Vol 4, No 1

Table of Contents


Repellent Effect of Neem against the Cabbage Armyworm on Leaf Vegetables PDF
Hiromi Ikeura, Akio Sakura, Masahiko Tamaki
We investigated the pest repellent effect of azadirachtin formulation and neem seed kernel oil cake. In laboratory tests, the repellent effect of komatsuna and spinach treated with azadirachtin formulation or neem seed kernel oil cake for 7 days on the feeding cabbage armyworm were evaluated. The feeding repellent effect of azadirachtin formulation treatment was equivalent to that of commercial biological pesticide, while the effect of neem seed kernel oil cake treatment was higher. This result clarified that neem seed kernel oil cake has a high feeding repellent effect against cabbage armyworms. In field tests, although the feeding percentage for komatsuna and spinach controls was 70%, that for komatsuna and spinach treated with azadirachtin formulation and neem seed kernel oil cake was about 40% and 30%, respectively. These laboratory and field test findings demonstrated that despite having an affect less than that of azadirachtin, neem seed kernel oil cake is a high effective feeding repellent.

Food Insecurity Status of Rural Households during the Post-Planting Season in Nigeria PDF
Abimbola O. Adepoju, Kayode A. Adejare
About two-thirds of rural households in Nigeria are engaged in crop and livestock production as their main source of livelihood. These households are especially vulnerable to chronic food shortages owing to adverse weather and the unavailability of enough food from home production, especially during the post-planting season. This study attempts a proper empirical identification of the food insecure and the reasons for their insecurity, through a profile of food insecurity indices and an investigation of the factors influencing their status during the post-planting season in rural Nigeria. We construct food insecurity indices and specify a probabilistic model, employing the post-planting visit data of the first wave of the General Household Survey-Panel (2010). Results showed that almost half (49.4 percent) of rural households in the country were food insecure during the post-planting period. Identified key rural food insecurity determinants include: gender of household head, tertiary education of household head, access to both formal and informal credit and remittances, household size, dependency ratio and living in the North-Central, North-East, South-East and South-West Geopolitical zones of the country. Since food availability remained below the required levels for large parts of the rural populace during this season, identified food insecure households should be targeted for safety nets.

Rural Food Production Systems and Effects on Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Quality in Cross River State, Nigeria PDF
Ashagwu O. OKADI, Emmanuel C. OSINEM
Agricultural resources are not inexhaustible, and their sustained availability and use depend on the sustainability of the system or practices involved in their exploitation.  Most systems and practices adopted by farmers in food production most often are not constantly assessed for their impacts on the soil and its related resources as well as the quality of the environment; thus threatening the sustainability of the agricultural system.  This study was therefore designed to carry out a survey of the rural food production systems and practices adopted by farmers with a view to determining the effects of these systems on sustainable agriculture and environmental quality.  Two research questions and two related null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study.  A sample of 256 respondents made up of registered farmers, and extension workers were used for the study; a structured questionnaire was used for data collection while the data generated were analyzed using the mean, standard deviation, and t – test statistics.  The findings of the study revealed that rural food production system adopted revolved around shifting cultivation and related fallow systems, which have negative effects on sustainable food production and environmental quality.  Based on the findings, some recommendations were made.

Productivity and Technical Efficiency of Family Poultry Production in Kurmi local Government Area of Taraba State, Nigeria PDF
Aboki, E., A.A.U, Jongur, J.I, Onu
This study assessed the socio – economic characteristics and technical efficiency of family poultry production in Kurmi Local Government Area of Taraba state, Nigeria. The result of the study reveals that the respondents are relatively young with mean age of 44 years. Findings from the study showed that female constitutes 60% of the family poultry producers in the study area. The result also reveals that the main reason for rearing family poultry is for sales.The technical efficiency estimate showed that the technical efficiency of family poultry ranges between 0.29 and 0.84, with a mean of 0.63. This indicates that on the average, the respondents are 63% efficient in the use of combination of their inputs. Return on investment (ROI) is 0.76 meaning that family poultry is highly profitable. This high profitability should attract financing by lending institutions. The elasticity estimate of 3.18 indicates that the family poultry production is taking place at stage 1 (inefficient stage) in production curve. This study concludes that the output and technical efficiency of the family poultry production can be increased by the use of more feed, capital, medicine/vaccine and adoption of more innovations.

