of the nutrients rendering them unavailable to plants. The soil organic carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium decreased by over 20%, which is much higher than the permissible threshold of 5% in ten years. The variations in soil characteristics between the five clusters identified were found to be significant for: cation exchange capacity (P=0.002), magnesium (P=0.003) and bulk density (P=0.01). There was no significant difference for calcium (P=0.147). All the textural characteristics of soil vary significantly with the highest being clay content (P=0.001), followed by silt (P=0.0018) and sand (P=0.008). For the micro-nutrients, the variation of manganese (P<0.001), zinc (P=0.003), copper (P=0.008) and iron (P=0.031) between different clusters was found to be significant.
Conclusion: Because the variations between different clusters in terms of both physical and chemical soil quality attributes was found to be significant except for calcium, each cluster must have different irrigation schedules and fertilizer inputs (except for calcium). This should form an important consideration in designing the irrigation water supply scheduling for all the clusters. Similarly, the prescription of the quantity of the micro-nutrients to apply should be clusters-specific. This is because the blanket recommendations across the clusters, where variations in terms of the levels of micro-nutrients are significant, would result into lower fertilizer use efficiency.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Bio-organic Amendments on the Infestation of Major Pests & Foliar Disease, Leaf Productivity in Mulberry (Morus alba L)

Barna Chakraborty, Asit Kumar Chanda, Susanta Kumar Chakraborty

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 10-16
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/15086

Massive utilization of inorganic fertilizers for a prolonged period leads to alteration of the soil chemical properties, the availability and uptake of nutrients by the plants. The field experiments aimed at investigating the effect of bio-organic amendments on infestation of major pests, foliar disease and leaf productivity of mulberry (Morus alba L) have been conducted during March 2004-February 2007 in lateritic soil condition (having around pH of 5.6) with limited irrigation support in some areas of Midnapur (West) Districts, West Bengal, India. The research was set up as randomized block design, consisted of five treatments and provided with three replications. (T= 20 MT/ha FYM + 336 kg N+180 kg P2O5+ 112 kg K2O /ha /yr, T2 = 10 MT/hc Vermicompost + Azotobacter +AMF + 50% N + 33% P2Oand K2O /ha /yr of T1, T3 = 7 MT/hc of Poultry-manure + Azotobacter +AMF + 50% N + 33% P2O5 and K2O /ha /yr of T1, T= 5 MT/hc Vermicompost + Azotobacter +AMF + 50% N + 33% P2Oand K2O /ha /yr of T1, T5 = 3.5 MT/hc Poultry-manure + Azotobacter +AMF + 50% N + 33% P2O5 and K2O /ha /yr of T1). The experimental results revealed that the effect of vermicompost in combination with bio-fertilizers followed by reduced doses of inorganic fertilizers imparted significant effect on leaf productivity and incidence of pests and diseases of mulberry plants. However, maximum leaf yield was recorded with the application of poultry manure along with bio-fertilizers and reduced dose of inorganic fertilizers (T3) in the third year after the establishment of plants (16.98 MT/ha/yr). Study of surveillance on the incidence of disease and insect pests clearly indicated that no other diseases than foliar disease was recorded under different manurial and fertilizer treatments. Further, population of the insect pests like white fly and thrips were found to be significantly reduced below the economic threshold level in the experimental plots treated with different organic manures along with bio fertilizers over control.

Open Access Original Research Article

Impact of Financial Sector Reforms on Agricultural Growth in Nigeria: A Vector Autoregressive (Var) Approach

Aniekan Jim Akpaeti

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 17-35
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/11423

The financial sector has witnessed several reforms over the decade. The associated impact of this is also felt in the agricultural sector. The study was carried out to assess the impact of financial sector reforms on agricultural growth in Nigeria from 1970-2009. Secondary data were collected from Central Bank of Nigeria, National Bureau of Statistics and National Population Commission and analyzed using vector error correction model (VECM) approach. The result revealed that financial sector reforms in the baseline and sensitivity model significantly impact on agricultural growth both in the long and short-run. However, the impact of financial sector reforms shock in the sensitivity model on agricultural output growth was lower by 0.60 percent when compared with 78.85 percent in the baseline model. This implied that financial sector reforms could play a significant role in the growth of the agricultural sector by increasing its production level and independently generate positive investments in the sector than in the sensitivity result. It is therefore recommended that government should adopt strong macroeconomic policies targeted to kick-start meaningful growth in the agricultural and financial sectors as well as provide the enabling environment for farming as a business through concessionary interest rates, tax free and import duty concessions. These financial and fiscal incentives when provided would encourage further output growth in the agricultural sector of the country.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Shelterbelt and Land Management on Soil Carbon Sequestration in Shelterbelt-pasture System at Charles Sturt University, Orange Campus New South Wales Australia

A. Bangura, Y. L. Oo, C. S. Kamara, A. Raman, D. S. Hodgkins, H. I. Nicol

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 36-44
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/14497

