Open Access Original Research Article

Ethnobotanical Survey of Endangered Antimalarial and Analgesic Plants of Togo for the Safeguard of the Medicinal Biodiversity

K. Koudouvo, A. Denou, K. Esseh, R. Sanogo, K. Essien, D. Diallo, K. Kokou, S. K. Tozo, K. Aklikokou, J. C. Aguiyi, M. Gbéassor

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/29303

The correlation between the threat of species and the use of medicinal plants is necessary for the preservation of this biodiversity. However, in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Togo, where the majority of the population use herbal medicines as first health care recourse, few actions are undertaken to make available the medicinal plants. This study aims for the identification of endangered antimalarial and analgesic medicinal plants. Ethnobotanical surveys were realized with Togolese traditional medicine practitioners of Maritime and Lomé-Commune Health Regions. Semi structured interview, ‘’Achat en Triplet de Recettes médicinales’’ (ATRM) and meetings in focus groups, were methods used for data collection. Parts used, socio-economic data and the phytogeography of the plants, were combined for the identification of the endangerment of medicinal plants.

One hundred and twenty five practitioners have participated to the survey. Between them 31 (44 year age average) have recorded 16 medicinal plants identified by the study as endangered species. These plants belong to 12 families. Leguminosae and Rubiaceae were the most represented families where Pavetta corymbosa (27,73%) Cola millenii (13,48%), Uvaria chamae (13,13%) and Lannea kerstingii (11,43%) were the most cited species. Trees (56,25%) were the main biological form living mostly in Perturbed forests (62,50%) and in Savannah (56,29%). Stem bark (34,78%), leaves (26,08%), roots and seeds (17,39% each) and fruits (4,35%) are parts used.  Alstonia boonei (0.0072 USD/gram of dry Stem bark) was the most expensive plant. The harvest of stem bark and roots (52,17% of part used), combined with the ecology of the plants and the price by gram illustrate the reality of the endangerment of the medicinal plants. Cola millenii, Pavetta corymbosa, Dodonea viscosa, Senna alata, Opililia amantacea, Uvaria chamae, were retained to be cultivated for local needs, where Alstonia boonei, Griffonia  simplicifolia  and  Lannea  kerstingii,  were selected for regional and international agribusiness.

Open Access Original Research Article

Contribution of Women to Household Expenditure in Rural Communities of Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria

U. N. Uzokwe

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-6
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/32910

This study looked at the contribution of women to household expenditure in rural communities of Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. The study objectives were to: Find out the socio-economic characteristics of women, identify the different income generating activities they are engaged in, determine their income level, determine their areas of contribution to household expenditure and determine their annual average contribution to household expenditure. Three communities were randomly selected from the seven communities in the study area. These were Ughelli, Ogor, and Orogun. Forty households were randomly selected from each community. A total of 120 respondents were drawn and data was collected using a well-structured questionnaire and interview schedule. However, only 105 responses were suitable for data analysis and were used. Data collected were analyzed using frequency counts, means and percentages. The study result showed a mean age of 45 years, 45.7% had secondary education, 61% were married with an average family size of 7. Their main income source was farming (69.5%). About 43% earned average cash income of ₦ 25,000 per annum. The total average income of respondents was ₦ 8,692,000. All of them contributed to food, clothing, education and health care except house rent to which just 12.4% contributed. The highest area of contribution was to food to which their total average yearly contribution was ₦ 2,125,000 which is 31.6% of their total annual contribution to household expenditure. Their average contribution was ₦ 6,735,135 which is 77.5% of their total average income. The study showed that the women use most of their income on their family needs. Their contribution in relationship to the average household size is not adequate to meet family needs. There is therefore need to mainstream gender into agricultural and empowerment programmes to remove bottlenecks experienced by women in areas of income generation to enable them improve their income level.

Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of Soil and Climatic Conditions Supporting Maize (Zea mays L.) Production in Makurdi, Nigeria

