Small-scale farmers in Ewaso Narok wetland, Laikipia County in Kenya are mainly horticultural farmers who apply pesticides for their vegetable management. A structured questionnaire was used to assess farmer's knowledge and practices on pesticide management on 86 farmers purposively selected. The results showed that 60% of the farmers did not use protective clothing, 38.4% were not aware of dangers of mixing different pesticides chemicals while 97% had no formal training in pesticide management. Except for the 76% of farmers who were aware of the pesticides routes of exposure to the human body, all others parameters associated with good pesticide practices ranged low (16-39%). Farmer's pesticide practices correlated to the farmer's socio-demographic attributes (age, education, and gender).These included the use of personal protective equipment (39%), reading pesticide labels before use (25%) among other practices. The general poor pesticide practices among farmers in the wetland all for an immediate, comprehensive measure of reducing pesticide exposure and mitigating effects on human and environment. This study recommends adoption of good agricultural practices (GAP) and further investigation on pesticide residue levels in food crops produced from the study area.
In Africa, cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L) Walp.) is more appreciated in the food habit than other legumes. It is a popular pulse cultivated mainly in the semi-arid region of West Africa, but its production cannot meet the demand, therefore, this study assessed yield potential and adaptability of cowpea to humid agro-ecology. Ninety-two genotypes obtained from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigeria were evaluated in Calabar (4° 57’N, 8° 19’E) in a randomised complete block design in three replications. All genotypes were collected in southern Nigeria between Latitude 05°05 and 08°30N, and Longitude 03°25 and 15°40E. Twenty-two of the 92 genotypes flowered and had grain yield; TVu-1131, TVu-1132 and TVu-215 had grain yield between 1054.7 and 1093.9 Kg ha-1; this yield is within range of the cowpea yield in West Africa. Principal component analysis (PCA) explained the contribution of 99.9% of the morphological variation in the genotypes and attributed most of it to the diversity in grain yield and single linkage cluster analysis partitioned the genotypes into two groups based on their genetic relationship. There was positive and significant correlation between grain yield and number of days to flowering, number of flowers per plant, number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod and the pod length; thereby indicating that selection for these pods and seeds characters would lead to improvement of the yield. For the adaptability, cowpea genotypes that are high yielding, photoperiod insensitive and early maturing are most suitable for the environment, in this study TVu-1131, TVu-1132, TVu-215 were identified as adaptable
A field experiment after maize factorially combined shelters and six wheat genotypes varying both in the presence of reduced height (Rht) alleles, known to vary for linked Type II resistance to Fusarium infection, photoperiod sensitivity (Ppd-D1) and baking quality: Oakley (Rht1-B1b + Ppd-D1b), Soissons (Rht1-B1b + Ppd-D1a), SR 53 (Rht1-D1b + Ppd-D1a), SR 94 (Rht1-D1b + Ppd-D1b), Maris Widgeon1 (Rht1-B1b + Ppd-D1b) and Maris Widgeon 2 (Rht1-D1b + Ppd-D1b) in four completely randomised blocks. Shelters were applied from the end of anthesis until 28 days later. Plots were sampled after shelter removal (hand harvest) and also at maturity (combine harvest). Analysis was carried out on the harvested grains which included deoxynivalenol (DON) concentration and grain quality parameters such as crude protein, Hagberg falling number (HFN) and sedimentation volume (SDS). Data show that in hand harvested grains, there was significant (P=0.01) genotype x shelter effect where shelter reduced DON concentration by 48% in Soissons. Crude protein (P=0.08), HFN (P=0.08) and SDS (P=0.19) showed no genotype x shelter effect. In combined harvested grains, DON concentration showed no clear pattern. However, crude protein (P=0.005) and HFN (P=0.034) showed significant genotype x shelter effect where shelter reduced the crude protein in Oakley and increased HFN in Maris Widgeon genotypes. This study therefore, reveals that data on the level of DON contamination may not be deduced from results of HFN, SDS volume or protein content, thus these parameters may not be influenced even when wheat kernels are heavily infected by Fusarium even under restricted water during grain filling.
The field experiment was carried out at Dryland Agriculture Research Station (DARS) Budgam, under natural rainfed conditions during Kharif 2017 season. Thirteen varieties of maize were evaluated and the experiment was laid out in a randomized block design with three replications. Highest genotypic and phenotypic coefficient of variation was found in anthesis, silking interval and lowest in no of cobs/plant. High heritability coupled with a high genetic advance was observed for shoot weight, grains/cob and plant height. The genotypes KG-1 (122.00 days), KG-2 (124.00 days) and GM-6 (130.00 days) mature earlier indicating some escape mechanism in these genotypes under water stress. The ASI was lowest in KDM-72 (2.00 days) and KG-2 (2.00 days) and was highest in C-8 (5.00 days). Among the yield parameters plant height was significantly higher in C-15 (269.00) similarly, shoot weight was significantly higher in C-15 (917.50), cob height was significantly higher in C-8 (141.60), cob length was significantly higher in C-15 (22.33), no of cobs plant-1 was significantly higher in PM-5 (1.94), kernel rows cob-1 was significantly higher in C-4 (16.00), kernel rows-1 was significantly higher in C-6 (40.66), grains cob-1 was significantly higher in C-6 (596.46), 100-seed weight was significantly higher in C-15 (34.40) and grain yield plant-1 was significantly higher in C-6 (116.75). Among resource remobilization traits that are indicative of source sink efficiency cob partitioning index was significantly higher in PM-3 (87.70), cob harvesting index was significantly higher in PM-4 (62.64) and harvest index was significantly higher in PM-3 (33.57).
This study investigated trends in production of nine majorly cultivated food crops between 1992 and 2016 in Osun State, southwestern Nigeria. It also examined the contribution of the State to the total national food production and impact of climate variations on crop yields. It used secondary crop data collected from both the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Abuja and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as well as station observation of rainfall, relative humidity, minimum and maximum temperatures. Annual crop productions were estimated and ratio of the State to national crop cultivated area and that of production were computed using both the FMARD and the FAO datasets. The means, standard deviations, interquartile ranges were computed and trend analysis using Mann–Kendall test was done to assess trends and variability in climatic characteristics and basic components of crop production. Multiple regression and synchronization analyses were carried out to investigate the relationship between the crop yield and the climate. Cassava production was found to be the highest with about 0.9 million metric tons per year. The State highest contribution to the national crop production was 3.3 - 5.3% (cocoyam) and the least 0.03-0.04% (cowpea). Rainfall increased annually by 3.5 mm, minimum and maximum temperatures by 0.083 and 0.033°C while relative humidity decreased by 0.32%. Decrease in yam and rice productions was attributed to a combined effect of reduction in yield (due to climate variation) and cultivated area (due to socio-economic factor). Correlations between climate and yields at p < 0.05 differed among the crop types and 48 to 90% of variations in the yields of tomato, yam, cocoyam and cowpea were strongly accounted for by climatic factors. The findings suggest the drive for irrigation to enhance full utilisation of the State’s potential for yam and rice production and propose pragmatic efforts by governments and relevant stakeholders to assist smallholder farmers towards exploiting larger available land area for agricultural production.