Open Access Original Research Article

Organic Manures and Phytoplankton Production

A. O. Iyiola, A. P. Ojo-Awo

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 141-146
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/14324

Phytoplankton are primary producers in aquatic ecosystem and play an important role in the food chain or web in aquatic ecosystem. This research compared rate of production of plankton from poultry droppings and cow dung against control (no manure) and the impacts on the physico-chemical parameters. Daily sampling, identification and counting as well as analysis of physico-chemical parameters were carried out. Phytoplankton species observed were Pediastrum, Chlorella, Spirogyra and Closterium. Poultry droppings stimulated the highest production while the least was the control (no manure). The mean values for temperature were 27.4ºC for poultry droppings, 27.1ºC for Cow dung and 27.3ºC for the Control. pH recorded 7.5 for Poultry droppings, 7.0 for Cow dung and 7.1 for the Control. Dissolved oxygen was 5.0 mg/l throughout the culture systems. Ammonia recorded 0.9 mg/l for Poultry droppings, 0.4 mg/l for Cow dung, 0.0 mg/l was recorded for Control. Nitrite was 3.5 mg/l for Poultry droppings, 0.25 mg/l in Cow dung, 0.5 mg/l and 0.1 mg/l in Control. Nitrate was 80 mg/l for Poultry droppings, Cow dung was 22.5 mg/l while 12.5 mg/l was the Control. Poultry droppings produced the highest number of phytoplankton species as a result of the high Nitrate and Phosphate content which is a mineral stimulates phytoplankton production. ANOVA results showed significant differences (P<0.05) in phytoplankton production between Poultry droppings, cowdung and control.

Open Access Original Research Article

Climate Change Adaptation: Role of Local Agricultural Innovations in Semi-Arid Tanzania

E. Benedict, A. E. Majule

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 147-159
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/15489

Agriculture which supports the livelihoods of the majority is challenged by many stressors including climate change impacts. Impacts such as floods and droughts have left farmers with no reliable option rather than farm management and off-farm activities such as irrigation, use of improved seed varieties, crop and livelihood diversification. Nevertheless, contribution of such practices to improving livelihood among smallholder farmers is generally documented and concluded. This study was therefore carried out to determine effectiveness of local agricultural innovation system in enhancing livelihood of smallholder farmers in semi-arid Tanzania. The study was conducted in Sanjaranda and Gurungu villages, Manyoni District. Literature review and Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) methods including focus group discussions and household interviews; key informant interviews, and transect walks were employed to collect data. Results from the study indicate that, the surveyed communities were knowledgeable of climate change of their localities in the past 20 years. Changes in the climate included shifting of rainfall seasons, fewer and erratic rains and an increase in temperature. Meteorological data also supported a decreasing trend in rainfall and an increase in annual average temperature by 0.7ºC in the past 30 years. Responding to these changes, farmers developed a number of farming practices that included use of improved seed varieties, improved agronomic practices, in-situ rainwater harvesting and application of farm yard manure. These practices were also supported by public activities, civil society organisations and the private sector contributions to increase trends in crop yields in one way or another. This study argue that, strengthening local agricultural innovation system could enhance community livelihoods under changing environment.

Open Access Original Research Article

Morphophysiological Indicators of Cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata) Planted Inside and Outside Greenhouse, under Ecuadorian Amazon Conditions

R. Alemán Pérez, J. Domínguez Brito, Y. Rodríguez Guerra, S. Soria Re

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 160-167
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/16923

The Ecuadorian Amazon is the poorest in the country, particularly the province of Pastaza is the largest and one of the least developed in the field of agriculture. The Universidad Estatal Amazónica initiated a research program to evaluate the adaptation of different horticultural species plants to conditions in the region, in order to contribute to food sustainability. This study analyzed the behavior of cabbage crop variety Gloria, planted under controlled conditions in the greenhouse and outside it. The morphological, physiological and crop production indicators were evaluated in both planting conditions. The results showed that the cultivation offers better morphological and physiological indicators when it was sown in the greenhouse; however the best production indicators and agricultural yield was obtained in planting outside the greenhouse, indicating that desirability of establishing this crop in the Ecuadorian Amazon without sow in the greenhouse.

Open Access Original Research Article

Computer Algorithm for Irrigated Water – Yield Response of Cowpea under Sprinkler Irrigation System

O. T. Faloye, M. O. Alatise

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 168-184
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/17298

A MATLAB Computer program on cowpea yield was developed to compare the yield obtained from the field under sprinkler irrigation system with the yield predicted by the developed model. Dry season experiment was conducted between January and April of 2014 at Teaching and Research Farm of the Department of Agricultural Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Akure. Soil physical and chemical properties of the experimental site were determined using standard procedures. The cowpea seeds were established on the field and four irrigation water managements were imposed on the crop. An algorithm comprising of existing empirical models from crop production functions were implemented using MATLAB - based computer program. Yield response factor, ky and elasticity of water production (EWP) were also introduced into the algorithm in order to determine the maximum production of cowpea during the growing season of the experiment. The field seasonal yield, crop evapotranpiration and total water applied were input into the model to validate it so as to obtain corresponding model output (predicted yield). The model predicted yield well. The yield results show a good degree of correlation with coefficient of determination r2 equal to 0.96 and 0.98 for linear and quadratic production functions (ETPF) respectively. The optimized water use and yield of cowpea obtained from the developed model during the growing season were 382.34 mm and 0.996 tons/ha. The total amount of water that resulted to the optimum water use and yield was 446.23 mm. This result implies that 92% of total irrigation water applied during the growing season resulted to the optimum production of the crop. The model, therefore, proved to be useful in estimation of possible irrigation water to maximize yield and crop water use of cowpea.

Open Access Review Article

Solar Energy: A Potential Source of Energy for Agricultural and Rural Development in Ghana

Emmanuel Amankwah

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 131-140
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/16367

The current challenges of climate change and the fluctuating oil prices on the world market make it imperative to consider cheaper and alternative sources of energy for agricultural and rural development in Ghana. Solar energy is an environmentally friendly source of energy as compared to other conventional forms of energy and it is capable of providing all the energy needs of the world. This article seeks to draw the attention of government, NGOs, policy makers, stakeholders and the general public about the enormous energy from the sun and the need to tap such energy for agricultural and rural development. The research was carried out through field visitations and extensive review of important literature on renewable energy. The paper outlines the various uses of solar energy in agriculture such as crop drying and processing, pumping of water for irrigation, power supply, water heating and many more. It reviews solar energy use in Ghana and highlights the principles of solar energy. The paper also outlines the benefits and concludes with suggested recommendations which can help accelerate agricultural and rural development through solar energy application in Ghana.