Open Access Minireview Article

Potential of Solid Waste Composting in the Gaza Strip-Palestine

Abdelmajid Nassar

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 18-24
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/15558

The land in the Gaza strip is limited and there is no more space for solid waste dumping. The current situation with regard to handling of waste in the Gaza Strip poses serious threats to the environment and public health. The paper discussed the potential of solid waste composting in the Gaza Strip. More than 60% of Gaza solid waste is organic as 360,000 tons of domestic organic waste is generated yearly in addition to 440,000 tons of organic agriculture waste. Composting municipal and agriculture waste in the Gaza Strip is expected around 800,000 tons/year while the local market demand is only 160,000 tons/year (20%). To avail a higher quantum it would be required to also look at the potential of compost markets in the West Bank and Egypt. By mixing the compost with manure, the organic matter content can be increased further and the compost can be enriched with nitrogen and phosphorus. The marketing potential may be enhanced by the mixing because farmers then only have to use one soil improver for both organic matter and nutrients.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Carbendazim Exposure and Vitamin E Supplementation in African Giant Rats

A. O. Omonona, T. A. Jarikre

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/16715

Aim: Carbendazim is a broad spectrum benzimidazole and metabolite of benomyl used to control farm pests. Unregulated use of pesticides inadvertently affects the ecosystem and loss of biodiversity with precipitous decline of some wildlife species. We investigated the toxicity of carbendazim in African giant rat AGR on exposure and the ameliorative effect of tocopherol (vitamin E).

Methodology: The AGR were randomly divided into four experimental groups of 4 animals each. Group A was exposed to carbendazim only; B- carbendazim + vitamin; C- vitamin only and D- blank (control). Assessment was done clinically, microhaematocrit (erythrogram) and hemocytometric (Leucogram) methods. Cholinesterase (AchE) and markers of oxidative stress were quantified, and tissue changes examined microscopically.

Results: There was decrease in body weight of the AGRs, abortion after 23 days of exposure to carbendazim and significant changes in the erythrogram (p<0.05). Malondialdehyde MDA increased significantly (p<0.05) in group A. Vitamin E supplementation reduced MDA level significantly (p<0.05). Also, remarkable decrease in acetylcholinesterases in the pesticide intoxicated rats (p<0.05). The liver showed diffuse hepatocellular degeneration in carbendazim exposed group but which was comparatively reduced in the Vitamin E “supplementated” AGR.
Conclusion: Strict measures are needed to monitor intensive agricultural practices in the use of chemicals for pest control.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Impact of Gas Flaring on Plant Diversity in Ibeno Local Government Area

M. A. Abua, S. W. Ashua

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 10-17
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/12335

The study examined the impact of gas flaring on plant diversity in Qua-Iboe Terminal (Q.I.T). A Purposive sampling technique was adopted in choosing the direction of transects for data on plant species. A quadrant of 50 mx50 m was gridded into 10 m2. On each transect, five quadrants were laid at an interval of 50 m. From the flare site, the first quadrant at an interval of 50 m, the second at 100 m, third at 150 m, and so on to the fifth at 250 m on both sides of the transect respectively. Plant species diversity were obtained by counting the different species found within the quadrant. At flare site; 21, 27, 34, 38 and 42, while at control site; 101, 102, 106, 107 and 109 respectively. The means of the plant species at flare site is 32.40, at the control site is 105.00. The standard deviation for the flare site is 8.44 and for the control site is 3.39. Paired Sample Statistical technique was employed to analyzed the data. The results showed strongly positive correlation co-efficient of 0.97 between plant species diversity at gas flare site and those at the control site. It was observed that at Qua-Iboe flare site, great lost of plant species had taken place than the control site. Field Observation revealed that some plant species proved more resistant to gas flaring than others. Furthermore, from the analysis, we can conclude that there is statistically significant difference between plant species diversity in the flare site and the control site due to gas flaring. The results of the study is in line with theoretical postulations that increase in distance leads to a corresponding increase in plant species from the flare site. The study recommended that; they should be massive afforestation programme, gases should be harnessed for use as liquefied natural gas or re-injected into the (source) earth, and government should enforce laws against gas flaring.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Processed Feather Waste as Mulch on Crop Growth and Soil Fertilization

