Open Access Short Research Article

Constraints to Achieving Household Food Security in North Central Nigeria

Mary O. Agada, Edwin M. Igbokwe

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 80-86
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/13758

This study identified constraints militating against the attainment of household food security among three ethnic groups in North Central Nigeria in 2011. A sample of 340 households was interviewed using structured questionnaires. Factor analysis was used to isolate and name the critical factors influencing the attainment of household food security in the region. Findings revealed that economic, governance, institutional and technological constraints hindered the achievement of household food security in the study area. While the economic factors included climatic change and variability (0.57), shortage of farm labour (0.55), limited access to farm land (0.57); the institutional factors were poor market access (0.56), weak support services (0.48), poor nutrition education (0.48) and poor sanitation (0.44). The governance factors included political problems (0.51), rapid population growth rate (0.43) and low crop yield (0.43) while the technological factors were lack of access to clean water (0.43), inadequacy and lack of access to improved agricultural inputs (0.42) and lack of access to labour saving devices (0.41). Attaining household food security in North Central Nigeria is still a mirage. Therefore, governments at the local and state levels should design and implement short term and long term programmes in agriculture value chain to boost food production and productivity and enhance family income for improved household food security. 


Open Access Short Research Article

Evaluation of Water Sources in Abakaliki Southeastern Nigeria for Domestic Uses

C. Njoku, G. C. Okoro, T. S. Igwe, P. N. Ngene, A. J. Ajana

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 87-91
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/12960

This work aimed at evaluation of the qualities of water sources in Abakaliki for domestic uses. The water sources used were rain water, borehole water, Ebonyi River and bottled water. The water samples from these sources were taken to laboratory for analysis of SO42-, Cl-, NO3-, Mg2+, Ca2+, pH, Fe, Pb, Cu, Mn, and Zn. The data obtained were analysed using standard deviation and coefficient of variance and compared with World Health Standard. The concentration of SO42-, Cl-, NO3-, Fe and Cu observed in all the water sources studied were within acceptable limit for domestic uses of water. The bottled water recorded the acceptable concentrations of Ca2+, Mg2+ and Pb whereas the concentrations recorded by other sources were above the World Health Organization Standards. On the other hand borehole water and bottled water recorded the concentration of Mn that is within the recommended standard. Whereas with exception of rain water the pH of all the water sources studied were within the acceptable concentration. Apart from bottled water which recorded the concentrations of all the parameters studied within the recommended ranged, all the other sources must be treated to bring them to the acceptable concentrations before usage in order to prevent health hazards associated with the parameters studied. 

Open Access Short communication

Forest Resource Degradation and Sustainable Practices in Plateau State, Nigeria

M. E. Ikehi, S. P. Paradang, L. O. Ayeh

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 30-38
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/12173

Aims: The study was carried out to determine the causes of degradation and sustainable practices for forest and its resources in Plateau state of Nigeria.
Study Design: Descriptive survey research design.
Place and Duration of Study: Kanke, Langtang, Quan Pan, Shendam, and Wase Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Plateau State, between July 2013 and April 2014.
Methodology: The study was guided by two research questions while the population was made up of local forest users. Stratified random sampling method was used to obtain a sample size of 500 local forest users. The instruments for data collection were a structured questionnaire and a structured interview guide. The reliability of the questionnaire instrument was established using Cronbach alpha technique and a co-efficient of 0.81 was obtained. Frequency and simple percentage were used to answer the research questions and to interpret the results.
Results: The study found 8 out of 12 causes of degradation and 13 out 14 adoptable sustainable practices for forest and its resources in the study area.
Conclusion: The implementation of the identified sustainable practices for forest and its resources in Plateau state is necessary to help save and improve on the remnant forest in the state.


Open Access Original Research Article

Flooding Induced Occurrence of Terrestrial Nematode Species and Genera in the Benthos of River Nun, Niger Delta

