Vol 10, No 1

Table of Contents

Articles

Horticulture in Mountain Agro-Ecosystems of Uganda: Environmental and Socio-Economic Threats and Opportunities PDF
Bob Roga Nakileza
Horticultural crops have gained importance over the recent years as a strategy for addressing livelihood improvement particularly amongst both the rural and urban poor in high- and low- mountain areas. Mountain ecosystems in Uganda, however, are under pressure driven by increasing population, urbanisation and globalization.  This has resulted into widely reported environmental degradation. Environmental and social concerns are a reality that needs to be underpinned if sustainable use of these ecosystems is to be achieved. This paper examined the socio-ecological problems, challenges posed by increased shift to horticultural farming and opportunities in mountain ecosystems of Uganda, using a case study of Mt Elgon. Data collection was obtained largely through household surveys, focus group discussions and field observations. Results revealed that household economic gain and unsustainable traditional crop production systems were the main drivers for the recent shift to intensive horticultural system. These changes have caused environmental and social concerns particularly accelerated erosion, health risks associated with increased use of chemical inputs, and conflict largely attributed to encroachment on conservation areas for farming and staking materials.  The study recommends for pro-active measures (e.g. increased investment in horticultural value chain) in mitigating environmental and social problems if future sustainability of the mountain ecosystems are to be attained.

The Influence of Toxins in Disease Symptom Initiation in Plants: A Review PDF
F. E. Akpaninyang, E. U. Opara
The concept that plant pathogens cause disease by producing toxic substances dates back about a century. Evidence for its general validity, however, has accumulated only recently. The difficulty has been that most plant disease symptoms are the result of a complex interplay of several factors. Some pathogens, in addition to producing one or more toxins, may also excrete enzymes which degrade cell walls, causing tissue disorganization; they may destroy plant hormones, causing abnormal growth of the host; or they may physically block the water-conducting vessels of the host by their prolific growth or by production of viscous polysaccharides. Because of this complexity, proof of the role of a toxin as one of several interacting factors causing a disease symptom is often difficult to obtain, even though the presence of toxic substances in cultures of most plant pathogens is easily demonstrated. Despite these problems, our growing knowledge of the biochemistry of symptom causation clearly establishes the role of toxins as a dominant one in most plant diseases.

Alternate Solutions Towards Sustainable Irrigated Agriculture in Ghana: Review of Literature PDF
Henry Mensah, Bachar Ibrahim

Irrigated agriculture management is still not effective in Ghana. The growing recognition of irrigation problems and its impact on the economy and environment have prompted the government of Ghana to implement plans and strategies to encourage new developments and technologies to promote sustainable irrigated agriculture. The study aims at identifying sustainable ways in promoting irrigated agriculture in Ghana. literature search and thematic analysis of the literature were used and the themes identified provide the basis for the study. The results were that sustainability can be achieved if there is effective WUA management, strong irrigation facility, effective farmers training, improving extension capacity to deliver, sustainable irrigation techniques and effective collaboration. In conclusion, irrigation sectors should take full advantage of abundant water resource in Ghana and ensure that irrigation is handled in a way that protects the environment for the present generation without compromising the benefits of the future generations.

Defence Mechanisms in Plants Against Invading Plant Pathogenic Microbes in Nigeria PDF
Nnenna G. Olori-Great, Emma U. Opara
Plant cells consist of cell wall, cell membranes, and cytoplasm, which contains the nucleus and various organelles and all the substances for which the plant pathogens have as their targets. These pathogens attack plants because during their evolutionary development they have acquired the ability to live off the substances manufactured by the host plants, and some of the pathogens depend on these substances for their development and survival. Many substances are contained in the protoplast of the plant cells, and if pathogens are to gain access to them they must first overcome the physical barrier presented by the host cuticle and/or cell walls. Plants defend themselves against invading plant pathogens by a combination of weapons from two major barriers: structural characteristics that act as physical barriers and inhibit the pathogen from gaining entrance and also from spreading through the plant. Secondly through biochemical reactions that take place in the cells and tissues of the host plant and produce substances that are either toxic to the pathogen or create conditions that inhibit growth of the pathogen in the plant cells and thus defend plants. These actions against invading pathogen are controlled directly or indirectly by genetic materials (gene) of the host plants.

Technical Efficiency in Value Addition to Cassava: A Case of Cassava-Garri Processing in Lagos State, Nigeria PDF
F.O. Aminu, H.O. Rosulu, A.S.O. Toku, O.B. Dinyo, E.C. Akhigbe
The study examined the technical efficiency in garri processing in Lagos State, Nigeria. Data used for the study were obtained using structured questionnaire administered to 100 randomly selected cassava-garri processors in Epe Local Government Areas of the state. Data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics, Likert scale, gross margin analysis, stochastic frontier production function. Findings revealed that majority of the sampled processors were women with mean age of 38.7years. The benefit cost ratio of 1.31 implies that for every ₦1 invested in processing cassava to garri, a return of ₦1.31 and a profit of ₦0.31 were realised. The result of the stochastic frontier analysis revealed that costs of cassava tubers, labour and land had significant influence on garri output while age, gender, household size and membership of cooperative association were the socio-economic attributes determining the technical efficiency of the respondents in the study area. Given the profitability status of the cassava-garri processors in the study area, it can be concluded that cassava-garri processing enterprise is a profitable and viable enterprise which can drive high income generation for the people to earn a living vis-à-vis boast food production and employment opportunities in the study area as well as the state.



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