Food security status of female-headed households in Mubi North Local Government area, Adamawa State, Nigeria

A.J. Madugu

Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Adamawa State University, Mubi, Nigeria

(Manuscript received 5 June 2018; accepted for publication 22 December 2018)

Abstract. This study investigated the food security status of female-headed households (FHHs) in Mubi north local government area (LGA) of Adamawa State, Nigeria. Specifically, the socio economic characteristics and determinants of household food security status of respondents were tested. Structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 80 female headed households using simple random sampling technique from five districts of Mubi north LGA. Analytical tools used were the food security index (FSI) and Binary Logit Regression Analysis. The results showed that majority (57.9%) of the respondents were middle aged, having 1-5 persons in their household and cultivating about 1-3 hectares of land. It further showed that most of the respondents (63.8%) were food insecure. The result further showed that age, household size, educational status, and access to input were significant and therefore regarded as the major determinants of food security in the study area. It also showed that extension service was not significant and thus not a determinant of food security among the respondents. The study concluded that female headed households in the study area were food insecure; it was thus recommended that NGOs, CSOs and other actors should focus more on agricultural activities by providing inputs so as to improve food production and household food security index, furthermore, the result showed that extension service did not influence food security status of respondents, thus, private extension service providers should be established to assist the government in the provision of intensive extension contact/services, this can help to improve food production and subsequent food security status of respondents.

Effects of storage duration and bulb sizes on physiological losses of Agrifound light red onion bulbs (Allium cepa L.)

M.S. Abubakar1*, J.N. Maduako2, M. Ahmed3

1Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Federal University Dutse, P.M.B 7156 Dutse, Jigawa State, Nigeria
2Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering and Engineering Technology, Federal University of Technology Owerri, P.M.B 1526 Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
3Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Adamawa State University, P.M.B 25 Mubi, Adamawa State, Nigeria

(Manuscript received 9 July 2018; accepted for publication 8 January 2019)

Abstract. The effect of storage duration and bulb sizes on physiological losses of the Agrifound light red onion bulbs stored in an Improved Naturally Ventilated Storage Structure-INVSS (constructed using locally available materials like; sand, cement, wood, corn stalks, wire mesh and grasses) under room condition was studied in 2012. Dry and wet bulb thermometers were installed to measure ambient temperature and relative humidity. Wind velocity was measurement by hand held Anemometer. The onion bulb samples were sorted and graded into three standard size categories (small: <50mm; medium: 50-70mm and jumbo: >70mm in diameter) and kept in the INVSS at the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering Research Farm of Modibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH), Yola. The samples were monitored and data taken on a daily basis for a period of twenty (20) weeks. The data were analyzed with ANOVA in CRD and the means were separated using LSD at p<0.05. The results indicated that storage duration had significant effects (p≤0.05) on weight, rot and sprout losses. Jumbo size onion bulbs had the highest Storage Weight Loss (SWL) by a mean of 5.1%, followed by medium and small size onion bulbs with means of 4.8% and 4.2%, respectively. Storage Sprout Losses (SSL) studied in the three of onion bulb sizes showed higher SSL among the small size Agrifound light red variety than the medium size onion bulbs with respective mean values of 5.0% and 3.8%, while the least value of SSL (2.6%) was observed in Jumbo size onion bulbs. Similar comparison was also made in terms of Storage Rot Losses (SRL) and it showed that relatively higher SRL among the Jumbo size onions (3.3%), followed by medium sizes (3.1%) while the least was observed from the small sizes (2.3%). The findings recommend that the INVSS should be used to store Jumbo and small size onion bulbs for at least 5 months to achieve minimum storage losses. Though, it is not cost effective to store medium size onion bulbs in the INVSS for more than 4 months.

Effect of the diet with commercial dry yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) on organoleptic qualities, chemical and biological parameters of common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.)

