Open Access Original Research Article

Conventional Inputs and Sectoral Productivity Growth in Agriculture: Evidence from Rural China

Owusu Samuel Mensah, Zhuang Jincai, Thomas Bilaliib Udimal, Basil Kusi

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-17
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/32153

Sustainable food production has become a subject of interest to policy makers in rural China in the quest to consolidate food security in the midst of an escalating population. Adopting Cobb-Douglas production function and employing cross-sectional data from 1990 to 2013, this paper measures the contribution of land, labor, fertilizer, agricultural machinery in addition with government investments to the growth of agricultural production. According to the results of the study, fertilizer application, labor and land contribute positively to total agricultural growth with elasticity of 1.48, 0.19 and 0.17 respectively from 1990 to 2013. A unit increase in price, investment in education and Research and Development also increase agricultural productivity growth by 0.4%, 0.74% and 0.03% respectively. An increase in fertilizer application contributes an average of 1.98%, 1.83%, 0.91% and 3.23% to crop, livestock, and fishery and forestry production respectively. A unit increase in farmlands also increases crop production by 0.8%, livestock production by 0.41% and fishery production by 0.23% during the entire period of study.  In addition, fertilizer application, agricultural machinery and labor performed creditably on some selected farm products during the study period.

Open Access Original Research Article

Response of Bell Pepper (Capsicum annuum) to Foliar Feeding with Micronutrients and Shoot Pruning

Sadia Awalin, Mohammad Shahjahan, Arjun Chandra Roy, Asma Akter, Mohammad Humayun Kabir

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/31620

Introduction: An experiment was conducted during the period from October 2012 to April 2013 at Horticulture farm of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka, Bangladesh to evaluate the response of bell pepper with foliar feeding with micronutrients and shoot pruning.

Methods: The experiment consisted of two levels shoot pruning viz., P0­: no shoot pruning & P1: shoot pruning and six levels of foliar applications of micronutrients as; 1. M0: control (water); 2. M1: boron (B) @ 100 ppm as H3BO3; 3. M2: zinc (Zn) @ 100 ppm as ZnSO4; 4. M3: copper (Cu) @ 100 ppm as CuSO4; 5. M4: manganese (Mn) @ 100 ppm as MnSO4 and 6. M5: mixed micronutrients @ 100 ppm each (B, Zn, Cu and Mn). The two factor experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications.

Results: In case of shoot pruning, the greatest number of marketable fruits per plant (8.70), maximum fruit setting (39.32%) and highest yield (26.60 t/ha) was obtained from shoot pruning and whereas for micronutrients, the greatest number of marketable fruits per plant (9.57), maximum fruit setting (40.53%) and highest yield (29.98 t/ha) elicited by mixed micronutrients with 100 ppm.

Conclusion: Application of shoot pruning with mixed micronutrient with 100 ppm elicited (30.43 t/ha) the highest yield compared to other treatment and seems to be the best combination for bell pepper production.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effects of Poultry Manure on Some Soil Chemical Properties and Nutrient Bioavailability to Soybean

A. O. Soremi, M. T. Adetunji, C. O. Adejuyigbe, J. G. Bodunde, J. O. Azeez

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/32419

Organic manures are known to be rich sources of both macro and micro nutrients of the crop. They also help in improving the physical status of the soil. Pot experiments were carried out to determine the effects of poultry manure on some soil chemical properties pH, organic C, available P, exchangeable Ca, Mg, K, Na, and Effective Cation Exchange Capacity i.e. ECEC) and dry matter yields, plant heights, concentrations of N, P and K in plant tissues of soybean plants. Five soil samples collected from research farms in Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Odeda, Ayetoro, Ibadan, Ikenne in South Western Nigeria, were used for the screen house pot experiment. Treatments consisted of five rates of poultry manure (0, 2.5, 5.0, 7.5 and 10 t ha-1) and 100 kg ha-1 of NPK 20:10:10 fertilizer as basal application. The pot experiments were conducted at the Research Farm of FUNAAB. Experimental design was Completely Randomised Design (CRD) with three replicate. Soybean (TGx 1448-2E) was grown for three consecutive cycles of seven weeks per cycle and both soil and plant samples were collected and analysed. Application of poultry manure significantly increased organic carbon, exchangeable bases and effective cation exchange capacity in the soils, concentrations of N, P and K in plant tissue. The study concluded that application of poultry manure increased available nutrients, increased nutrient uptake and improved dry matter yield in soybean.

