Membership in association, gender and adoption of land-enhancing technologies among arable farmers in Ogun state, Nigeria

R. Adeyemo*, A.D. Kehinde

Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Ogun State, Nigeria

(Manuscript received 31 January 2020; accepted for publication 30 April 2020)

Abstract. This study investigated the effect of membership in farmers’ association on adoption rate of land-enhancing technologies in Ogun State, Nigeria by gender. Specifically, it describes the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers by gender, identifies land-enhancing technologies adopted by farmers in the study area, determines the adoption rates of the technologies by gender, and determines the membership in farmers’ association on the adoption and intensity of use of land-enhancing technologies by gender. Multistage sampling procedure was used to select 120 respondents for the study. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics and the Cragg’s (double-hurdle) model. The results of the descriptive statistics, which are expressed by gender, reveal that the sampled population were majorly comprised of males (58%), than females (42%). The level of association membership was 54% for females and 35.29% for males, and only 33.82% of the respondents had contact with extension agents. The results also show that 17.65% of males and 10% of females did not adopt any technology. The results from the Cragg’s double hurdle model show that extension contact significantly influenced the adoption of most of the technologies. It had a positive relationship with the adoption of all the technologies across both genders, except for organic manure whose adoption was negatively influenced. It is therefore recommended that relevant governments and stakeholders improve extension services, as well as consider farming associations as means of getting across to female famers in order to improve their adoption levels and productivity.

Dynamics of rice sub-sector in Nepal: Research investment, production, and supply chain

Rajendra Pandit1*, Durga Devkota1, Naba R. Devkota1, Prakash C. Bhattarai2, Hari K. Shrestha3

1Faculty of Agriculture, Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, Chitwan, Nepal

2School of Education, Kathmandu University, Hattiban, Lalitpur, Nepal

3Food Research Division, Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Lalitpur, Nepal

(Manuscript received 17 April 2020; accepted for publication 5 June 2020)

Abstract. Rice is a major cereal crop that ensures food security and rural income generation in Nepal. The objectives of this study were to analyse the dynamics of the rice sub-sector from the perspective of production, research investment, and supply chain as expected outcomes are not yet achieved in spite of continuity in priority for research and production investment. Accordingly, this study was done by using secondary data covering 2000 to 2018 combined with a case study. For the case study, Morang, the district with the highest rice production was chosen. A random sample of 144 supply chain actors in which 100 rice producers, 10 collectors, 10 wholesalers, 7 millers, and 17 retailers were chosen from the list of the targeted population in each category. Findings revealed that rice production, productivity, and research investment were increasing at the rate of 1.25, 1.65, and 10.57 percent per annum, respectively. There was a strong positive link between research investment and production. Millers were the main value-adding actor. They have been getting the highest profit margin (31.5%) based on investing more (46.51%) in value-added activities. In contrast, farmers received a relatively low-profit margin (13.9%) with a 1.26 benefit-cost ratio. This was mainly due to the low adoption of improved production technology and weak horizontal coordination of rice producers. The percentage of food surplus households has increased, mainly due to the adoption of rice technologies generated by rice research programs, but this has not well reflected in terms of getting more profit margin by the rice-producing farmers. On the other hand, the research investment in rice was not consistent, and even not adequate for the required technology generation. Therefore, an increased investment could enhance the efficiency of generating technology packages, and implementation of effective extension services targeting the rice-growing farmers through increasing total factor productivity is crucial to increase the profit margin of rice producers. Moreover, with strengthened horizontal coordination among the major actors and with the increased investment in value-added activities in each stage of the supply chain based on consumer demand, increased profit margin for making the rice supply chain sustainable.

