Challenges of smallholder farmers in accessing agricultural information in Southern Ethiopia

G.R. Megerssa1*, B.G. Gemede2, A.W. Jarsa2

1Rural Development and Agricultural Extension, Jimma University, Ethiopia 2Rural Development and Agricultural Extension, Wolaita Sodo University, Ethiopia

(Manuscript received 1 September 2019; accepted for publication 27 December 2019)

Abstract: The study was focused on identifying sources of agricultural information and analyzing challenges faced by smallholder farmers in accessing agricultural information in Southern Ethiopia. To achieve the stated objectives the study district was selected purposively from Wolaita zone by selecting five kebeles randomly. At the end, a total of 150 sample households were randomly selected from these five kebeles. To collect the data both primary and secondary sources were used for the purpose of this study. Primary data were collected directly from sample respondents through structured and semi-structured interview schedules, observation and focus group discussions. Secondary data were collected from Woreda agriculture and rural development office report, and other relevant books, journal articles and the Internet. After the relevant data were collected, the descriptive statistics such as mean, frequency, and percentage, and the inferential statistics such as chi-square tests were also used. The findings indicate that female farmers, illiteracy, location of market center, information seeking behavior of farmers, low rate of extension-farmers linkages, inadequate operational skill of aids, language barriers, lack of training, lack of rural electrification, lack of development agents, absence of rural networks, inadequate reading materials, and inappropriate time of broadcasting are the main challenges smallholder farmers were faced with. Therefore, to overcome the challenges strong commitment and reformation should be done in the study area by the concerned stakeholders.

Еffect of insect infestation on the economic value of smoked fish sold in selected markets in Nigeria

A.A. Ayeloja1*, F.O.A. George2, W.A. Jimoh1, G.L. Adebisi3

1Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries, University of Ilorin, PMB 1515 Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria
2Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB),
PO Box 2240 Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
3Department of Agricultural Extension and Management, Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology Moor Plantation, PMB 5029 Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

(Manuscript received 11 September 2019; accepted for publication 17 January 2020)

Abstract. In the present study a multistage sampling technique using semi-structured questionnaire was used to obtain information on socio- economic characteristics of the respondents and on economic loss of smoked fish resulting from insect pest infestation. Smoked fishes were bought from 10 markets in Oyo state, South West of Nigeria and checked in the laboratory for the insect pests. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Chi-square. Results indicated that insects at their larvae stage cause more economic loss to smoked fish than adult insects while Necrobia rufipes and Dermestes spp. are the insects found to infest the smoked fishes in this study. The insect infestation of the smoked fish leads to huge economic loss. Of all respondent groups the women dominate smoked fish business.

Interrelationships between some vegetative components and fruit quality of Algerian date palm

A. Rekis1,2,3*, Z. Laiadi3

1Department of Agricultural Sciences, Mohamed Khider University, P.O. Box 145, Biskra-07000, Algeria 2Scientific and Technical Research Center on Arid Regions (CRSTRA), University Campus Mohamed Khider, BP 1682 R.P., Biskra-07000, Algeria
3Laboratory of Genetics, Biotechnology and Valorization of Bio-resources, University Mohamed Khider,
P.O. Box 145, Biskra-07000, Algeria

(Manuscript received 28 November 2019; accepted for publication 16 January 2020)

Abstract. The date palm is a monocotyledon thermophilic desert plant, in Algeria grown more than 18 million trees. To have a better quality of dates for the most answered cultivars in Algeria, we can act with fertilization on the palm and these components of the leaflets and spines that affect dates quality. The three cultivars of date palms (Deglet nour-C1, Ghars-C2 and Mechdegla-C3) have been studied to estimate the relationship between leaflet and spine number and date quality. Five phenotypic traits were exploited and subjected to analysis of the principal components in ascending hierarchical classification. The results revealed that the cultivar Deglet nour scored the highest value for the parameters spine number (25) and weight of the date (8.63g), the cultivar Ghars also recorded the highest value for the parameters: number of leaflets (80) and length (4.35cm) and thickness (2.25cm) of the date. In all studied cultivars positive correlations between the length and width of the leaf – on the one side, and weight of the date – on the other, and between the width of leaf and width of the date were found.

Soil structure indices under different tillage systems of sandy loam soil in Hadejia, Jigawa state, Nigeria

A. Nabayi1*, H.A. Santuraki1, A.H. Girei1, N.G. Hayatu2, F.D. Haruna3, S.A. Yusif2, S.A. Lukman2

1Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Federal University Dutse, Jigawa state, PMB 7156, Nigeria
2Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, PMB 2346 Sokoto state, Nigeria
3Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Federal University Dutsinma, Katsina State, PMB 5001, Nigeria

(Manuscript received 10 January 2020; accepted for publication 4 March 2020)