S. O. Nzeako, A. O. Uche, H. O. Imafidor, T. B. Bilabou

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/12341

Aims: To investigate; the effects of flooding and dredging on the nematode community composition in River Nun, Niger Delta, Nigeria.
Study Design: The study is a survey using River Nun as a case study.
Place and Duration of Study: Study area is a section of River Nun in Bayelsa State, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Samples were collected for 30 days.
Methodology: Eckmann’s grab was used in collecting samples at depths; 0-10cm and 10-20cm from nine designated collection points (Ax – Gx) along the river course. Nematodes were extracted from the sediment by the use of the modified Baermann’s extraction method. Identification was by the use of the binocular light microscope and standard guides. Physicochemical parameters were determined using handheld water checkers. Data was analysed using Measures of Central Tendency, ANOVA and Species Diversity Index (SDI).
Results: The study revealed that the physicochemical parameters considered in the study did not deviate from the standard permissible in freshwater ecosystems despite the persistent flooding and dredging of the water way. Species abundance and diversity revealed seven (7) nematode species and genera from six (6) families amounting to a total of 46 nematodes. There was variability in vertical distribution and speciation in the study. Data showed the following speciation and abundance; Tylenchus filiformis, 14 (31.0%); Ditylenchus spp., 2 (4.0%), Pratylenchus pratensis 18 (39.0%), Longidorus spp., 2 (4.0%); Tylenchorhynchus dubius, 2 (4.0%); Criconema spp., 2 (4.0%) and Meloidogyne spp., 6 (13.0%). Depth related prevalence indicated a preference of nematodes to the top trophic level with the 0-10cm having the highest number (30 individuals) of nematode and the 10-20cm depth having a total of (16) nematodes. There was no statistical difference (P≤0.3) in nematode occurrence between the two depths. SDI showed that the nematode species diversity in River Nun was relatively high (0.76). Also data showed that sediment soil typology influenced the occurrence of nematodes in the study with all the recorded nematodes occurring in the sandy sediment in contrast to clayey and silty sediment where no nematodes were recorded.
Conclusion: The study revealed a colonization of the sediment by terrestrial nematode species and genera due to the persistent flooding experienced in the area which has converted the freshwater ecosystem to a depository of debris and other suspended particles that come in with the run-off water from the hinterlands. The absence of aquatic species of nematodes in the studied samples is also attributed to the aggressive dredging in the habitat that may have altered the bottom substrate, washed away the native nematode fauna making re-establishment of new aquatic nematode community difficult as a result of increased current. The study concludes that the affiliation of nematodes to sandy sediment is due to increased aeration and availability of food which guarantees the survival of other organisms.

Open Access Original Research Article

Ensifer (Sinorhizobium) fredii Interacted More Efficiently than Bradyrhizobium japonicum with Soybean

G. N. Pastorino, V. Martinez Alcántara, I. Malbrán, L. Videira, J. Sarinelli, P. A. Balatti

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 10-19
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/13163

Aims: The purpose of this work was to compare the efficiency of Bradyrhizobium japonicum and Ensifer fredii to infect and develop nodules on soybean. Furthermore we also evaluated the competitive ability of both species and how this was altered by the plant genotype and the soil pH.
Study Design: The design of the experiments was completely at random and the number of replicates was different on each of the different experiments tested.
Place and Duration of Study: The place of the studies was the Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias y Forestales Universidad Nacional de La Plata and the duration of the study was a year and a half.
Methodology: Roots of inoculated soybean plants were fixed and the number of infection initiation sites was evaluated by means of microscopic observation. The number of nodules developed by inoculated plants was also evaluated.
Results: Bacteria were equally effective at developing infection initiation sites on soybean however, E. frediiinduced more nodules than B. japonicum, probably due to the fact that E. fredii is more efficient than B. japonicum at nodulating soybean. However, Bradyrhizobium was more competitive than E. fredii which was unrelated to the soybean genotype but altered by the soil pH. Under the conditions described E. fredii was less competitive than B. japonicum probably due to the high cultivar-rhizobia specificity.
Conclusion: E. fredii was as efficient as B. japonicum at nodulating soybeans. However Bradyrhizobium was a better competitor though this is affected by the plant genotype and the soil pH. The selection and use of fast growing rhizobia in inoculant production seems to depend on broadening the genetic base of soybean or in selecting cultivars with specificity for fast growing rhizobia.

