Volume 10, No. 1, 2021

Small Scale Cassava Producers’ Adaptation Strategies to Climate Variability in Anambra State, Nigeria
Anarah Samuel E, Osuafor Ogonna O, Umeh Onyebuchi J and Meludu Nkiru T
Int J Agri Biosci, 2021, 10(1): 1-5.
Abstract
Abstract

Extreme weather events such as floods, landslides and drought are caused by climate variation. Studies have shown that root crops such as cassava are most vulnerable to the impact of climate variability in recent times the weather/climate predictions have failed, thereby, misleading the farmers and causing disasters which have often led to a decrease in their food production. Climate which is the primary determinant of agricultural production, has often changed throughout earth’s history. The change continues even in the future that the recent global warming has influenced agriculture negatively in Nigeria, leading to decline in food in the nation. This paper therefore investigated the small-scale cassava producers’ adaptation strategies to climate variability in Anambra State. The specific objectives were to identify the indigenous and improved adaptation strategies used by small-scale cassava producers and ascertain sources of information on climate variability and adaptation strategies among small scale cassava producers in the study area. A Multi-stage sampling procedure was used in selecting the sample size. The first stage, one local government was selected from each of the four Agricultural zones in Anambra state purposively, because of their high rate of cassava production to give a total of four local government area in the study area. The second stage, two communities were randomly selected from each of the four local governments to give a total of eight communities. The third stage two villages were selected randomly from each community to give a total of sixteen villages. The last stage, random selection of eight farmers each from the sixteen villages to give a total of 128 farmers, which is the sample size. A total of 128 cassava producers were used for the study. From the findings of this study, small scale cassava producers the indigenous adaptation strategies highly employed by the cassava producers were planting of cover crops, mixed farming, change in tillage methods, diversification from non-farming to farming activities and the use of organic/farmyard/mulch material. In addition, the improved adaptation strategies highly used are improved crop variety, drought resistant varieties and drought tolerant varieties. In addition, the result show that, the producers in the state source of their farming information majorly obtain from extension agents and their fellow cassava producers. From the tests of hypotheses, it was found that there is a significant relationship between climate variability and production level. It was recommended that small scale cassava farmers should be Properly educated on climate variability should be made available to the farmers through extension agent and the use of both adaptation strategies should be adapted to curtail various effects of these vagaries of weather on production of cassava in the study areas.

Keywords: Adaptation strategies, Climate variability, Cassava producers.

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Correlation and Path Coefficient Analysis of Malt Barley (Hordeum distichon L.) Genotypes
Workineh Mekasa and Hussein Mohammed
Int J Agri Biosci, 2021, 10(1): 6-10.
Abstract
Abstract

The correlations and path coefficient were studied in 20 diverse genotypes of malt barley in order to understand the relationship and contribution of agronomic characters towards the grain yield. This field experiment was conducted in RCBD design with four replications at Bekoji and Kofele sub-stations of Kulumsa Agricultural Research Center, Southeastern Ethiopia. There was very strong, positive and significant correlation among quality related traits at genotypic level. Malt moisture content (0.821) and Sieve test (0.676) had strong positive correlations with malt extract. Grain yield was positively and significantly correlated with biomass yield and number of kernels per spike. Biomass yield (1.607), harvest index (1.103) and number of total tillers per plant (0.574) had strong and positive direct effect on grain yield at phenotypic level. Malt moisture content (0.725), sieve test (312), wort color (0.234) and malt protein content (0.158) had positive direct effect on malt extract. Therefore, tillers per plant, biomass yield, number of kernels per spike and sieve test can be used as selection criteria to improve grain yield and malt quality together, but cautiously taking grain protein during selection.

Keywords: Correlation, Path coefficient, Malt barley, Yield, Yield components.

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Economic Importance, Impacts and Possible Mitigation Measures of Aquatic Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes Martius)
Bogale Ayana and CA Nwankwo
Int J Agri Biosci, 2021, 10(1): 11-16.
Abstract
Abstract

Water hyacinth is one of invasive weed species which belongs to family Pontederiaceae which was characterized by a free-floating perennial aquatic weed and one of the major challenging problems in water bodies of the tropics and sub-tropics. Therefore, the aim of this article is to identify the distribution, impacts and beneficial effects as well as the possible management practices of water hyacinth. Water hyacinth was introduced in the water bodies of the Rift Valley in 68 years ago and currently, the weed is distributed Lake Tana, Lake Abaya, Lake Koka, Koka Dam in Ethiopia. The weed affected water resources, fisheries, transportation and social structure. The wide distribution and abundance of water hyacinth has led to decreased water availability and sustainable water biodiversity in Ethiopian lakes. Water hyacinth in water bodies and nearby areas of local stakeholder has negative impact on environment and also impact on aquatics biodiversity. In contrast to these, Water hyacinth is rich sources of different nutrients that provide feed for animals. Water hyacinth can be controlled by mechanically by machine or manual which was environmentally safe as compared to other methods. Physical control includes automatic mowers and dredgers. Biological method by using bio agents’ weevils which involves long term strategy and chemical involves by using herbicides 2,4-D, Diquat and Glyphosate that can be implemented by accomplished operator. Therefore, sustainable long term management strategies should include prevention in newly infested areas. To contain the further spread and buildup of this weed for future infestation, these weeds should be utilized for composting and feed purposes. Besides, extensive mass awareness and community campaign specially to uproot should be implemented. Therefore, it can be summarized that human intervention is considered current problem of water resource in the country and further study is needed to sustain the water resource to keep water hyacinth at economic thresh hold level.