Measurements of soil organic carbon (SOC) levels were made on soils from 0.00–0.10m and 0.10-0.20m soil depth that were collected from three 12 - years old shelterbelts integrated with pastures in new South wales, Australia to determine whether there was any effect of shelterbelts on SOC levels in the adjacent pasture. The samples were collected in the spring (September 2011) and autumn (March 2012) at increasing distance from the midpoint of shelterbelts. To determine the SOC level in the sample, two permanganate oxidisable methods were used: the Total Organic Carbon (TOC) and labile carbon analysis method. Regression analysis of our result indicated no significant difference (P>0.005) in SOC along the sampling points in an increasing distance from the midpoint of the shelterbelts in both seasons. However, there was a significant difference (P<0.005) in SOC level between the two depths. During autumn at 0.00-0.10m depth the TOC was higher at Weston 1 (1.386%) than College 4 and Leeds Parade site with 1.146% and 1.11% respectively. For the same depth, Weston 1 had 0.061% labile C and 0.054% labile C for both College 4 and Leeds Parade sites. This may be attributed to the topographic difference among the sites.SOC was higher during autumn sampling than spring sampling in all three sites and at both depths due to microbial activity, higher vegetation and warmer climate in autumn.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Capacity of Local Institutions to Respond to Gender Related Issues in Climate Change Scenery in Nigeria’s Niger Delta Region

Valerie Aphie Solomon

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 45-54
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/14252

Gender is an important socio-economic variable in determining vulnerability and ability to adapt to a changing climate and local institutions are known to help in connecting local populations and social groups to external support. The research determined the capacity of local institutions in the Niger-Delta to respond to gender issues in climate change by ascertaining their level of gender awareness and responsiveness, their awareness and knowledge level of climate change, and the implications of the findings for climate change adaptation. Primary data used were collected using a set of close and open ended questionnaires from 750 randomly selected respondents, representing 30% of the study population. Analysis was done using frequencies, percentages and ranking. Their knowledge and awareness was determined by calculating their knowledge and awareness index. Result showed that local institutions’ level of awareness and knowledge of climate change issues and their understanding of key drivers of climate change/variability was commendable as majority of respondents were aware of climate change and variability in their locality. On the gender dimension of climate change, respondents generally felt that adverse climatic events would have more negative impacts on women than men. Majority however, do not have a gender mandate/policy, gender focal points, trained staff on gender issues, are gender blind, and as such, will not be able to handle gender issues in climate change hazards. There is therefore a need to build the capacity of local institutions in climate change and gender through appropriate policies and partnerships. This will ensure that resource support in any climate change adaptation programme through local institutions get to those affected.

Open Access Original Research Article

Plant Regeneration from Shoot Tips-derived Callus of Ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.)

Diaa A. Ibrahim, Gharbia H. H. Danial, Vian M. Mosa, Belan M. Khalil

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 55-61
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/13980

A protocol was described to regenerate plants from callus culture of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.). Callus cultures were induced from ginger shoot tips inverted cultured on semi-solid MS medium supplemented with 2, 4-D (0.5-1.0 mg L-1) and BA (0.5- 1.0 mg L-1). Maximum callus induction was obtained on MS medium supplemented with BA (0.5 mg L-1) either alone or with 2,4-D (0.5 – 1.0 mg L-1), while the highest callus weight was on MS medium supplemented with BA (0.5 mg L-1) and 2,4-D (0.5 mg L-1). Induced callus was tested for regeneration on MS medium supplemented with different concentrations of 2,4-D and BA and the best regeneration was observed on a medium containing 2.5 mg L-1 BA. The regenerated plants were rooted and successfully established in the field after few days of acclimatization.

Open Access Original Research Article

Cointegration and Market Integration: An Application to Hides and ‘Pomo’ Markets in Nigeria

O. Yusuf, J. O. Olukosi

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 62-69
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2015/9960

Aim: To investigate long run and short run relationship between the prices of hides and ‘pomo’ in Kano and Lagos markets in Nigeria, using cointegration techniques.
Study design: The study made use of purely secondary data the prices of hides for the past twenty one years (1988 – 2009) in Kano State and the prices of ‘pomo’ for the same number of years in Lagos State to see whether the two markets are cointegrated or fragmented.
Place and Duration of Study: From the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Livestock and Veterinary Unit, Gwale, Kano and Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Lagos, in July, 2011.
Methodology: Data on prices of hides and ‘pomo’ over a period of twenty one years (1988 – 2009) were used. Unit root test and Johansen cointegration test were carried to find out whether the markets in the two locations are cointegrated or fragmented.
Results: The result showed that there was no cointegration between the two markets. The result of similar trend in the prices of hides and ‘pomo’ in the two markets may be attributed to other factors such as inflation and festivities.
Conclusion: There is no long run relationship in the price of hides and ‘pomo’ in the two markets. Therefore, there should be government’s commitment to policies that can reduce inflation rate so that prevailing market prices of hides and skins can be stable in different market locations.