Volume 6, No. 5, 2017
|Reliability Studies of Six Evapotranspiration Models for Awka in South Eastern Nigeria
Anyanwu VK, Egwuonwu CC, Okorafor OO and Chikwue MI
Inter J Agri Biosci, 2017, 6(5): 227-230.
AbstractFull text pdf
This research estimates reference evapotranspiration (RET) for Awka, in south-Eastern Nigerian from 1990-2010 using six evapotranspiration namely Penman modified (PM), Priestly-Taylor (PT), Blaney-Morrin Nigeria (BMN), Jensen-Haise (JH), Hargreaves-Samani (HS) and Thornthwaite (TH) models. The Penman Modified model was used as a standard or control for comparison in evaluating the other five empirical models. The mean annual RET estimate by Penman Modified model was found to be 1109.2 mm, while the other five models were found to be 580.9 mm (PT), 1609.6 mm (BMN), 562.0 mm (JH), 1678.6 mm (HS) and 2006.8 mm (TH) respectively. It was observed that high wind speed and intense heat terrain influenced weather parameters generating RET within the study area. Penman Modified Model (PM) was used to develop correction factors for the best three models. The best RET estimates for Awka station were given by BMN, HS and TH models, from the statistical regression analysis Priestly-Taylor (PT) constantly showed the highest T-scores and lowest Root Mean Square Error (RMSE). Although, there were discrepancies, good correlation was predicted for the RET by the temperature based models, while deviation for the station was seen by Priestly-Taylor and Jensen-Haise due to their dependence on radiation.
Keywords: Reliability, Studies, Six evapotranspiration, Models, Awka, Southeastern, Nigeria
|Strengthening Forage Seed Multiplication and Supply Systems through Farmers’-Based Seed Production in the Central Highlands of Ethiopia
Gezahagn Kebede, Fekede Feyissa, Getnet Assefa, Alemayehu Mengistu, Muluneh Minta and Mamaru Tesfaye
Inter J Agri Biosci, 2017, 6(5): 231-237.
AbstractFull text pdf
Though Ethiopia is one of the sub-Saharan African countries owning huge livestock population, productivity is one of the lowest in Africa. Among the various constraints to livestock production, problems related to feed shortage due to unavailability of planting materials are the most remarkable ones. As an alternate option, Holetta Agricultural Research Center in collaboration with ASARECA had undertaken forage seed research works to strengthen seed multiplication and supply systems through farmers based seed production in the central highlands of Ethiopia during the project period (2009-2011). In the activities of on-station forage seed production, the center produced 9.3 tons of seeds of different forage species within the last three years (2009-2011). Moreover, participatory farmers based forage seed production had been done during the project period. Consequently, a total of 61 farmers were selected from seven districts for oats seed production from which four districts had successfully produced quality seeds during 2010/11. The seed yield ranged from 0.53 to 1.20 ton ha-1 with an average yield of 0.68 ton ha-1, owing to variation in climatic, edaphic and management factors. A total of 106 participant farmers were also selected from eight districts and a total of 29.0 tones of oats seed produced during 2011/12. During the project period, a total of 2.7 tons of seeds of different forage species and 61,100 seedlings/root splits of tree lucerne, fodder beet and Napier grass were distributed to various stakeholders. Trainings on seed production of improved forage crops and post harvest handling of forage seeds were also given to farmers, development agents and dairy unions and the trainees visited forage field and laboratory of Holetta Agricultural Research Center to enhance their awareness on forage seed production and post harvest handling. Generally, the current situation indicated that forage seed demand is very high, but the supply is too weak and unsustainable. Therefore, expanding informal seed production under small scale farmers’ field conditions in selected potential areas could be one of the practical options to mitigate forage seed shortage. Moreover, continuous trainings should be given to farmers to improve their knowledge and skills on quality seed production and management. The present study generally indicated that the possibility of farmers involvement on forage seed production in order to alleviate seed scarcity problem of the country.
Keywords: Annual and perennial forage, Forage seed yield, Seed distribution, Seed production
|Descriptions and Characteristics of Cultivated Forage Crops Growing under Different Agro-Ecological Zones in Ethiopia
Alemayehu Mengistu, Gezahagn Kebede, Getnet Assefa and Fekede Feyissa
Inter J Agri Biosci, 2017, 6(5): 238-247.
AbstractFull text pdf
Since Ethiopia is known to be the centre of origin and diversity for a number of domesticated crops, it is also known to be the centre of diversity for pasture and forage species. Over the past five decades several forage crops have been tested in different agro-ecological zones (AEZs), and considerable efforts have been made to test the adaptability of different species of forage crops under varying agro-ecological conditions. As a result, various adaptable and high yielding fodder species belonging to grasses, herbaceous legumes and browse trees have been identified and recommended for different AEZs of the country. The key principles for selecting improved forage species and their cultivars focus on their ability to persist under normal management conditions and produce large quantities of high quality forage and seed yields. Ease of establishment is other important factors to be considered during assessment of cultivars for selection. Species with different plant forms and modes of reproduction should also be selected for each AEZ to maximize the opportunities for integrating improved forages into different farming systems and ecological niches. When assessing growth rates and productivity, it is important to understand the life cycle and growth habits of each species and cultivar. Because the ultimate objective of forage production is to increase the quantity of livestock forage, qualitative aspects of forages should also be considered during selection and assessment of new forages. Improved grasses, many of them selected from other parts of Africa, have better productivity, palatability and nutrient characteristics that make them desirable for inclusion in improved forage production programs. On the other hand, herbaceous forage legumes are used in undersowing, intercropping, oversowing/grazing areas, improvement of stock exclusion areas, and in mixed pasture establishment. Similarly, tree legumes are extremely important elements in improved forage production programs because of their productivity and multi-purpose uses. Apart from large quantities of quality forage, browse legumes have deep rooting systems to increase their productivity during the dry season and they produce other products such as fuel wood, construction timber, seeds and bee products. Generally, the introduced improved forage crops yield is higher than the naturally occurring swards and has higher nutritional value. In addition the length of the productive season is longer for cultivated pastures than for native pastures, which provides an opportunity for dairy and fattening production to develop and use pasture and forage on a large scale.