Influence of variety endosperm type and seed moisture content on threshability and mechanical damage of sorghum seeds

W.M. Muiru1, P.L. Fabiola1, D. Mbuge2, L. M’Ragwa3, S.L. Kimaru1*

1Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection, University of Nairobi, P.O Box 30197, Nairobi, Kenya
2Department of Environmental and Biosystems Engineering, P.O Box 30197, Nairobi, Kenya
3Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Kenya

(Manuscript received 13 April 2020; accepted for publication 3 June 2020)

Abstract. Sorghum is an important cereal crop and it is native in African tropical areas. It is a globally cultivated crop and the fifth most important cereal after maize, rice, wheat and barley. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of endosperm type, seed moisture content and threshing methods on percentage threshability and mechanical damage of sorghum seeds. Two varieties of sorghum (Kari-mtama 1 and Seredo) were grown in two diverse locations, Kiboko and Katumani. Variety Kari-mtama1 has hard (vitreous) endosperm while the other variety Seredo has soft (non-vitreous) endosperm. After harvesting, sorghum panicles were dried in the sun and oven. The panicles were threshed separately for each drying method at two moisture levels, namely 18-20% and 13-14%. The three threshing methods used included beating with wooden stick in tied sack, using wooden mortar and pestle as well as using threshing machine. The results showed that the vitreous endosperm variety had significantly high percentage threshability and significantly low mechanical damage than non-vitreous endosperm variety under both drying methods. There was a significant (p≤0.05) increase in threshability and decrease in mechanical damage when the seeds were threshed at 13-14% moisture content compared to 18-20%. For better seed quality, threshing machine is the best method to be used to avoid mechanical damage and seed quality deterioration. Drying methods used to dry seed panicles before threshing had no effects on threshability and mechanical damage. This implies that sorghum panicles can be dried either in the sun or oven without affecting threshability and mechanical damage at the two moisture levels and by using the three threshing methods.

Machine learning model for estimating agricultural crop insurance payout based on air temperature, rainfall, and relative humidity

K.P. Mangani1*, R. Kousalya2

1Department of Computer Science, Dr.N.G.P Arts and Science College, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India
2Research Supervisor, Head of the Department of Computer Application, Dr.N.G.P Arts and Science College, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India

(Manuscript received 17 March 2020; accepted for publication 7 May 2020)

Abstract. In Agriculture, the weather-based variations are deliberated to estimate the crop insurance payout. This research model includes linear regression technique (LR) for air temperature payout prediction and fuzzy based choquistic regression (FCR) technique for rainfall payout prediction of agricultural blocks. Then the combined indices of rainfall, relative humidity and air temperature are considered as input to the proposed model named fuzzy based Quasi Poisson Regression technique (FQPR) implementing the multi-indices evaluation function that performs the total payout prediction per hectare of the specified block. The deviations in weather indices determine the insurance payout value with the threshold parameter specified as per policy makers. Thus, the proposed techniques can support the prediction of the total insurance payout with additional weather parameters for the seasonal period of the selected crop for selected five districts with reduced error rate. The results show that the proposed work is appropriate for combining weather indices and predicting the total insurance payout of the groundnut crop of the selected districts.

Fall Armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae): A recent threat and future management strategy in Nepal

S. Gahatraj1*, S. Tiwari1,2, S. Sharma3, L. Kafle4

1Faculty of Agriculture, Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur-44209, Chitwan, Nepal
2Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln University, P.O.Box 85084, Lincoln-7647, New Zealand
3Entomology Division, Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Khumaltar-44700, Nepal
4National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Shuefu Road, Neipu, Pingtung 912, Taiwan

(Manuscript received 31 March 2020; accepted for publication 10 May 2020)