N.M. Abdulrahman1*, I.H. Al-Refaiee2, H. Ali Mutter3

1College of veterinary medicine, University of Sulaimani, Sulaimaniya, Iraq
2Ministry of Agriculture, Al- Anbar province, Iraq
3College of Agriculture, University of Anbar, Al- Anbar province, Iraq

(Manuscript received 9 July 2018; accepted for publication 31 January 2019)

Abstract. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the replacement of different levels of animal protein concentrate (APC) with a commercial dry yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in diets on common carp performance. The experiment was conducted in the fish laboratory of the Department of Animal Production, College of Agricultural Sciences, University of Sulaimani in Kurdistan region of Iraq for the period from 25.07.2015 to 15.10.2015. Starting with a period of acclimatization for 21 days, to test the efficiency of using commercial dry yeast S. cerevisiae as alternative protein source to APC used in the manufacturing of diets for common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) by using 90 fish at weights ranged 22-42g divided into 15 groups distributed randomly on 15 plastic containers by five treatments with three replicates per each variant. The treatments contain different levels of APC and yeast S. cerevisiae as follows: first treatment (Control T1): 100% APC / 0.00% yeast S. cerevisiae; second treatment (T2): 75% APC / 25% yeast S. cerevisiae; third treatment (T3): 50% APC / 50% yeast S. cerevisiae; fourth treatment (T4): 25% APC / 75% yeast S. cerevisiae and fifth treatment (T5): 0.00% APC / 100% yeast S. cerevisiae. There was no significant difference observed in the value of biological indices for some physiological organs, spleen and Hepatic pancreases and also in the value of the condition factor (CF) between carps from different treatments. The results of the chemical composition of the fish flesh showed significant difference in the moisture of individuals from T4 as compared with these from T2 and T5, T2 was significantly increased in crude protein as compared with other treatments, T5 had significant differences in fat crude as compared with other treatments, T1 and T2 were significantly different in ash as compared with other treatments, T1 was significantly different in carbohydrates as compared with other treatments. The results showed no significant differences observed among experimental treatments in Panel test of tenderness, color, juiciness, flavor and overall acceptance for fish meat.

Colour and rehydration properties of bay leaves dried by convective and microwave methods

A. Polat, N. Izli

Department of Biosystems Engineering, Agriculture Faculty, Bursa Uludag University, Gorukle Campus, 16059 Nilüfer, Bursa, Turkey

(Manuscript received 26 July 2018; accepted for publication 30 November 2018)

Abstract. This study aims to evaluate the effect of the convective and microwave dying methods on the colour parameters (L*, a*, b*, C,  and ΔE) and rehydration ratio of bay leaves. Drying experiments were conducted using 350 and 460W of microwave powers and air temperatures of 50, 60 and 70C. Different microwave powers show significant effect on colour of dried bay leaves. Increasing microwave power, a* (redness/greenness),  (hue angle) and ΔE (total colour changes) values increased whereas L* (lightness), b* (yellowness/blueness) and C (Chroma) values decreased. For the convective drying, although there are changes in the values of the colour parameters (L*, a*, b*, C and ), there are no significant differences in the values of the total colour changes (ΔE) statistically (P>0.05). The effect of microwave power levels and air temperature on rehydration characteristics was determined. It was found that the rehydration ratio values decreased with an increasing temperature and increasing power levels. The highest rehydration ratio was recorded for the samples dried at 350W and the lowest ratio was seen in a sample dried at 70°C. Microwave drying can be a practical drying process, an alternative to convective drying for drying bay leaves.

Antibacterial activity of ethanol extracts of fifteen Bulgarian plants

A. Solak, S. Dyankova

Institute of Cryobiology and Food Technologies, 53 Cherni Vrah Str., 1407 Sofia, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 1 September 2018; accepted for publication 16 January 2019)

Abstract. Analyses were performed of the antimicrobial activity of 15 herbs and spices (lemongrass, sour cherry, horseradish, ginger, St. John’s wort, common centaury, fig, clove, rose geranium, dill, rosemary, oregano, savory, smoketree and wild thyme) widely spread and used in Bulgaria and of some combinations thereof by the agar disk diffusion method. Total phenol content was the highest in the smoketree extract (43.80±1.50 GAE/ml), followed by rosemary (27.80±1.20 GAE/ml), clove (25.17±0.26 GAE/ml), wild thyme (24.83±1.20 GAE/ml), and oregano (23.50±2.00 GAE/ml) extracts. It was established that ethanol extracts of many tested plants showed inhibitory action against S. aureus and E. coli. The most potent effect was observed with extracts of St. John’s wort, smoketree and clove. With combination of plant extracts, very good results were demonstrated in mixtures of St. John’s wort with wild thyme, with savory and with clove. The said extracts may be used as active constituents in biopolymer matrices for development of functional antimicrobial films needed for food and pharmaceutical industries.