Keywords: Caused, Dense mats, Problems, Reported, Water hyacinth.

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Role of Molecular Markers in Crop Improvement
Temesgen Begna
Int J Agri Biosci, 2021, 10(1): 17-26.
Abstract
Abstract

In the genomics era, advances in molecular biology have opened new opportunities to accelerate plant breeding processes and in overcoming the crop productivity constraints. Molecular markers have become important tools in the hands of plant breeders in marker assisted breeding and for enhancing the selection efficiency for various agronomic traits in precision plant breeding. The isolation, cloning and moving of genes from diverse biological sources into plant genomes holds promise to broaden the gene pool of crops and develop new plant varieties for specific traits that determine yield, quality, and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. New genomics tools will be of great value to support conventional breeding for sustainable food production especially under the climate change and meet demand of ever-growing human population. A noteworthy research in conventional breeding for several years has made the world self-sufficient in many respects. However, the ever-increasing population has alarmed food security in the world and attempts have been initiated to integrate modern biotechnology tools in conventional breeding to improve the most important crops. Regardless of its wider utilization and application worldwide, science and technology is playing a very important role in overcoming the potential problems of agriculture. The integration of conventional plant breeding with various biotechnological techniques advance crop genetic improvement and shortening the crop improvement cycle with desirable traits in order to satisfy the demand of people in both quantitative and qualitative. Molecular breeding implies the application of molecular biotechnologies, specifically molecular markers in combination with linkage maps and genomics are playing the key role to improve plant traits on the basis of genotypic assays. Genetic markers are the biological features that are determined by allelic forms of genes or genetic loci which can be transmitted from one generation to another. Generally, the world population is increasing alarmingly, but productivity is reduced because of several production challenges. Hence, conventional plant breeding method alone cannot address the serious challenges that world facing. Therefore, in order to overcome the food security problems, conventional plant breeding should be assisted and integrated with various biotechnology developments to hasten the crop genetic improvements. To ensure the rapid and advanced agricultural developmental within short period of time, the incorporation of molecular marker in plant breeding very relevant in the future world. Marker assisted breeding is not about the replacement of conventional breeding rather than integrating with it in order to make further improvement. There are various challenges in relation to the application of molecular markers because of its costs in large scale utilization especially in developing countries. The integration of marker assisted breeding into conventional breeding program is an optimistic strategy for crop improvement in the future.

Keywords: Molecular Marker; Germplasm; Sequence; Polymorphism.

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Technical Efficiency of Resources use in Yam Production among Small Scale Farmers in Delta State, Nigeria
Chisonum Michael, Onyemekonwu Raymond Chukwuka and Anarah Samuel Emeka
Int J Agri Biosci, 2021, 10(1): 27-32.
Abstract
Abstract

The study examined technical efficiency of yam production in Delta State of Nigeria and focused on the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents and focused on determination of the presence of technical efficiency and the factors contributing to technical efficiency. Primary data collected from a cross section of 208 respondents through the administration of 230 questionnaires and adopting the multistage sampling method were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the stochastic frontier production function. The results showed that males dominated yam production (93.3%), the respondents were ageing (X = 53 years) and majority of them were married (85.1%). They had low level of education with mean years of schooling of 7 years, were experienced in farming (X = 20 years) and cultivated large farm size (X = 2.0ha). There was presence of technical inefficiency effects in yam production, although technical efficiency was found to be high with a mean technical efficiency of 0.83 and with 79.3% of the respondents having technical efficiency of 0.80 and above. The educational level of the respondents, extension agent visit and household size were found to be the variables that contributed to technical efficiency achievement of the farmers. It was recommended that young school leavers be advised to take to the venture as they were found to contribute to technical efficiency achievements.

Keywords: Technical, Efficiency, Resource, Yam, Production.

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Determinants of Technology Adoption among Watermelon Farmers in Delta State, Nigeria
Onyemekonwu Raymond Chukwuka, Onemolease EA and Ehiwario Friday Akasiri
Int J Agri Biosci, 2021, 10(1): 33-39.
Abstract
Abstract

