Vol 6, No 1

Table of Contents

Articles

Factors that Influenced the Effectiveness of Transfer of Technology (TOT) Programme among Rubber Small Holder in Malaysia PDF
A. Nalini, M.T. Izah, A.I. Malik, W.M. Wan Musa
This study aimed to determine the factors that influence the effectiveness of TOT programme among rubber small holders in Terengganu, Malaysia.  200 respondents were involved in the study from seven districts of Terengganu, namely Kuala Terengganu, Maran, Besut, Setiu, Hulu Terengganu, Dungun and Kemaman. Multiple regression was employed. Six factors were employed as independent variables: Understanding about technology, involvement in TOT programmes in group category, involvement in TOT programmes in individual category, effective of TOT programmes in group category, effective of TOT programmes in individual category and frequency of contacts between extension agents with smallholders. The results of the study revealed that all these variables had a positive significant relationship with the effectiveness of technology transfer. These findings could be used by relevant authorities and organizations to plan more comprehensive and strategic programmes in technology transfer activities to rubber smallholders in Malaysia.

Effects of Arable Land Tenure and Use on Environmental Sustainability in North-Central Nigeria PDF
P.T. Tsue, N.J. Nweze, C.U. Okoye
The study analysed the effects of arable land tenure and use on sustainability of the environment in North-central Nigeria. Multistage sampling technique was adopted to select 356 respondents for the studywith the aid of a well structured questionnaire and analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics.It was found that land acquisition was predominantly (47.5%) through inheritance. The result of environmental sustainability index (ESI) showed an average score of 16.38 and only farmers from Kogi (16.83) and Plateau (18.44) States in the study area had values above the average. Furthermore, the result of the analysis of variance showed a significant difference (F = 28.28; p < 0.01) in the ESI among the three States. A positive coefficient of education of household heads (0.40), farming experience (0.05), extension contact (0.07), crop diversification (0.34), irrigation use (3.89), land tenure security (0.82), tree planting (3.13) and quantity of fertilizer used (0.35) implied increase in environmental sustainability with increase in these variables. However, population density (-0.19) reduced environmental sustainability. It was concluded that land tenure security impacted substantially on the increase in environmental sustainability and that land use, coupled with management practices is key instrument for achieving environmental security. It was recommended that, Government should establish a more effective and efficient arable land title registration system that would enhance individual tenure security to the arable land.

Determinants of Technical Efficiency among Rice Farmers in Kogi State, Nigeria PDF
O.E. Ataboh, J.C. Umeh, P.T. Tsue
The study used a stochastic production frontier analysis to analyze the determinants of technical efficiency among rice farmers in Kogi State, Nigeria. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select a sample size of 288 rice farmers in Kogi State through a well structured questionnaire. The study noted that farm size, seed and fertilizer were the most important factors increasing rice productivity. Also, the technical efficiency of rice farmers varied due to the presence of technical inefficiency with the mean efficiency value of 0.54 implying that about 46% of rice output is lost due to inefficiency on the part of farmers. Variables such as age (-0.05), household size (-2.38), and the use of improved variety (-0.10) caused an increase in technical efficiency of farmers. The productivity of the factors could be improved by expanding the farmsize, increasing the quantity of seed, fertilizer use and increasing  the level of labour while alternative sources of agrochemicals be employed by farmers in other to boost production. The farmers should be encouraged to use improved varieties of rice in order to increase their technical efficiency.

Control of Posthavest Rot of Sweeetpotato (Ipomoea batatas Lam.) Tuber in Vitro and in Vivo PDF
Opara Emma Umunna, Agugo Boniface Anselem
A laboratory experiment was conducted at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, to determine the inhibition potentials of some indigenous medicinal plants and their essential oils against some plant pathogens associated with sweet potato soft rot in vitro and in vivo. The essential oils were extracted from five indigenous medicinal plants; A. indica (seeds), Z. officinale (rhizome), C. citratus, C. sineensis (peels) and O. gratissimum (leaves) and four   species were isolated from diseased tubers, Erwinia, Flavobacteria, Ralstonia, and Bacillus and later subjected to pathogenicity tests based on their respective ability to cause rot in healthy sweet potato tubers. The experiment was replicated four times using Completely Randomized Design (CRD). Erwinia, Ralstonia and Flavobacteria were positive as pathogens, while Bacillus spp was discarded as a non pathogenic organism on potato tuber. Data obtained showed that in the in vitro trials, all the extract and oils assayed inhibited growth of the pathogens in culture to varying degree when compared with that of the control (sterile water). Z. officinale oil was however found to be most effective in the inhibition of Erwinia pathogen with diameter of 19.33 mm while the control had the least (0.00 mm). In the in vivo experiment, C. citratus and A. indica performed much better than oil extracts of the rest and sterile water (P≥0.05). It was therefore concluded that there was a variation in the potency of the extract oils as well as in the sensitivity pattern of the test organisms. The potentials of the plant essential oils to serve as possible bio-control and antimicrobial agents for bacterial soft rot of sweet potato were thus demonstrated in this trial.