Open Access Original Research Article

Efficacy of Lippia multiflora (Verbenaceae) and Hyptis suaveolens (Lamiaceae) Leaves on Merchant Quality of Stored Maize Grain (Zea mays L.) in Côte d’ivoire

Pierre Ezoua, Adama Coulibaly, Ysidor Konan, Daouda Sidibe, Olivier Kouame Chatigre, Godi Henri Marius Biego

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/31561

The aim of this study was to monitor the merchant quality of maize grains stored for 9 months in polypropylene bags containing leaves of Lippia multiflora and Hyptis suaveolens. It was carried out in villages of Timbé and Soko respectively in departments of Katiola (Hambol region, Center-North) and Bondoukou (Gontougo region, Northeast) of Côte d'Ivoire. The parameters determined were weight loss, damages, moisture, fat, acidity and peroxide values. The mass losses and damages were determined by methods of Harris, Lindblad and Boxall respectively, while moisture, fat, values of acidity and peroxide were measured according to AOAC's standard methods. The batches treated with the leaves of L. multiflora and H. suaveolens recorded the best values compared to control batches irrespective of the type of leaf, the study site and the parameter studied. Indeed, the moisture levels of grains varied between 9.00% and 14% for control batches and were less than 13% for the treated batches. Concerning mass losses, the treated batches had rates of less than 15.25% while those of the control batches reached 24.25%. Grain damage was up to 47.40% in the control batches but remained below 32.40% in the treated batches. For the fat content of the grains, the averages decreased from 5.4% to 1.90% for control batches and remained above 2.4% for treated batches. The opposite phenomenon was observed in acidity and peroxide values which were higher in control batches than in treated batches. These results indicate that treatment of maize grains with leaves of L. multiflora and H. suaveolens makes it possible to inhibit activity of insects and to preserve quality of grains with a remanence of up to 9 months. This inexpensive and easy-to-use treatment should be popularized among farmers.

Open Access Original Research Article

Enzyme–based Assay for Toxicological Evaluation of Soil Ecosystem Polluted with Spent Engine Oil

O. Otitoju, A. C. Udebuani, M. M. Ebulue, I. N. Onwurah

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/27605

Aim: In this study, the experiment was designed to investigate the effect of contamination of soil ecosystem with spent engine oil at various concentrations.

Design: Soil samples were obtained from zoological garden University of Nigeria Nsukka while spent engine oil was obtained from the Mechanic Village, Nsukka. Test tubes labelled 1- 7 containing various percentages of spent engine oil 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5% w/w (oil-soil mixture); and into the 7th tube, the control contained only the soil sample. The study was designed for thirty-five-days (0, 14, 28 and 35 day) at various degrees of pollution by spent oil.

Results: The result showed that spent engine oil stimulated the activity of soil dehydrogenase in a concentration and time dependent manner: from (4.72 ± 0.015) mol/min at 1.0% contamination to (9.30 ± 0.021) mol/min at 3.5% contamination on day-zero; and from (5.29 ± 0.032) mol/min at 1.0% contamination to (9.78 ± 0.040) mol/min at 3.5% contamination on day-28; the activity of soil catalase was inhibited from (0.195 ± 0.005) mol/min at 1.0% contamination to (0.054 ± 0.004) mol/min at 3.5% contamination on day-zero; and from (0.18 ± 0.004) mol/min at 1.0% contamination to (0.042 ± 0.002) mol/min at 3.5% contamination on day-28. The moisture content increased from (6.4 ± 0.01) at 1.0% contamination to (24.24 ± 0.0) at 3.5% contamination on day-zero; and from (4.56 ± 0.056) at 1.0% contamination to (19.31 ± 0.0212) at 3.5% contamination on day-28. Similarly, there was an increase in total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) from (0.03 ± 0.0) to (0.86 ± 0.0) that cuts across days-zero to -28 at concentrations (1.0-3.5%) contamination. At increased concentrations (3.5% w/w) of contamination, hydrocarbons increased the abundance of hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms from 3.26 x107 ± 0.02 cfu on day-zero to 6.55 x 10­­8 ± 0.04 cfu on day-28; but on the other hand, induced a limitation on microbial diversity.

Conclusion: The concentration of the hydrocarbonclastic bacteria in the spent engine oil-contaminated soil correlated with the enzyme induction activity. These effects which altered the entire soil biochemistry could disrupt ecosystem dynamics by slowing soil organic matter mineralization and associated nutrient re-mineralization.