Ginger value chain analysis: A case of smallholder ginger production and marketing in hills of central Nepal

Bhishma Raj Dahal*, Swodesh Rijal
Faculty of Agriculture, Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, Chitwan, Nepal (Manuscript received 22 October 2019; accepted for publication 30 January 2020)

Abstract. Having high export potential and profitable to farmers, Ginger is an important spice crop of hills of central Nepal; however, ginger farmers continue to experience low productivity and were forced to share large profit with unscrupulous traders; further, they are traumatized by fluctuation of price and other problems. In this context, a study was undertaken in Sindhuli, a part of Central Nepal for analyzing value chain of ginger. A pretested semi-structured questionnaire was administered among 120 randomly selected farmers and 10 traders involved in ginger enterprise for the past two years. A face-to-face interview was scheduled to obtain data during October-November, 2018. Compound annual growth analysis revealed that area, production and yield of ginger were increasing at the rate of 1.73%, 1.65% and 0.95%, respectively, over the last seven years and price of ginger, over the past thirteen years, increasing at the rate of 3.28%. Value chain analysis revealed that producer, traders (wholesaler and exporter), retailer and consumer were the major actors involved. Farmers received substantial margin – 55% of the retail price, but the rest of the profit was shared to unscrupulous traders. B/C ratio of ginger farming in the study area was 2.42 revealing that ginger farming was a profitable business; with investment of Rs1.0 (0.0088US$) in ginger, farmers earned additional 1.42 rupees. Low productivity of ginger in the research area was caused by severe incidence of rhizome rot. In addition, price fluctuation, lack of processing and storing infrastructure, timely unavailability of rhizome seed, paucity of improved variety, and lack of farmers’ knowledge on improved cultivation practices were the major constraint of ginger farming. Overall, our study points out that solving the constraints, accessing new market, and organizing co-operatives are crucial for sustainable value chain development.

Estimation of technical efficiency of cattle feedlot system in Adamawa State, Nigeria: Comparison among estimators

B.H. Gabdo*, M.R. Ja’afar-Furo, M.Y. Hamid, Y.A. Thlaffa
Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Adamawa State University, P.M.B. 25, Mubi, Adamawa State, Nigeria (Manuscript received 22 September 2019; accepted for publication 10 January 2020)

Abstract. This study adopts an output oriented Shephard Distance Function (SDF) to estimate Technical Efficiency (TE) in cattle feedlot under five distinct estimators (Data Envelopment Analysis /DEA/, Free Disposal Hull /FDH/, Order-m, Order-α and Bootstrap). The aim is to rank the efficiency estimates based on descending order of the TE estimates from the five estimators and test the hypotheses of mean difference across the estimators. In addition, the independent variables used in the feedlot system were also ranked based on magnitude to total cost. Results show initial cost of animal, feed cost, water cost, labour cost, depreciation, medicaments and cost of salt lick are ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th, respectively, in terms of proportion to total cost. The study found a combination of inappropriate scale of production and managerial problems as the causes of inefficiency in the cattle feedlot. The study advocates for proper pricing of inputs, commensurate and timely utilization of inputs to avert input waste. Similarly, the study recommends up-scaling (178 cattle feedlot) and down-scaling (92 cattle feedlot) the cattle feedlot production owing to their operation at increasing and decreasing returns to scale, respectively, to attain enhanced efficiency.

Effect of different tank colours on some productive parameters of European catfish (Silurus glanis L.) fingerlings

V. Krasteva*, A. Zaikov, M. Yankova
Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture, 4003 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
(Manuscript received 20 June 2019; accepted for publication 1 December 2019)

Abstract. The present study investigated the growth performance, weight gain, feed conversion ratio, growth and survival rate of European catfish (Silurus glanis L.) fingerlings reared for one month in tanks with different colours. Four colours were used: light blue, white, green and black. The experimental unit was a flow-through system (0.8 L.min-1) consisting of eight tanks with water volume of 30L, continuous air supply and water heaters. Two hundred fish with an average weight of 1.85±0.62g were stocked in each tank. Results from the study demonstrated that the weight gain and the feed conversion ratio were poorly affected by the tested tank colours. Weight gain is slightly higher in groups A (blue) and B (white) than in groups C (green) and D (black). However, no significant difference was found in terms of weight gain among the experimental groups (p>0.05). Survival rate was the highest in group C (91%) followed by group D (88.5%). Thus, for rearing of European catfish fingerlings it is preferable to use dark coloured tanks, which resemble the natural habitat of the fish.