Global Food Security: An Agricultural Perspective PDF
Christos Stefanis
Food security has always been very crucial issue to human civilizations through the ages. In the last decades there is a growing concern about the impacts of economic development/crisis and population growth on global food security and food production. The objective of this review was to systematically summarize the food security definitions, global food security concept and finally to highlight the role that agriculture has to play not only in feeding the world but also in sustainability and ecosystem services at global scale. To identify articles relevant to our topic we searched three scientific databases -Pub Med, Scopus and Science Direct- for English-language publications from January 2000 to April 2013. A review of the literature identified 1945 articles, but after screening by titles, abstracts and full papers, only 35 papers were selected. These papers identified a wide range of factors associated with food security and agriculture. It is a great challenge to feed nine billion people in the world and this challenge requires changes not only in agriculture production but also in global food security agenda for the next decades.

Effect of Compost on Agro-Botanical Components Responsible for Rice (Oryza sativa)Grain Yield in Southwestern Nigeria PDF
O.A. Dada, A.O. Togun, J.A. Adediran, F.E. Nwilene
Rice ranks first among cereal food crops with direct human consumption. The production trend is at a far distant behind its demand especially in West Africa sub-region. In spite of dissemination and adoption of diverse improved rice varieties the impact on increase in grain yield on nutrient limiting soil is marginal. Therefore this study was conducted to examine morphological traits that has direct link with sink capacity. The study was conducted over two seasons each in a typical derived savannah and humid rain forest agro-ecologies. The trial was a split plot design laid out in a randomized complete block with three replicates. The main plots were three upland rice cultivars (Ofada, NERICA 1 and NERICA 2) while the sub-plots were four compost rates (0, 4, 8 and 12 t ha-1) and 90kg ha-1 NPK (20-10-10) fertilizer. NERICA 1 had the highest grain yield (5.57t ha-1) in plots fertilized with NPK but not significantly (p> 0.05) different from yield obtained in NERICA 2 (4.95t ha-1)and Ofada (4.52t ha-1) plots augmented with 8t ha-1 compost in derived savannah. Similarly in humid rainforest, NERICA 2 had the highest grain yield (7.40t ha-1) on NPK fertilized plots but not significantly different from NERICA 1 and 2 cultivars (5.31 and 5.55t ha-1) augmented with 4t ha-1 or Ofada (5.90t ha-1) augmented with 8 t ha-1compost. Number of leaves, plant height and leaf area were significantly associated with grain yield. Three morphological and five sink capacity characters contributed 92% to total grain yield (tha-1). Residual effect of compost had no significant (p> 0.05) effect in improving growth or grain yield of upland rice on soil with marginal nutrient.

Evaluation of the Viewpoint of Villagers in Ab Shirin Region of Kashan City About the Role of Extension Programs in Agricultural Development and Poverty Reduction Through the Provision of Low-Interest Credit PDF
Peyman Falsafi, Somayeh Jangchi Kashani, Marjan Parsmehr
Agriculture can be considered one of the most important economic sectors, which has allocated to itself a significant percentage of the employees. So pay attention to this part of the economy and great cortex of workers and also development and improvement of its current is unavoidable. However, agricultural development depends on the backing of the government and organizations involved, because low-income segments account for most agricultural workers. Low-interest financing is one way of empowering low-income segments and is meant to provide loans with small amounts and without collateral to these classes that person is obliged to repay them in the short-term. Hence, the promotional schedule for the appropriate use of credits to reduce poverty and agricultural development is inevitable. The purpose of this study is evaluation of the viewpoint of villagers in the Ab shirin region of Kashan city about the role of extension programs in agricultural development and poverty reduction through the provision of low-interest credit that is done using the descriptive – correlation. The statistical population of this study is about 1296 people in the rural area of Ab Shirin in Kashan city, that 144 of them were selected as sample by using Cochran formula. A self-designed questionnaire was used for data collection. The questionnaire's validity was applied with business experts Agricultural Extension and Education and Cronbach's alpha test was approved about 89 percent. Reliability of the research is obtained by using SPSS software. The results showed that willingness of farmers to use the funds provided by the Agricultural Bank is positive. Based on the results, there is a significant relationship between impacts of extension programs the proper use of the funds provided by the government to reduce poverty.

On the Risk of Stepping into a Cowpat when Crossing a Pasture PDF
Benjamin Mayer
Stepping into a cowpat is a common nuisance for millions of farmers around the globe. Due to a rising demand for meat as a consequence of population growth and the desire for species-appropriate husbandry, huge amounts of cow pastures are accessed to meet these requirements. As a result, the frequency of unwelcomed missteps increases. To investigate the risk of an unpleasant encounter with a cow’s legacy, a simulation study has been conducted on the basis of two-dimensional random walks, incorporating various scenarios of different shoe sizes, step lengths, number of steps and number of cowpats. The length of a random walk did not affect the mean number of steps into a cowpat (p=0.964). On average, people with smallest investigated shoe size had 8.9 (SD 5.8) missteps less than those with largest shoe size. The number of missteps decreases if the length of a crossing walk increases, moreover misstep frequency shows some kind of an asymptotic behaviour. Crossing cow pastures without explicitly watching each step does not require to keep the walk preferably short in order to minimize the risk of stepping into a cowpat. The more cowpats on a pasture are, the more beneficial is it to have small feet.



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