Open Access Original Research Article

Performance and Haematological Indices of Broiler Chickens Fed Water Leaf (Talinum triangulare) Meal Supplement

Friday C. Nworgu, Philip C. N. Alikwe, Gabriel N. Egbunike, Elijah I. Ohimain

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 20-29
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/11754

A 56-day experiment involving 150 day-old Anak 2000 broiler chicks was carried out in a completely randomized design to evaluate the performance, haematological parameters and serum metabolites of the broilers fed Water leaf Meal (WLM) supplement for 8 weeks at Ibadan in Oyo state of Nigeria. The birds were allotted to 5 treatments containing 0, 3, 6, 9 and 12% WLM. Each treatment was replicated thrice. Broiler starters were fed the same starter diet (21.05-22.75% crude protein (CP)), while the finishers were equally fed the same finisher diet (19.40-19.94%CP). The WLM was found to be rich in protein (19.89%)and ash (10.00%) hence may be a good protein supplement for broilers but low in minerals(Ca, P, Mg and Fe) and phytochemical (phytate, tannin and oxalate). Dietary inclusion of WLM in broiler starter diets depressed feed intake at 12% inclusion levelbut at 9% inclusion total feed intake was elevated, significantly (P<0.05) compared to control and other treatments. Final live weight and weight gain at starter phase decreased significantly (P<0.05) and progressively with the increased concentration of WLM supplements, 3%WLM level was the optimal, replacing soya bean meal with WLM reduced the cost of broiler starter production. Broiler finishers also exhibited a similar pattern. Lymphocytes (%) values in broiler-chicks fed 0 and 3% WLM inclusion diets were significantly (P<0.05) higher than those of broiler-chicks fed 6, 9 and 12% WLM supplementary diet. The PCV and RBC were not affected by the diets.WLM supplements in the diets of broilers had no significant influence on total serum protein, albumin, albumin/globulin ratio, creatinine, urea, alanine-aminotransferase, hydrogen trioxocarbonate IV, phosphate and calcium, unlike cholesterol, globulin, alkaline phosphate, potassium, chloride and aspartate amino transferase which were significantly (P<0.05) affected by the dietary inclusion of WLM supplements. Cholesterol value decreased (102 - I05mg/dl) for the broilers fed 9-12%WLM supplements compared to those placed on 3 and 6% (I16-120gm/dl). Serum potassium was highest at 12% WLM inclusion level (4.36mml/L) followed by 9% (3.85mmol/L) while control was the least (3.50mmoI/L). Broiler starters and finishers are recommended to be fed 6 to 12%WLM, respectively for improved feed intake, weight gain and blood formation.

Open Access Original Research Article

Morphometric and Meristic Characteristics of Clarias gariepinus from Controlled and Uncontrolled Population from Southwestern Nigeria

O. Fagbuaro, J. A. Oso, M. B. Olurotimi, O. Akinyemi

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 39-45
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/11781

Studies on the nineteen morphological characteristics and meristic traits of C. gariepinus collected from those bred by a fish farmer in a fish pond in Emure- Ekiti (controlled population) and those from the wild population in Ogbese river (uncontrolled population), in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State Nigeria were carried out between August and December, 2012. One hundred and twenty –three (123) fish individuals collected by cast and dragging nets were bought, out of which sixty-one (61) were from the fish farm in Emure- Ekiti and sixty-two were from Ogbese river. The mean body weight and total length of the fish were 530.67±18.74g and 42.53±0.55cm and 507.02±26.26g; and 42.40±0.58cm for the controlled and uncontrolled fish population respectively. The length-weight relationship values were logW = -0.9961 +2.2781logL and logW = -1.3230 +2.4661logL for controlled and uncontrolled C. gariepinus population respectively. The results recorded on the mean body weights (530±18.74 and 507±0.02) and mean lengths (42.53±0.55 and 42.40±.0.58) of the fish from the two populations are not statistically different. But there are variations between and among the two fish populations. The condition factor (K) values are 0.69±0.02 and 0.67±0.01 for the controlled and uncontrolled fish population. The condition factor values which were not significantly different from each other showed that the fish from the two populations are not well fed. The robustness of the fish from uncontrolled population may be as result of enough fertility of the river or that there was a lesser competition from other fish species for the available food resources. There is need to determine the factor(s) which favours the growth and development of the fish from Ogbese river (uncontrolled population).