Evaluation of technological traits of Bulgarian and imported merino wool batches

D. Pamukova*

Department of Animal Science – Ruminants and Dairy Farming, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 10 August 2019; accepted for publication 22 November 2019)

Аbstract. The aim of the present study was to perform a comparative evaluation of technological traits of industrial batches of Bulgarian and imported semifine wool. The study was carried out in an industrial setting in cooperation with Kolhida Ltd, Sliven. A total of 18 batches originating from Bulgaria (n=10), Serbia (n=6) and the Netherlands (n=2) among which 4 batches of greasy wool, 7 batches of clean wool and 7 batches of wool sliver were studied. The primary processing of wool batches comprising classification, washing and carding was performed by textile enterprise’s standard technology. After the classification, the relative shares of wool types from the total amount of greasy wool in a batch were determined. The washing yield of classified greasy medium wool was calculated. The following laboratory analyses of clean wool were carried out: fibre diameter (μm), mean weighted length (mm), short fibre percentage (%), fatness (%), mineral matter content (dustiness %), vegetable matter content (%) and moisture (%). For slivers, sliver yield (%), fibre diameter (measured with OFDI), mean weighted length (mm), length В (mm), short fibre percentage (%) and moisture (%) were determined. In Bulgarian and Serbian batches, high-grade wool types predominated with highest share of the merino worsted wool (70.54% and 63.70%; 60.66% and 46.64%, respectively). The highest industrial washing yield was that of Dutch wool – 63.89%. Yields of Serbian and Bulgarian batches were similar (53.73%-56.39% and 53.20%-55.89%, respectively). The highest mean weighted length of fibres was determined for Dutch wool – 74.87 mm. Serbian and Bulgarian batches were comparable with respect to this trait: 63.95-65.71 mm and 62.92-65.88 mm respectively. The vegetable matter in studied wool batches was higher than requirements of the standard – from 1.29% tо 2.24% vs the reference of 1.2%. The highest vegetable matter content was found in the wool from two Bulgarian batches (1.65% and 2.24%), one Serbian (1.82%), and the Dutch batch (1.92%). Sliver yield varied from 81.31% tо 86.91% in studied wool slivers. The highest values of this trait were found out in 3 Bulgarian wool slivers (86.91%; 85.79% and 84.48%) and the Dutch sliver (84.13%).

Technology adoption in maize farming: a comparative analysis between improved seed users and local seed users of Argakachi district of Nepal

S. Adhikari, B.R. Dahal*, V. Bist
Agriculture and Forestry University Rampur, Chitwan, Nepal
(Manuscript received 10 July 2019; accepted for publication 24 September 2019)

Abstract. Maize is one of the top agricultural commodities that has great share in the Agricultural Government Development Plan of Nepal. Despite being a major crop, productivity of maize is quite lower than global average. In this context, a study was undertaken to determine the extent of technology adoption between improved and local seed users of Arghakhanchi district of Nepal. A pretested semi-structured questionnaire was administered among 120 randomly selected farmers during the month of January 2018. The extent of technology adoption was measured on sowing time, seed replacement, variety change, seed rate, application of fertilizer, weeding and plant protection. The empirical evidence suggested that, extent of technology adoption and benefit cost ratio were magnificently higher for improved seed users than local seed users. So, there is still a gigantic scope to improve maize productivity in the area by adoption of recommended technology of maize farming. The probability of adoption of recommended technology (improved seed) for maize farming was found to be higher for those with access to extensive service. Overall, our study pointed out that extension facility is a key strategy to make famers aware of the new technologies and a crucial factor to increase the chance of adoption.

Effect of harvest time of paddy on milled rice yield and broken kernels

V. Ilieva1, N. Markova Ruzdik1*, D. Vulcheva2, Lj. Mihajlov1, M. Ilievski1

1Department for Plant Production, Faculty of Agriculture, “Goce Delchev” University, “Krste Misirkov” bb, 2000 Stip, Republic of North Macedonia
2Institute of Agriculture, 8400 Karnobat, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 15 August 2019; accepted for publication 28 October 2019)

Abstract. The aim of this study was to determine the optimal harvest time to achieve maximum milled rice yield and quality of white rice in some newly introduced Italian rice varieties grown under agro-ecological conditions in the region of Kocani town, Republic of North Macedonia. During the 2014 and 2015, fourteen rice varieties were cultivated to estimate the milled rice yield and broken kernels from three different harvest times. From each rice variety, samples with moisture content between 20-22% (I variant), 18-20% (II variant) and 16-18% (III variant) were taken. From the third harvest variant the highest percentage of milled rice yield (65.23%) was obtained but also the highest rate of broken kernels (12.79%). From the remaining two harvests, almost identical milled rice yields were received (64.19% from the first variant and 64.33% from the second variant), but in terms of broken kernels, there were significant differences. The optimum moisture content during the harvest in order to obtain maximum yield and quality of milled rice ranged from 18% to 20%. The varieties Arsenal, Sprint and Mirko had the most favorable values for milled rice yield and broken kernels.

