Vol 12, No 1

Table of Contents

  1. Research Article
    Evaluation of the National Special Programme on Food Security (SPFS) in Plateau State, Nigeria PDF
    Panwal Ephraim Fomyol, L.A. Tata
    The study was conducted to evaluate performance of National Special Programme for Food Security Programme in Plateau state. The specific objectives are; examine the socio-economic characteristics of the beneficiaries, determine and analyze the technical efficiency in resource use of the beneficiaries, determine costs and returns of Food crops of the beneficiaries (Farmers) and examine and ascertain the determinants of the productivity of the major crops in the study area. Linear production function gave an R2 value of about 50% and F- values of about 13.6. the significance of the F-value also point to the fact that the regressors were collectively responsible for the variation in output. The significant of the calculated Z "“ statistics at (p<0.05) also indicated that the beneficiary farmers is statistically profitable in the study are. Other problems such as inadequate funding, late supply of farm inputs and poor marketing outlets are major constraints facing NSPFS beneficiary farmers.

  2. Research Article
    Effects of Tillage Practices, Cropping Systems and Organic Inputs on Soil Nutrient Content in Machakos County PDF
    G.N. Karuku, R.N. Onwonga, V. M. Kathumo
    Low use efficiencies of inorganic fertilizers coupled with their rising costs has diverted attention of farmers towards organic sources. A study was conducted in Yatta sub-county between October 2012 to February 2013 short rains and April-August 2013 long rainy seasons to evaluate the how tillage, cropping and organic inputs influenced soil nutrient status. A Randomized Complete Block Design with a split-split plot arrangement replicated three times was used. The main plots were tillage practices (TP): Split-plots comprised the cropping systems (CS) while split-split plots were organic inputs, plus the Control. The test crops were sorghum and sweet potatoes (Impomea batata) with Dolichos (Dolichos lablab) and chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) added either as intercrops or in rotation. Soil was randomly sampled at 0-30cm depth at the onset of the experiment and at maturity of test crop for NPK and % OC analysis. Significant (P≤0.05) high level of K (1.91 Cmol/+kg), available P (51.45 ppm), Total N (0.19%) and OC (2.19%), in combined TR, intercrop sorghum/chickpea with application of MRP+FYM during SRS of 2012 compared to the other treatment combinations was observed. Comparing different organic inputs, tillage practices and cropping systems combined TR, intercrop of sorghum/chickpea and MRP+FYM and FYM increased the soil nutrients status. In conclusion, soil organic inputs such as MPR and FYM are viable alternatives to inorganic fertilizers for improving the soil nutrient status. The study therefore recommends incorporation of the organic inputs in combination with TR, intercropping with legumes in their cropping systems to improve soil health and resilience.

  3. Research Article
    Constraints on Sustainable Growth in Agricultural Production in the Dry Zone of Myanmar PDF
    Hnin Ei Win, Said Qasim, Rajendra Prasad Shrestha
    The objective of the study was to investigate changes in crop productivity and constraints in sustainable agricultural production in the area under Lat Pan Chay Paw irrigation projects located in Nyaung Oo township of dry zone of Myanmar. Questionnaire, key informant interview and focus group discussions were used to collect the data. The findings of the study showed that double and triple cropping systems were the major cropping systems in areas where irrigation water was accessed from the canal while single cropping was dominant in areas where irrigation water was accessed from private open wells. The farmers who used irrigation water from the canals were more likely to make profit through intensive agriculture than those from open wells. The major constraints in agricultural production in the study sites were labor scarcity and financial problems. Moreover, irrigation water shortage and conflicts in sharing of irrigation water were main issues in canal irrigated areas while high irrigation costs prevailed in private open wells. Therefore, this study recommends the water use efficiency, uniform distribution of water and formulation of better irrigation schedules for sustainable agricultural production.

  4. Research Article
    Effect of Lime, N and P Salts on Nitrogen Mineralization, Nitrification Process and Priming Effect in Three Soil Types, Andosols, Luvisols and Ferralsols PDF
    G.N. Karuku
    Incubation studies were conducted to determine the effect of lime at the rate of 10tons ha-1, Diammonium phosphate and Ammonium sulphate at 200kgha-1and Triple Superphosphate at 100kg ha-1 on nitrogen mineralization, nitrification process and priming effect. Three soil types were used namely luvisols from semi-arid Katumani, andosol and ferralsols from sub-humid Gituamba and Kitale, respectively. The soils were selected on types, pH, soil organic carbon content, land use and Climate. The soils were incubated aerobically in polythene bags for 120 days at room temperature and mineral N determined at specified periods during the experiment. Mineralized N was significantly higher (p≤0.05) under the various treatments compared to the control except for Kitale ferralsols. In the ferralsols, liming though it increased N mineralization was not significant compared to the control. Addition of salts increased production of mineral N suggesting a priming effect where DAP, AS and TSP were added. Addition of TSP and DAP increased N mineralization and was attributed to steady increase in microbial biomass as a result of P. The N mineralization rates were higher in the topsoil compared to the subsoil with the Andosols registering highest amounts released. Nitrate production was positively correlated with soil pH in Gituamba andosols only and this could be attributed to presence of acid adopted strains which are active at low pH levels.

  5. Research Article
    Hatchability of Fertile Eggs in Poultry Industry PDF
    Onyinye C. Ogbu, Mary A. Oguike
    Hatchability is a trait of major economic importance on the poultry industry, because it has a strong effect on chick output. For poultry production at all scales to operate, it is solely dependent on regular or continuous supply of day old chicks. Besides egg cannot hatch, if they are not fertile. Hence the various factors which can influence the hatchability of a fertile egg in a contemporary situation includes environment of the egg, nutrients for the poultry, the laying bird, the egg itself, and tools used for hatchability processes. These factors bring about problems associated with poor hatchability like early embryonic death, egg rots, dead- in- shell chicks, prolonged pre-incubation storage, incubators and hatcheries malfunctions. Therefore to ensure successful production of day old chicks through successful, and prompt hatchability of fertile eggs, proper selection, management of breeding stocks, also improved handling of fertile eggs and correct incubating process are veritable tools.

  6. Research Article
    Land Use Change and Its Impact on Local People's Livelihood: A Case Study in Mountain Popa Area of Central Myanmar PDF
    Thiri Hmwe Maung, Rajendra P. Shrestha, Said Qasim
    This study was conducted to explore changes in land use and its impact on rural livelihoods in mountain Popa area of central Myanmar. Industrialization and land modification by the rural households have brought changes in land use of the study area. Results revealed that the percentage of forest area and water bodies were significantly decreased but the agricultural land area increased from 2008 to 2014. Land use change was detected by using Landsat ETM images. Both positive and negative effects of land use changes were found on the local people. Industrialization created job opportunities for the local people and increased accessibility and physical assets but the natural assets and financial assets of local people significantly decreased for the study period. Agroforestry was found to increase the social and natural assets of the local people. The challenges to improve the local people livelihood included lack of adequate capital, lack of trainings and inadequate technical support. The study recommends that the land use policy should consider local people's indigenous rights to balance the development initiatives of the government.