The Limitations and implications of Training and Visit (T&V) Extension System in Nigeria PDF
Y.N Musa, E. Aboki, I.A Audu
The paper reviews the limitations of the Training and Visit (T&V) system, which was vigorously promoted by the World Bank in the years 1975-1998 in over fifty (50) third world countries. The significant challenges facing the T&V system as discussed in this paper includes; poor linkages between research and extension, reduced frequency of regular training of extension staff and/or failure to hold such training(s), higher ratio of farmers -to- extension agent, increased use of mass media as a complimentary channel for technology diffusion along with the T&V effort and, high cost of implementing the system among other challenges. From the challenges highlighted, the paper deduced some implications for extension service delivery in Nigeria and concludes that development practitioners in Nigeria should always evaluate new approaches critically and, properly guide the Nigerian government to adopt only when such evaluation studies provide sufficient evidence that the nation has what it takes to fully implement and sustain the new approach.

What Determines the Frequency of Loan Demand in Credit Markets among Small Scale Agro based Enterprises in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria? An Empirical Analysis PDF
Ubon Asuquo Essien, Chukwuemeka John Arene, Noble Jackson Nweze
The study was designed to determine the frequency of loan demand in credit markets among Small Scale Agro based Enterprises in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. A multistage sampling technique was adopted in selecting 264 agro based enterprises and 96 agro based enterprises that accessed informal and formal credit through the use of structural questionnaire and oral interview. A total of 360 respondents selected were used for the study.  Structural characteristics of the enterprises were described using descriptive statistical tools such as percentages, means and frequencies. The poisson regression model was employed to examine the factors affecting frequency of informal and formal credit access by the enterprises. Poisson regression analyses showed that experience in borrowing, income, guarantor, social capital and non agro based income significantly influence frequency of informal credit access, whereas, education, Interest, collateral, and non-agro-based income significantly influence frequency of formal credit access. Education is a significant factor influencing frequency of formal credit demand; therefore, entrepreneurs should be encouraged to enroll in evening programmes, and should take advantage of the current free education policy of some of the state governments in the region. Agro-based entrepreneurs should be encouraged to form community based advocacy groups where groups act as a surety for lenders. This will enhance credit access and prompt repayment.

Durum Wheat Grain Quality Traits as Affected by Nitrogen Fertilization Sources under Mediterranean Rainfed Conditions PDF
Sameh BOUKEF, Chahine KARMOUS, Youssef TRIFA, Salah REZGUI
Nitrogen application, environmental variation and particularly water deficit and terminal heat that prevail during post grain filling period could significantly affect not only grain yield ability but also quality related traits of durum wheat. A field trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of two nitrogen sources applied at different rates ranging from 0 to 93.8 KgN-1 on yield and grain quality of three durum wheat cultivars. Increased N level from both nitrogen sources (ammonium sulfate nitrate: ASN and urea N) appeared to positively improve yield and grain quality. This effect was particularly significant when for N level superior to 40.2KgNha-1. The average yield increase under maximum N level ranged from 3.23 to 3.37tha-1for urea and ASN respectively. The cultivar Om Rabia appeared to better valorize nitrogen supply and was found associated with higher yielding ability of 1.78tha-1, greater test weight 78.90kg/hl, grain protein content 12.43%, and gluten content 15.20%. This cultivar showed reduced yellow berry of 7.43% under N optimum application. Greater improvements were obtained for ASN than urea for all measured traits. The percentage increases were 6.09% for GY, 2.92% for TW, 4.48% for GP, 5.64% for Gl and 6.88% for CP. These results support that nitrogen derived from ASN and when its application rate is superior to 40.2 KgNha-1 would promote grain yield and quality of durum wheat under rainfall conditions.

Estimating Technical Efficiency of Cotton Production in Yendi Municipality, Northern Ghana PDF
W. Adzawla, J. Fuseini, S.A Donkoh
Agriculture remains the kin pin of most African economies, including Ghana. In recent times the contribution of non-traditional export crops, including cotton, to foreign exchange earnings in Ghana has been quite significant. The aim of this study was to explore the social, economic and environmental factors influencing cotton production in Yendi Municipality in Northern Ghana. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 91 small holder cotton farmers in 8 communities in the Municipality. The data was collected during the 2011/12 cropping season and fitted into Translog stochastic frontier model. The one-stage maximum likelihood estimation was used to obtain the efficiency levels as well as the determinants of such efficiency levels. A SWOT analysis was carried out to assess the sustainability or otherwise of the cotton industry in the study area. Individual farm level technical efficiency ranged between 0.70 and 0.99 with a mean of 0.88. This was as a result of the agricultural intensification system made possible by the cotton company, Armajaro Ghana Ltd. However, in order to reap the full benefits of commercializing cotton production in the region, both farmers and the cotton companies must keep to their contractual agreement; while the latter should supply the inputs timely and pay the farmers promptly, the former should use the inputs for the intended purposes and pay back promptly. Above all, there should be land reforms to make land available for the expansion of cotton farms.

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