Induction and recovery from anaesthesia in fry of European catfish (Silurus glanis L.) exposed to clove oil

V. Krasteva*, A. Zaikov
Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture, 4003 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
(Manuscript received 20 June 2019; accepted for publication 11 August 2019)

Abstract. The purpose of the study is to establish the efficacy of different concentrations of clove oil and the time needed for induction and recovery from anesthesia of European catfish (Silurus glanis L.) fry. The experiment was carried out in laboratory conditions with 50 specimens with body weight 1.11±0.25g and body length 5.45±0.60cm. For the aim of this paper the following five concentrations of clove oil are used: 0.01 ml.l-1, 0.02 ml.l-1, 0.03 ml.l-1, 0.04 ml.l-1 and 0.05 ml.l-1. At the lowest concentration (0.01ml.l-1) the effect is sedative and the fry do not reach the phase of complete immobilization. The application of 0.02 ml.l-1 concentration of clove oil is not beneficial for practical usage, with only 30% of the fish reaching phase 4 of anesthesia. At the highest concentrations (0.04 ml.l-1 and 0.05 ml.l-1) all of the fry were anesthetized for a short time, but the process of recovery was not successful for all of the fry. All of the fry reach phase of anesthesia and recovery without loses at 0.03 ml.l-1. This concentration is advisable for anesthesia of European catfish fry during different manipulations.

Analysis of cowpea price forecasting in Adamawa state, Nigeria

  1. Joshua, J. Zalkuwi


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


(Manuscript received 15 March 2019; accepted for publication 5 June 2019)


Abstract. The study was conducted to analyze cowpea price forecasting in Adamawa State, Nigeria. The sources of data for the study were secondary data which were collected from State Planning Commission of Adamawa State for a period of 5 years (2013-2017). Purposive sampling techniques were used for selection of the study area. Dicky Fuller Test and Simple Exponential Smoothing Model were used as analytical tools. The unit root test analysis revealed almost all the markets price series were non-stationary at level except Jambutu market (AD5) at 5% significant level but became stationary after first difference. The result of Exponential Smoothing Model showed that there will be upward trend of cowpea prices in Adamawa State in February and October – November in the year 2018 and therefore, it is recommended that provision of better infrastructural facilities such as construction of accessible and motorable roads, and communication network by government and NGOs. This would reduce transfer cost which usually gets translated to the prices of the cowpeas, especially across markets in critical distance.

After-effect of foliar-applied herbicides for broad-leaved weeds on the primary germ weight of cotton seeds (Gossypium hirsutum L.)

  1. Barakova, St. Georgiev


Field Crops Institute, 6200, Chirpan, Bulgaria


(Manuscript received 25 June 2019; accepted for publication 15 August 2019)


Abstract. The trial was carried out during 2013-2015, with twelve cotton cultivars (Gossypium hirsutum L.). Influence of herbicides Bazagran 480 SL (bentazone)- 1.5 L/ha, Pulsar 40 (imazamox) – 1.2 L/ha and Express 50 VG (tribenuron-methyl) – 50 g/ha was studied. These herbicides were used during the budding stage of cotton. From the viewpoint of cotton growing technology, technologically the most valuable are cultivars Helius, Trakia, Viki, Filipopolis, Boyana, Avangard, Natalia, Darmi, Dorina and Nelina, in foliar treatment with herbicide Bazagran 480 SL. Technologically the most valuable are cultivars Chirpan-539, Helius, Viki, Boyana and Natalia in foliar treatment with herbicide Pulsar 40. Technologically the most valuable are cultivars Helius, Trakia, Viki and Nelina in foliar treatment with herbicide Express 50 VG. These variants combine high primary germ weight and high stability of this index during the different years.

Fertilizer monitoring using micromachined cantilever

Venkatesh K.P. Rao


Department of Mechanical Engineering, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, 333031-Rajasthan, India


(Manuscript received 16 June 2019; accepted for publication 1 August 2019)


Abstract. In this study, we will create a grid of micro electro-mechanical (MEMS) sensors, which will measure the contents of soil, especially urea. This will inform the farmers about the condition of soil in real time, and thus allowing them to know how much fertilizer they need to add. MEMS sensor is placed in the soil to measure the soil content by chemical reaction with the fertilizers; its accuracy can be improved if these sensors are placed on multiple points, i.e., they are placed in a grid. In the present study, we designed micro-cantilever based gas detectors, to detect ammonia present in the fertilizers. Several designs were proposed to find the best fit for this purpose. Numerical studies have been carried out on the proposed designs, to evaluate the displacement sensitivity and the voltage developed in the piezoelectric layer, and the triangular cantilever was found to be the most sensitive cantilever for that purpose.