S. O. Odoemena, E. A. Igomu

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/33963

The aim was to evaluate the suitability of the soils for the production of maize and to have a detailed soil database for effective land use planning. Soil requirements for maize were collected from past research works and compared with data obtained from the field survey. The study showed that the soils of the area had formed under climatic environment presently characterized by an annual rainfall of about 1330.20 mm and a mean annual temperature of about 27.80°C. The soils of the upper slope were classified as Typic Paleustalfs, while those of the middle and lower slopes were classified as Typic Haplustalfs and Typic Kandiaqualfs respectively, using soil taxonomy. The soils were well drained to poorly drained. The clay content ranged from 7.20 to 29.30, increasing with depth. Organic carbon was low (0.47%) in the upland and relatively high (0.86%) in the low land. The suitability assessment results showed that although, certain qualities or characteristics such as mean annual temperature, relative humidity and base saturation were optimum for maize cultivation, there was however, no highly suitable (S1) land for maize cultivation in the area. All the soils were classified into moderately suitable (S2f) subclass due to their low nutrients levels. UAMTRF I and II Units of the area were moderately suitable (S2tf) due to topography and low soil fertility. UAMTRF III was limited by its imperfect drainage to marginally suitable subclasses S3wf for maize production. To raise the productivity level of the lands for optimal maize production, management techniques such as continuous organic matter incorporation and mineral fertilizers application, and efficient use of mineral fertilizers with low levels of chemical inputs with adaption of appropriate irrigation techniques (in lowlands) would make dry season farming sustainable.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effects of Biochar and Poultry Manure on the Composition of Phosphorus Solubilizing Fungi and Soil Available Phosphorus Concentration in an Oxisol

C. A. Phares, B. A. Osei, S. Tagoe

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-15
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/34526

Introduction: The use of biochar to restore soil fertility is still in the exploratory stages in Ghana and there is paucity of information regarding the effect of biochar on soil biochemical properties. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of biochar solely applied or in combination with poultry manure on the composition of soil phosphorus solubilizing fungi, available P concentration and selected properties of Oxisol in Ghana.

Methods: Cocoa husk biochar (CHB), prepared using Lucia biomass pyrolytic stove at a temperature of 400°C was applied solely at 0, 39 and 65 t ha-1 and in combination with 10 t ha-1, poultry manure, to the soil. Treatments were arranged in a completely randomized design with three replications.

Results: The population of phosphorus solubilizing fungi increased in amended soils significantly (P = .05) above that of the control. The increases in fungal biomass followed; control < biochar < biochar + poultry manure. Aspergillus, Fusarium and Penicillium were dominant genera with few of the microbes in the genera Colletotrichum. The increase in phosphorus solubilizing fungi correlated positively (r = 0.96, P = .05) with increase in available phosphorus. Then again, biochar solely applied or in combination with poultry manure significantly (= .05) increased pH, total organic carbon and cation exchange capacity. Mineral N however significantly (P = .05) increased only in combined biochar and poultry manure treatments.

Conclusion: Biochar solely applied or in combination with poultry manure enhanced phosphorus solubilizing fungal biomass and availability of phosphorus in the soil with combined poultry manure and biochar having the highest influence.

Open Access Original Research Article

Assessment of Sulfur Deficiency in Soils through Plant Analysis in Three Representative Areas of the Central Highlands of Ethiopia-IV

Assefa Menna

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/34287

Field survey was conducted in Arsi(Ar), East Shewa(ES) and Oromia Liuu(OL) zones in 2012-15 cropping seasons, aimed at assessing sulfur(S) status of soils through plant analysis. The general information on land-use, soil types, were collected using semi-structured questionnaire to trace past fertilizer use. For the purpose of the reliability of data, out of 350 surveyed farmers’ fields or samples, randomly selected 200 wheat seed samples were considered. Based on the critical levels(CLs) estimated for TS content in wheat seed, 0.12%, about 61.8% of the fields in Arsi were found to be severely deficient in S, and 17.7% were marginal, necessitating the application of external S in about 79.5% of the studied fields. Likewise, in ES, about 51.5% fields were found severely deficient in S, and 30.3% were marginal, again necessitating the application of external S in about 81.8% of fields. In OL, about 63.6% of the fields were severely deficient in S, and 24.2% were marginal. From the study, therefore, across all 3 locations, 59.0% of studied fields were severely S deficient and 24% were marginal. This necessitates the application of external S (full dose or some supplemental amount, depending on soil-test results) in about, 83.0% of the fields in three studied areas. This extent of S deficiency is comparable when the CL for N/S-ratio in wheat seed is 15:1. But, when the CL is 17:1, inconsistencies observed. In summary, the study affirmed that, S deficiency is becoming wide-spread in annually-cropped agricultural lands in the country. Hence, there is a need to integrate S in balanced fertilizer formula, if soil-test and crop-response data are available. In doing so, S from known/trusted sources can be blended with DAP or TSP for applying it into soils, with recommended doses of other nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus. Sulfur can come from locally available source, (gypsum), to use its integrative benefits and economize fertilizer use.