Abstract. Soil structural indices have a significant effect on the nutrients retention and crop yield. Studies on soil structure indices in the semi-arid zone are minimal despite their importance in controlling water and water transmission, root elongation and erosion. A study was conducted in the area of Hadejia to evaluate the influence of tillage systems (TS) and sampling depths on some selected soil structure indices. The TS were four (4); conventional tillage (CT), reduced tillage (RT), zero tillage (ZT) and chisel plough (CP), while the sampling depths were two – 0-15cm and 15-30cm. Randomised complete block design (RCBD) was used in factorial arrangement. The result showed that the soil is sandy loam in texture irrespective of the TS. Lower dispersion ratio (DR) was observed in ZT with greater aggregate silt + clay (ASC) and water stability index (WSI) which differed significantly (p<0.01) from one another. Pearson’s correlation and simple linear regression analysis revealed a significant (p<0.01) positive and negative relationships between organic matter (OM) content of the soil with ASC, WSI and DR, respectively. Negative correlation of OM with DR stressed the significance of OM in decreasing DR of the soil which further explains lower DR by ZT because of greater OM content (p<0.05). Sodium (Na), sodium absorption ratio (SAR) and exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) were in the order of RT>ZT>CT>CP with RT having the highest that differed significantly (p<0.05) from other TS. Lower values in CT and CP could be a result of leaching due to the lower surface residues relative to conservational tillage systems. Conclusively, the best tillage systems to improved soil structural indices are conservation tillage (ZT and RT) systems, particularly ZT.

The effect of laundry grey water irrigation on the growth response of selected local bean species in Nigeria

B. Ikhajiagbe1,2, E.O. Ohanmu1,3*, P.O. Ekhator1, P.A. Victor1

1Environmental Biotechnology and Sustainability Research Group, Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
2Applied Environmental Biosciences and Public Health Research Group, Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

3Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Edo University Iyamho, Edo State, Nigeria

(Manuscript received 25 July 2019; accepted for publication 5 February 2020)

Abstract. This study examined the growth responses of some selected local bean (pulses) varieties in Nigeria; Vigna unguiculata (Ife brown), Vigna unguiculata (Ekpoma Local), Phaseolus vulgaris, Cajanus cajan and Glycine max, cultivated on soil irrigated with laundry-based grey water. Healthy seeds of all bean species were sown in plastic bowls of three replicates each and irrigated daily with similar quantities of the respective grey water. The effect of the grey water on the germination, growth and yield of all the beans was observed for a period of four months. The result obtained revealed that grey water had a negative effect on the growth and yield of all the beans as there was a decrease in the percentage emergence of all seedlings, height of emergent seedlings and number of flowers and pods produced. Grey water also altered the chlorophyll content and total crude protein of all the beans subjected to the treatment. The effect of grey water on plant is as a result of accumulation of excess salts contained in grey water on the soil.

Efficacy of different herbicide combinations for weed control in irrigated maize silage

R. Bazitov*

Agricultural Institute, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 1 October 2019; accepted for publication 13 January 2020)

Abstract: The aim of this study was to establish the efficacy of herbicide combinations between Tender EC and Titus + Magneto SL, and Wing P and Mistral Opti applied in a field of maize under the conditions of mixed irrigation. The study has been carried out with maize cultivated on meadow-cinnamon soil at the experimental field of the Agricultural Institute – Stara Zagora for the period 2014-2016. The research was conducted with a mid-grade hybrid corn LG35.62 with the same background of fertilization and irrigation with the following variants: 1) Control (without herbicides); 2) Wing P – 4000 ml/ha and Mistral Opti – 210 ml/ha, and 3) Tender EC – 1500 ml/ha and a mixture of Titus – 40 g/ha + Magnet SL – 1200 ml/ha. Increasе of maize yield by 41.6% (on average) in comparison with the control variant and by 28.9% compared to the variant Wing P and Mistral Opti was found.

Phytoplankton blooms in front of cape Galata (Black Sea) during the period 2008-2017

D. Klisarova*, D. Gerdzhikov
Institute of Fish Resources, 4 Primorski Blvd., 9000 Varna, Bulgaria
(Manuscript received 7 November 2019; accepted for publication 21 January 2020)

Abstract. The aim of the study was to identify the peculiarities of the development of phytoplankton blooms (annual and seasonal dynamics) in front of cape Galata, Bulgarian Black Sea coast in the period 2008-2017. In that area up to 30 nautical miles (nm), from 6 stations (G-1, G-3, G-5, G-10, G-20 and G-30, respectively at 1, 3, 5, 10, 20 and 30 nm from the coast), 187 phytoplankton samples were collected. A total of six phytoplankton species were recorded, developing with the following blooming concentrations: Emiliania huxleyi, Oscillatoria sp., Merismopedia sp., small Flagellates (Cryptophyceae), Prorocentrum cordatum (minimum) and Pseudo-nitzschia delicatissima. It was found that the reported in previous periods trend of increasing phytoplankton biomass in front of cape Galata had already changed. Compared to the observed quantities in the period 1993-2007, the current phytoplankton values in the surface layer (up to 30 nm in front of cape Galata) were 1.63 times lower in abundance and 5.60 times lower in biomass.