Zoo-hygienic assessment of lighting in semi-open freestall barns for dairy cows

D. Dimov

Department of Applied Ecology and Animal Hygiene, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 1 September 2018; accepted for publication 16 January 2019)

Abstract. The aim of the present study was to perform a zoo-hygienic assessment of lighting (natural and artificial) in different technological zones (stalls, manure and feed alleys) in semi-open freestall barns for dairy cows. The survey was conducted over a period of one year in 3 production buildings from 3 cattle farms located in three different areas of Southern Bulgaria – Stara Zagora District, Haskovo District and Plovdiv District. The building’s parameters were as follows: building No.1 – capacity 120 cows, 60.00/18.00/3.00m, 1080m2; building No.2 – capacity 120 cows, 66.00/18.00/3.00m, 1188m2 and building No.3 – capacity 500 cows, 90.00/45.00/3.30m, 4050m2. The premises lighting was measured with two combined apparatuses (Lutron EM-9300SD, 0-20000 lux and PU 150, 0-100000 lux), twice a month at 10.00, 12.00, 14.00, 16.00 and 18.00h at a height of 1m from the floor of the three technology zones. Summarized for all buildings, the light level varies widely by buildings, by seasons, by hours of reporting and by technological zones with limit values between 1 and 9810 lux. In all barns the most intense was the light above the feed alleys, followed by stalls and manure alleys; by hours of reporting during the day the level of lighting above the three technological zones was higher at midday (12.00-14.00h) compared to morning (10.00h) and afternoon (18.00h). Buildings No.1 and No.2 with a smaller built-up area provide more intensive lighting over all technological zones throughout all seasons compared to building No.3 with bigger built-up area: from 7.34 to 13.8 times over stalls, from 3.22 to 5.62 times over manure alleys and from 2.79 to 8.00 times over feed alleys. In buildings No.1 and No.2 there were prerequisites at least 16 hours of day light (photoperiod) to be provided during summer, autumn and spring, while in the winter months up to 8.00am and after 6.00pm the used artificial lighting was with low intensity and cannot provide the recommended over 160 lux intensity of the light. In building No.3 during most of the day for all seasons, the level of lighting above stalls and manure alley where the animals stay the longest time, the lighting level was lower than 160 lux. The factors ‘building’, ‘season’ and ‘hour of the day’ had a statistically significant effect (P<0.05-0.001) on the level of lighting in the three technological zones in the studied buildings. Of the associated factors, only the combination ‘season*hour of reporting’ had no significant effect on the lighting in the zones above the stalls and manure alleys.

Ecological stability and plasticity of maize hybrids in different groups of ripeness

M. Ilchovska

Maize Research Institute, 5835 Knezha, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 1 September 2018; accepted for publication 3 December 2018)

Abstract. Ecological stability and plasticity of maize hybrids in different groups of ripeness – Knezha 307, Knezha 435, Knezha 509 and Knezha M625 by the traits grain yield and length of the ear was evaluated. The ecological parameters were determined by using the method of Eberhart and Russell (1966) and of Pakudin and Lopatina (1984). In the period of study (2014-2017) the hybrids demonstrate different plasticity and stability by the examined traits. The results of the analysis of the variances demonstrate reliable differences of the hybrids and the conditions for the two traits and primarily reliable interaction genotype – environment. The variances of the regression Si2 of all hybrids for the trait grain yield reliably differ from their theoretical value which determines them as plastic, i.e. responsive to more favourable conditions of growth. According to the values of bi the hybrid Knezha 435 (bi<1) is stable by the trait grain yield, the hybrids Knezha 307 and Knezha M625 are with values of bi close to one and have relatively medium stability and Knezha 509 with bi>1 is unstable. With reliable values of Si2 for the trait length of the ear is only the hybrid Knezha M625. The ecological stability of the other hybrids was evaluated by the value of the coefficient of regression (bi). Increased stability by this trait is demonstrated by Knezha 435, followed by Knezha 509. Knezha 307 is with medium stability (bi=1.1) by the respective trait.