O. T. Okareh, A. O. Awe, M. K. C. Sridhar

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 25-35
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/17248

Management of waste feathers in Nigeria is of public health concern due to large quantities generated daily from poultry industries and slow degradation in soil. Information on processing waste feathers for enhancing crop growth has not been well documented, particularly in Nigeria. This study assessed the effect of processed waste feathers on crop growth and soil fertilization in order to provide a cheap and sustainable source of organic fertilizer for use.
The study design was experimental and laboratory based, using maize as test crop. Waste chicken feathers were washed, air-dried, ground into bits, and analyzed for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium contents. Eighty grams feather-bits were mixed with 27 g of glycerol plasticiser at 65°C to obtain a paste and then pressed for ten minutes into flattened organic mulch. Eight 14 cm-diameter pots of 1.5 liters capacity were obtained and divided into two groups (A and B) of four replicates each in a completely randomized design. Maize seeds were planted in 1 kg sieved soil in the pots. Surfaces of the soil in the experimental group B was covered with feather mulch while control group A was without mulch. All pots were sprinkled with water daily to water holding capacity. Length of leaves and shoots of crop were measured at intervals for 28 days using flexible measuring tape. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and student t-test.
About 4980 kg of feathers are generated daily from 30000 chickens from two industries (0.166 kg or 8.52% by mass per chicken). Feathers contained 14.1% nitrogen, 0.2% phosphorus and 0.6% potassium. Mean length of shoots in group B (mulched) showed significant increase (P= 0.01) on day 8 at 3.3±0.1cm against 3.1±0.1cm for control group A, while mean length of maize leaves showed significant increase (P= 0.05) on day 20 at 27.8±2.2 cm over control at 25.6±1.6 cm. The mulch increased growth of maize shoot and leaves significantly by 6.5% and 8.6% respectively.
It is concluded that organic mulch made from processed waste feathers was effective on crop growth and soil fertilization and it can be a useful strategy for poultry waste management.

Open Access Original Research Article

Growth and Reproductive Performance of Grasscutter Does with Litter Fed Varying Levels of Cassava-based Energy Diet

Wogar G. S. Ikani Ikani

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 36-42
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/16920

Aim: To determine the performance of grasscutter does with litter fed cassava-based energy diets.
Study Design: The Completely Randomized Design was used in this study.
Place and Duration of Study: The study, which lasted for 12 weeks, between March 2014 and June 2014, was carried out at the Grasscutter Research Unit, University of Calabar, Nigeria.
Methodology: Sixteen 13-months old grasscutters with litter were randomly allotted in groups of four to four treatment diets. The four experimental diets, each containing 18% crude protein, also supplied respectively 2000, 2200, 2400 and 2600 kcalME/kg. Weights of grasscutter does ranged from 3024.21 to 3054.23 g. Litter sizes ranged from 4 to 5 pups per litter, while the weights of pups ranged from 144.21 to166.22 g. Animals were supplied experimental diets, water and elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureumad libitum. Animals were weighed one day after parturition (i.e. after 4 weeks of adaptation), and every two weeks thereafter. Data collection commenced one day after kindling.
Results: Significantly (PË‚0.05) higher intake of forage (534.21 g), forage dry matter (63.44 g), experimental diet (340.23 g) and total feed intake (403.41 g), as well as significantly (PË‚0.05) higher daily weight gain of grasscutter pups (13.80 g/day), weaning weight of pups (729.21 g), and combined weight gain of does and litter (3.80 g) were recorded in the 2400 kcalME/kg diet group than in the other diet groups. Weight loss (-11.92 g/day) was significantly (PË‚0.05) higher in the 2200 kcalME/kg diet group than in the other diet groups. The Average daily cost of feeding grasscutters with the experimental diet increased significantly (PË‚0.05) with increase in the dietary energy. The average daily cost of diet per grasscutter was significantly (PË‚0.05) lower (13.34k) in the 2000 kcalME/kg diet group than in the other diet groups.
Conclusion: The findings of this study indicate that the best growth and reproductive performances were obtained when grasscutter does and their litters were fed cassava-based 2400 kcalME/kg diet.