Stochastic production function and costs-returns analyses of apiarists in Adamawa State, Nigeria

M.M. Audu, M.R. Ja’afar-Furo*, B.H. Gabdo

Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Faculty of Agriculture, Adamawa State University, PMB 25, Mubi, Nigeria

(Manuscript received 23 September 2019; accepted for publication 14 February 2020)

Abstract. This study assessed apiculture enterprise to determine the output elasticity of production, returns to scale, technical efficiency and profitability in Adamawa State, Nigeria. A total of four agricultural zones out of six, and 108 apiarists were selected through purposive and simple random methods, respectively. Descriptive statistics, stochastic frontier production function and budgetary technique were used in the analyses of data. Findings revealed that all (100%) the respondents were males within the age range of 21-30 years (44.44%). The majority of apiarists (87.0%) were married with household size of 1-10 persons (77.78%) and 50.0% of them had secondary school education. A larger proportion (37.0%) had between 6 and 10 years of beekeeping experience with 41.67% earning monthly income of N11000 (USD30.8) – N20000 (USD56.0) from other sources. Further, the findings revealed that labor and number of hives had reassuring influence on the industry, while age, education and experience could be used to reduce inefficiency in the industry to improve efficiency status. The apiarists also had mean technical efficiency of 89.9%, while the inefficiency estimate was only 10.1%. In terms of profitability, beekeeping in the study area was found to have had a high gross margin of N16800.00 (USD47.0) and net farm income of N15225.97 (USD42.6) for every beehive in a cropping season. The major constraints to beekeeping reported in the area included beehive crops theft, high propensity of bees’ stings, inadequacy of finance, rampant bush burning and deforestation, among others. It was concluded that beekeeping in the study area was found to be profitable and technically efficient. Improving beekeeping business in the area, among other things, would require its modernization and involvement of female participants, provision of soft credit facilities and enactment of stringent forestry laws to check unwholesome forestry practices.

Economic efficiency of Bulgarian dairy synthetic population and Assaf sheep breeds

K. Stankov*
Department of Management, Faculty of Economics, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria (Manuscript received 1 December 2019; accepted for publication 28 February 2020)

Abstract. The economic efficiency of ewes from the Bulgarian dairy synthetic population (BDSP) and Assaf sheep breeds, reared in three production systems, e.g. grazing on pasture, stall-pasture rearing and stall rearing was studied. The results from the study showed that BDSP ewes in the stall-pasture rearing system had a relatively low milk yield for a specialised dairy sheep breed – 80L for the lactation period. In this system, without the subsidy, the profit and cost efficiency were negative, while with subsidy, minimum positive results were achieved. For BDSP ewes reared in a stall-pasture rearing system with stall feeding during the grazing period and grazing on improved pastures, the obtained milk yield was by 33% higher. The subsidy resulted in satisfactory profit and cost efficiency, while without the subsidy, the farm ended in loss. BDSP and Assaf ewes reared in stalls, demonstrated substantially higher milk yield and productivity. They realised a profit and good cost efficiency. The milk yield of BSDP sheep reared in stalls was 200L per lactation, and fertility – 140%. The Assaf breed in which a high level of selection and regulated reproduction cycle was achieved, had 250L milk per lactation and 140% fertility. The profit with subsidy was 128.85 BGN (1Lev=0.975€) and without the subsidy: 48.85 BGN, with relatively high cost efficiency. An introduction of traits for higher milk yield, polyestrus and fertility from Assaf into BSDP sheep is necessary.

Еconomic efficiency of local, merino and meat-type sheep breeds raised in Bulgaria without milking

K. Stankov*
Department of Management, Faculty of Economics, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria (Manuscript received 1 December 2019; accepted for publication 14 February 2020)

Abstract. The goal of the present study is to perform an economic assessment of the local (autochthonic), merino and meat-type sheep breeds raised in Bulgaria without milking and under the conditions of a market economy and free commerce. We studied sheep from three herds, of the Srednostaroplaninska breed, Northeast Bulgarian Merino breed (NEBM) and the Île-de-France breed. The sheep from all three herds were under selection control. The results of the study indicated low economic effects for all three herds. Without subsidies, the local and merino breeds finished with negative values for profits and cost-efficiency of the income and expenses, and zero for the meat-types. The subsidy for the sheep of the Srednostaroplaninska breed made up 37.9% of the income, whereas the sold lambs and sheep culled for meat made up 60.7%. This indicated that the local mountain sheep cannot provide the necessary income for a farm’s normal function without milking and without subsidies, under the present market situation. The efforts in this field should be directed towards organic production of meat and dairy products and a closed production cycle. The income from sold lambs and sheep culled for meat from the NEBM breed made up 66.8% of the total income, whereas wool accounted for merely 4.6%. The subsidy provided 28.5% of the farm’s funds. Accomplishing an economic effect in merino breeds is possible only if prices for buying off wool were normalized, and the fertility of the ewes was increased. For the meat-type sheep of the Île-de-France breed, the income from selling meat and breeder lambs, as well as sold culled sheep made up 75.6%, and the subsidy – 22.7%. A higher economic effect for this breed could be achieved through selection towards fertility and more frequent births, i.e. 3 litters in 2 years. A significant productive and economic effect in the meat-type breeds could be achieved from ram breeding and conducting industrial crossbreeding in the stock part of the breeds.