А grain harvester performance according to unloading time and modes

G. Tihanov

Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 1 November 2018; accepted for publication 18 February 2019)

Abstract. The paper presents an analysis of the two ways of unloading the harvester grain hopper – unloading at standstill and unloading on the move. A passive experiment has been carried out during wheat harvest by measuring the loading time of a full harvester hopper into the transport vehicle. During its time measurement it has been found that for 237.4s the harvester is stopped and does not reap and does not perform actual output. The actual grain harvester output when unloading at standstill has been determined 17.15t/h (25.22 da/h) and the actually possible output if the harvester runs the same performance and unloads on the move it will reach an output of 20.91t/h (30.74 da/h), i.e. its output will increase by 19%. It has been found out that crop harvesting times can be shortened if the method unloading on the move is used, by about one day in harvesting the crop, respectively.

Effect of off-farm work on agricultural productivity: empirical evidence from northern Ghana

B.T. Anang

Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana

(Manuscript received 8 November 2018; accepted for publication 4 February 2019)

Abstract. In recent years, there has been increasing recognition of the importance of income diversification to agrarian households in developing countries. Empirical evidence of the effect of farm household income diversification on agricultural productivity remains scanty and inconclusive. An important policy question concerns the effect that farmer participation in off-farm work has on agricultural productivity. This paper answers that question by examining the factors that explain the decision of farm household heads to work off-farm and how this impacts farm productivity using a sample of 300 rice producing households in northern Ghana. Endogenous switching regression model supported by a treatment effect model was used to empirically assess the effect of off-farm work on agricultural productivity. Results show that engagement in off-farm work has a robust and positive impact on rice productivity. Farmers’ choice to work outside the farm thus contributed significantly to rice productivity of smallholders, confirming the role of income diversification in contributing to agricultural productivity of agrarian households.

Effect of improved seed technology adoption on small-scale sorghum farmers’ productivity in Kebbi State, Nigeria

M.A. Ojo1*, D.B. Saleh2, A.A.A. Coker1, A.O. Ojo1

1Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, Federal University of Technology, P.M.B. 65 Minna, Niger State, Nigeria
2Government Science and Technical College, P.M.B. 1013 Zuru, Kebbi State, Nigeria

(Manuscript received 27 September 2018; accepted for publication 20 December 2019)

Abstract. The study examined the effect of improved seed technology adoption on small-scale sorghum farmers’ productivity in Kebbi State, Nigeria. Multistage sampling technique was employed in determining the sample size from the sample frame, 240 respondents were sampled using proportionate sampling technique. Data for the study were collected using structured questionnaire containing open and closed ended questions. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics and multiple regression analysis. The results indicated that the sorghum farmers adopted Samsorg-5, Samsorg-14 and Samsorg-17 improved seeds with Samsorg-5 accounting for 64.6% level of adoption, thus ranking first. The multinomial logit regression model showed that the probability of adopting one or two improved sorghum varieties increased with the farmers’ educational level, sex, farm size and labour usage in the study area. The results further revealed that the average cost of Samsorg seeds was negative and statistically significant at one percent probability level across the groups which implies that the probability of adopting any of the improved sorghum varieties reduced with its cost. The results also indicated that Samsorg-5, Samsorg-14 and Samsorg-17 improved seeds positively affected farmer’s production and productivity at 5% levels of probability. This indicated that a percentage increased in the use of these improved seeds led to an increase in the production and productivity of sorghum farmers in the study area. Also, the influence of farm size and fertilizer on output and productivity were positive and statistically significant at 1% levels of probability. The results further revealed that, the topmost constraints faced were inadequate extension services and low level of formal education at 92.1% and 56.7% ranking 1st and 2nd, respectively. Therefore, the study recommended an action-oriented plan to reach the small scale farmers with adequate information on agricultural practices to promote adoption of improved seeds in order to increase their level of productivity. Agricultural policies should be directed at making inputs available at subsidized rate, on time and at the required level. Credit facilities should be made accessible at single digit interest rate to enable them efficiently utilize inputs in order to increase their productivity level.