Open Access Original Research Article

Adaptation to Climate Change by Farmers in Makurdi, Nigeria

Blessing E. Okpe, Goodness C. Aye

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 46-57
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/12169

The increasing trend of climate change has led to growing concern on its impact on different sectors of the economy particularly on agriculture. Coping with the vulnerability and negative effects of climate change on agriculture requires mitigation at the policy level and adaptation at the farm level. However, the ability of farmers to adopt the various adaptation strategies may be constrained by a number of factors. Therefore, this study identified the climate adaptation strategies adopted by farmers in Makurdi, Nigeria and subsequently examined the determinants of farmers’ adaptation strategies to climate change. The primary data used in this study were collected through structured questionnaires administered to 120 randomly selected farmers. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used in analyzing the data. Results shows that about 58% of the farmers adopted at least one of the following climate change adaptation strategies: cultivating diff type of crop, shortening growing season, changing extent of land put in crop production, use of irrigation as water source, use of chemical fertilizer, mulching, planting of cover crops, planting of resistant crop varieties, changing of planting dates, adoption of new techniques and use of drainage system. Logit regression was used to identify factors that influence the strategies employed by famers for adaptation to climate change. The result of the logit model showed that annual farm income, farming experience, knowledge of climate information, education and extension access variables are significant determinants of climate change adaptation strategies.
The study recommends the promulgation of policies to ensure that farmers have access to physical, human and social capital will enhance farmers’ ability to respond effectively to changing climate conditions. 

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of some Natural Substances on Fruit Quality of Washington Navel Orange under Cold Storage

T. F. El-Sharony, O. A. Amin

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 58-68
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/12222

Aims: To study the response of Washington navel orange fruits to some natural post harvest treatments under cold storage.
Study Design: A randomized complete block design with three replicates was used.
Place and Duration of Study: This study was carried out during two successive seasons 2013 and 2014 in the post harvest laboratory of Agricultural Development System project in Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, Egypt.
Methodology: Harvested fruits were directly transferred to the laboratory. Experimental fruits were divided into six similar groups. Each group was subjected to one of the following treatments: Control tap water plus tween (80), Black cumin oil at 2%, Black cumin oil at 3%, Ginger oil at 2%, Ginger oil at 3% and Wax. Fruits were stored at 5°C and 85-90% relative humidity for 63 days. Changes in some physical and chemical fruit properties were determined at seven days intervals.
Results: The results showed that, fruit weight loss (%), decay (%), total soluble solids (TSS) percentage and respiration rate (ml/kg/h) of Washington navel orange fruits were increased in most cases with advancing the storage period. Meanwhile, total acidity (%) and ascorbic acid (V.C) as (mg/100 ml juice) were decreased with prolonging the storage period. Furthermore, the lowest values of weight loss (%), decay (%), ascorbic acid, respiration rate and fruit shelf life (days) were scored by wax treatment, as well as, the best results of total soluble solids with the same bare with control especially in the first season. Meanwhile the lowest total acidity content was gained by the control.
Conclusion: Treatment of Washington navel orange fruits with wax proved to be the most efficient treatment in enhances fruit quality and storability under cold storage.


Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Stream Sizes and Furrow Geometry on Furrow Irrigation Erosion in Samaru, Northern Nigeria

Jibrin M. Dibal, H. E. Igbadun, B. G. Umara

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 69-79
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/12490

Furrow irrigation is one the most widely used means of water application to crops in Samaru and environs. Erosion created by furrow irrigation is threatening the sustainability of furrow irrigation in Samaru. The continuous loss of soil rich in plant nutrients depresses the productive capacity of soils. This study explored the effects of three irrigation stream sizes (2.5, 1.5 and 0.5 l/s) two furrow lengths (90 and 45 m) and two furrow widths (0.75 and 0.9 m) on furrow irrigation-induced erosion. Measurements of runoffs and sediment concentrations in furrows during irrigation events were made in the dry irrigation seasons of 2009/2010 (trial 1) and 2010/2011 (trial 2) on an area of 0.36 and 0.2 ha respectively. Soil erosion in each furrow was computed from the runoff, sediment concentrations and the furrow wetted area. Wooden profilometers were used to examine the dynamics of soil erosion along the furrows. The variations in soil erosion among the treatments were significant at P<0.001. The application of 2.5 l/s stream size induced the highest soil erosion of 0.4697 t/ha/season and runoff volume of 104.47 l/season. The use of 45 m-long furrow length resulted into the highest soil erosion of 0.4986 t/ha/season. And soil erosion of 0.4700 t/ha/season was recorded in 0.75 m-wide furrows. The results evidently showed that stream size was principally responsible for the erosion losses during furrow irrigation. Short furrows that limit redistribution of eroded soil particles, were more prone to erosion than long furrows. The result also pointed that increasing furrow width from 0.75 m could be a means of limiting furrow irrigation erosion. The in- field soil erosion measurements showed that bulk of the soil erosion occurred from the head end of the furrows and deposited on the lower portions of the furrows.