The adoption of appropriate improved technology by farmers is a key factor in the improvement of farmer’s production performance and their overall standard of living. The study examined the determinants of technology adoption among watermelon farmers in Delta State, Nigeria. Specifically, the study profiled the socio-economic characteristics of farmers engaged in watermelon production in Delta State, determine the watermelon farmers’ level of adoption of improved watermelon production technologies and examine the adoption constraints of watermelon farmers in Delta State. Multi-stage sampling technique comprising of purposive and Snow ball sampling was used to select 163 respondents. Data were collected with the use of questionnaire and interview schedule. Collected data were analysed using descriptive statistical tools such as frequency count, percentage and meanwhile was used to analyze the hypothesis. The result revealed the farmers were young (mean age 43 years), majorly male (73.01%), married (79.14%) and had formal education (64.42%). The mean farming experience of the respondents was 15 years with an average household size of 5 members while majority (68.7%) does not belong to farmer’s association. 66.26% of the respondents fell under the low adoption category while 33.74% fell under the high adoption category. The leading constraints to the adoption of improved watermelon production practices include no access to extension services (mean = 3.80), high cost of farm chemicals (mean = 3.67), inadequate credit/ finance (mean = 3.58) changes in climatic conditions (mean = 3.31). It concluded that the adoption of improved watermelon production technologies was low. The chi-square result revealed that significant relationship existed between respondents’ age (χ2 = 8.250), educational level (χ2 = 42.826), farming experience (χ2 = 14.115), household size (χ2 = 11.370), cropping pattern (χ2 = 35.810), farm size (χ2 = 10.143), membership of association (χ2 = 17.747), knowledge (χ2 = 106.377) and the adoption of watermelon production practices. These could be attributed to the several constraints identified in the study, which are capable of affecting the adoption of these technologies. It was recommended that the government, through the state ministry of agriculture should make agricultural extension agents available to the farmers. This will help address the challenges faced by the farmers in adopting improved watermelon production practices.

Keywords: Determinants, Technology, Adoption, Watermelon, Farmers, Delta State, Nigeria.

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Recent Advancement on the Technology of Enhancing Fertilizer Use Efficiency and Crop Productivity: A Review
Abdisa Mekonnen
Int J Agri Biosci, 2021, 10(1): 40-50.
Abstract
Abstract

Fertilizers play a significant role in securing the production of food crops around the world. In fact, it is estimated that fertilizers currently support 40-60% of all crop production currently. Meeting future food security targets requires the responsible use of fertilizer nutrients. The 4R Nutrient Stewardship guidelines were developed by the fertilizer industry as a process to guide fertilizer Best Management Practices (BMP) in all regions of the world. This approach was required to address the growing concern that fertilizers are applied indiscriminately to the detriment of the environment. Given that farmers purchase fertilizers at world prices in most regions, and these prices have been steadily increasing over time, most users are very cautious about the rates of nutrients they apply. To avoid unnecessary policy intervention by governments, the fertilizer industry needs to be unified in their promotion of BMPs that support improved nutrient use efficiency and environmental sustainability, while supporting the farmer’s profitability. This ultimately comes down to developing appropriate recommendations that match crop nutrient requirements fertilizer additions and minimize nutrient losses from fields. This lead to the 4R Nutrient Stewardship concept, applying the Right Source of nutrients, at the Right Rate, at the Right Time and in the Right Place. Right source means matching the fertilizer to the crop need and soil properties. A major part of source is balance between the various nutrients, a major challenge globally in improving nutrient use efficiency. Finally, some fertilizer products are preferred to others based on the soil properties, like pH. Right rate means matching the fertilizer applied to the crop need – simple as that. However, this is far from being a simple concept when you consider the variations in yield goals, previous crop management, crop residue management, influence of legume crops in rotation, etc. Adding too much fertilizer leads to residual nutrients in the soil and losses to the environment. Ultimately, striking a balance between the crop needs, environmental conditions and the farmer’s economic situation is required. Right time means making fertilizer nutrients available to the crop when they are needed. Nutrient use efficiency can be increased significantly when their availability is synchronized with crop demand. Split time of application, slow and controlled release fertilizer technology, stabilizers and inhibitors are just a few examples of how fertilizer nutrients can be better timed for efficient crop uptake. Right place means making every effort to keep nutrients where crops can use them. This is an issue which poses the greatest challenge in small holder agricultural systems, where most fertilizer is broadcast applied, and in many cases without incorporation. Research indicates that fertilizer placement can not only improve crop response, but also improve fertilizer use efficiency significantly by lowering nutrient application rates. Adaptations to non-mechanized agriculture have been made in certain regions which clearly support efforts to modify fertilizer placement as a best management practices.

Keywords: Nutrient use efficiency, 4R Nutrient Stewardship, best management practice (BMP).

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Performance of various Honey Bee Races: A Review
Melkam Aleme and CA Nwankwo
Int J Agri Biosci, 2021, 10(1): 51-54.
Abstract
Abstract

Honey bee races in Ethiopia distributed in corner side of every agro ecological parts which determined by the ecology, climatic conditions and other related factors. These colony have distinctive features that can be distinguished one another and have their own physical and morphological variations. The review summarizes the performance of honey bee which included the hygienic, honey yield, aggressiveness or temperament, absconding, foraging and swarming behavior of the performances of honey bee races in Ethiopia. The races in the lowland areas were likely more aggressive which deduced to high resistance to pests and disease than races dominated in the high land area. However, the production and productivity of the races could likely depend on the vegetation cover, management and edaphic factors of the surrounding environment. It endorses that the races would likely need to further research works in the perspectives of breeding among the different types of races.

Keywords: Honey bee race, Performance, Temperament

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