Abstract. Fall Armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, is an invasive pest of maize including other cultivated crops such as rice, wheat, and many other vegetables. This invasive species was initially noticed in North-America and later reported in many countries of Africa in early 2016. In South Asia, this has been reported for the first time in India followed by Srilanka in 2018 and Bangladesh, China, Taiwan and Nepal in 2019. It is polyphagous in nature and damage has been reported in more than 80 plant species. The loss has to lead up to 50-80% in maize in severe situation. FAW is a distant flyer and can fly more than 100 km in a night and spread well in crop fields. As this pest is already invasive in many states of India and the likelihood of entry and spreading in Nepal is higher because of the open border between the countries and flexible government quarantine policy. The great socio-economic loss has been forecasted once this pest has received invasive status in Nepal. Recently, this crop has been confirmed by Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) in Gaidakot area of Nawalpur district, Nepal and has been noticed in almost all parts of Nepal such as Sidhuli, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Tanahun and Rupendehi districts. However, this information has not been endorsed by Nepal Plant Protection Office (NPPO), an official invasive species endorsing organization in Nepal. This species is spreading rapidly in maize growing areas and significant losses have been reported in maize crop by the farmers. The regular scouting, surveillance, and monitoring can be suggested to evaluate the pest status in the crop field. Habitat manipulation with the deployment of deterring crops ‘push’ such as desmodium (Desmodium uncinatum) and pest-attracting crop ‘pull’ such as Napier (Pennisetum purpureum) and Sudan grass (Sorghum vulgare sudanense) is suggested in a ‘push-pull strategy’, the most popular and successful method of FAW management in the maize field. Field sanitation, and conserving pest’s natural enemies are other integrated approaches. However, in a commercial maize field, a group of ‘soft’ and selective chemicals have been suggested for immediate control of this pest. This review compiled the recent informations available on FAW and is useful for farmers, researchers and policy makers to draw a roadmap for the future FAW management in Nepal.

Spectral analysis as an extra method to soil type discrimination

M. Todorova1*, S. Atanassova2, M. Georgiev1, L. Pleshkuza1

1Department of Crop production, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria,
2Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Physics, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University,
6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 18 February 2020; accepted for publication 25 April 2020)

Abstract. The purpose of the study was to test near infrared soil spectra as an extra method for three soil types (Fluvisols, Vertisols and Solonchaks) discrimination from different regions of South Bulgaria. The diffuse reflectance spectra of 177 soil samples (from the 0-20cm layers): 50 samples of Fluvisols soil type, 78 samples of Vertisols soil type and 48 samples of Solonchaks soil type were obtained using a Spectrum NIRQuest (OceanOptics, Inc.) working within the range from 900 to 1700 nm. Soft independent modelling of class analogy (SIMCA) was performed to classify samples according to their taxonomic classes. The results obtained showed that the soil samples are separated accurately according to their soil type based on their spectral information. All this could be used in the future studies related to the application of the NIRS method as a qualitative or quantitative method for soil analysis and also for the purposes of precision farming.

Еconomic analysis of meat production from two types of Domestic quails

H. Lukanov1*, I. Pavlova2

1Department of Animal Science – monogastric and other animals, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University,

6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

2Department of General livestock breeding, Faculty of Veterinary medicine, Trakia University,

6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 3 March 2019; accepted for publication 17 April 2020)

Abstract. There are two types of Japanese quails, reared in Europe – dual-purpose and meat. The aim of the present study was to made an economic analysis of fattening quails from the dual-purpose and heavy production types. Three groups were formed – group 1 (dual-purpose), groups 2 and 3 (heavy type), reared in cages. After quails sexing on the 16th day of age, there were formed six subgroups: 1m, 1f, 2m, 2f, 3m and 3f. Fattening period lasted until 35 days of age. For revenues calculation produced meat and edible offal data per m2, were used. Costs calculation include consumed feed for the period, day-old quail, and other costs. The main production costs were associated with feed and day-old quails: from 80.3 and 82.6% of all costs in the studied groups. The anticipated revenues from produce in group 2 were 10 EUR/m2 higher than those in group 1, and for group 3 – 10.21 EUR/m2 higher than group А. The results indicate that meat type quails fattening is the most economically efficient in quail meat production. Producing quail edible offal is still not developed but could be beneficial for efficiency of quail fattening small farms.

Evaluation of new mathematical models for estimation of single olive leaves area

M.A. Mhanna*

General Commission for scientific agricultural research, Latakia research center, Ciano research station,

Latakia, Syria

(Manuscript received 7 March 2020; accepted for publication 24 April 2020)

Abstract. The study was conducted on “Khoderi” olive cultivar planted in Jableh Region-Latakia province, Syria in 2017 in order to evaluate some mathematical models adapted for olive single leaf area estimation. Leaf samples were taken from the middle of one-year branches. Actual areas of the leaves were measured using Adobe Photoshop CS5. Leaf dimensions (length and width) were measured accurately. Coefficients of determination were estimated for the relation between leaf dimensions and the actual area. The best coefficient of determination was between the natural logarithm of the product (leaf length × leaf width) and the natural logarithm of leaf area (R2= 0.962). Linear regression equation of the mentioned relation was fitted and evaluated. The accuracy of the new model (A=e0.9509ln LW – 0.2867) was compared to other models commonly used for olive single leaf area estimation. The comparison showed no significant differences between leaf area obtained by the new model and the actual leaf area values (p=0.01), whereas significant differences were found for the other models. The new model showed the lowest Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) and high efficiency in estimating olive leaf area of “Khoderi” cultivar in two different environments; the same results were obtained for olive cultivar “Picholine” the French. We recommend the new model for olive single leaf area estimation.

A study on the hopper unloading duration of the harvesting machine at different technical parameters

G. Tihanov*

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

(Manuscript received 10 December 2019; accepted for publication 20 February 2020)

Abstract. When unloading grain harvester hoppers at standstill the time of emptying the hopper has a significant effect on the harvester productivity. The paper is about a conducted survey in 15 agricultural farms with 15 harvesters monitored including 14 models of 6 different brands during wheat harvesting. The time for emptying the grain hopper of the harvesters was defined by measuring the time. It was found that the actual time for emptying the hoppers of the studied harvesters was 134.85 s, and the actual flow rate of unloading of the screw in them being 69.63 L/s on average. A multivariate regression analysis was performed on the effect of the harvester grain hopper volume and the actual flow rate of the unloading screw on the time from switching on the unloading screw till its switching off in various grain harvesters. An adequate mathematical model of the effect of the hopper volume and the flow rate of the unloading screw of grain harvesters on the time for emptying the grain hopper under real production conditions has also been created. These results can also be used for minimizing costs in the technological process at harvesting.

Histology, serum biochemistry and haematological profiles of Clarias gariepinus fed diets containing Luffa cylindrica seedmeal

W.A. Jimoh1*, M.O. Shittu2, A.A. Ayeloja1, S.A. Abdulsalami3

1Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ilorin, PMB 1515, Ilorin,

Kwara State, Nigeria

2Department of Fisheries Technology, Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology,

PMB 5029, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

3Fisheries and Aquaculture Unit, Department of Biological Sciences, Crescent University, Abeokuta,

Ogun State, Nigeria

(Manuscript received 24 December 2019; accepted for publication 26 March 2020)

Abstract. A 56-day feeding trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of processing time, inclusion level and/or their interactions on serum biochemistry, haematology and histology of the liver and kidney of Clarias gariepinus fed diets containing Luffa cylindrica seedmeal. The five formulated diets were designated as control (CTR) and tested, replaced at 15 and 30% by 5- and 10-min toasted Luffa cylindrica seedmeal (D515T, D530T, D1015T and D1030T). The experimental design followed a 2×2 factorial experiment in a completely randomised design; the processing time of 5- and 10-min toasting and inclusion level of 15 and 30% serves as factors. Triplicate groups of each treatment were made. Blood sampling, harvesting of organs, serum biochemistry, histology and haematological studies followed standard procedures. The results of the study showed that the effect of processing time, inclusion level and their interactions had significant impact (p<0.05) on Clarias gariepinus. A decrease in RBC, PCV and Hb was observed when compared with control for inclusion level, processing time and/or their interaction. Total protein, albumin and globulin of the blood of fish fed diet CTR was not significantly different (p>0.05) from that of the blood of the fish fed D1015T. Mild to moderate vacuolation of the hepatocytes were recorded among the livers of fish fed control and test dietary treatments except those fed D1030T that recorded very severe vacuolation of the hepatocytes. The kidney, being the excretory organ, was also affected. However, normal cell architecture was recorded in fish fed CTR, D530T and D1030T.