Keywords: Fodder trees, Forage grasses, Herbaceous forage legumes, Forage crops, Ethiopia
|Effects of Feeding Millet Meal Diet at Varying Levels of Inclusion on the Reproductive Performance of Breeder Snails Archachatina marginata Reared Intensively
Eze JN, Amata IA and Ahmed MA
Inter J Agri Biosci, 2017, 6(5): 248-251.
AbstractFull text pdf
This research was conducted to determine the effect of millet meal fed to breeder snails at varying levels of inclusion 3.0, 3.2 and 3.4kcal/kg. The snails were eight (8) months old each as the experiment lasted for 10 weeks. Thirty-six (36) breeder snails were randomly selected into three (3) groups of twelve (12) snails per treatment, which were replicated three (3) times. The parameters measured were growths performance, feed intake, feed conversion ratio and reproductive characteristics. Data collected were subjected to one way analysis of variance in a completely randomized design. Significant differences among means of treatment were separated with Duncan’s Multiple Range Test at 5% level of probability using (SAS 2011). The study revealed that snails fed 3.4 kcal/kg of millet meal supported higher final body weight (108.80±0.71), body weight gain (9.04±0.71), number of eggs laid (17.44±0.53), percentage egg hatchability (88.02±1.24), percentage egg fertility (78.64±2.11). There were no significant differences recorded in the final shell circumference, shell circumference gain, final shell length and shell length gain which could be attributed to the slow rate of snail.
Keywords: Millet meal diet, Reproductive performance, Breeder snail
|Coffee Weed Management Review in South West Ethiopia
Inter J Agri Biosci, 2017, 6(5): 252-257.
AbstractFull text pdf
In Ethiopia, coffee grows at various altitudes, ranging from 500–2600 m and coffee production system is broadly grouped into four on the basis of biological diversity of the species and level of management, namely, forest, semi-forest, garden and plantation coffee. The coffee growing areas characterized by high rainfall and suitable temperatures and edaphic condition encourage the growth of diverse weed species ranging from abundant seed producing annuals, to hard-to-control rhizomatous and stoloniferous perennial grasses and sedges. As a result, coffee yield and quality is seriously reduced and weed control is one of the major cultural operations, which entail high cost. Coffee can seriously suffer from weed competition and result obtained from loss assessment studies have revealed that yield loss can reach as high as 65% depending on the type of weeds and the frequency of weeding operations. According to surveys results showed that more than 63 species from 23 families of weeds were identified. In spite of the divergent ecologies and production systems under which coffee is grown, weed control practices are more or less the same in all coffee growing areas and include manual slashing and digging, mulching, shading, cover cropping using leguminous crops and application of synthetic herbicides. Mostly slashing using the bushman knife usually wounds the coffee tree predisposing it to a fungal disease caused by Gibberella xylarioides, which ultimately kills the coffee tree. Growing cover crops such as Desmodium sp. is recommended for the management of coffee wilt disease as it is very efficient in suppressing weeds. Integrated Weed Management (IWM) is however, the most appreciated and recommended practice for controlling weeds and tracheomycosis in coffee, because it is environmentally sound, economically viable and socially acceptable practice for sustainable coffee production.
Keywords: Coffee, Coffee weed species, Weeds management, Coffee wilt disease
|Ethno-Botanical Survey of Taro (Colocasia esculenta) in Bench Ethnic Group, Bench Maji Zone, Ethiopia
Belachew Garedew and Aklilu Ayiza
Inter J Agri Biosci, 2017, 6(5): 258-264.
AbstractFull text pdf
Taro is belongs to Araceae family, herbaceous plants grown in moist habitat as staple food in southern and southwest parts of Ethiopia that produce underground corm/tubers or aerial leaves. This research was developed with objective of identifying the growable habitat, diversity of varieties and potential production of taro (Colocasia esculenta) in Bench ethnic groups, Bench Maji Zone, Ethiopia. A total of 122 informants were selected from eight Kebeles using purposive and random sampling method. The reliable data were collected from households using semi-structured questionnaires, focus group discussions and field observations which were analyzed by using excel spreadsheet and descriptive statistics. A total of four different types of taro varieties (Backa/Keny godere, Boka, Dalus and Gorse) were recorded from the districts. Taros were identified having significant values for the people as human food accounts 100% followed by market value 62.29% and others too. The usable parts of taro for human consumption purposes was tuber account 100% and around 14.92% of young leaves used for food and other purposes. The corms are underground thickened edible part of taro. Farmers’ indigenous experience on production of taro crops in the district was observed to be remarkable. Therefore, this knowledge of practice by farmers must be kept and supported by stakeholders to investigate the productive variety and further improved production and market linkage mechanisms with central.
Keywords: Cultivation, Ethnobotany, Food security, Market Value, Production, Varieties of taro
|Onion (Allium cepa L.) Yield Improvement Progress in Ethiopia: A Review
Habtamu Gudisa Megersa
Inter J Agri Biosci, 2017, 6(5): 265-271.
AbstractFull text pdf
Onion is an important vegetable crop, which has produced worldwide including of Ethiopia for its daily uses and economic benefits. The beginning of its production was traced back to the introduction of planting material from Sudanese and recently it has produced intensively and by now smallholder farmers in most parts of the country produces the crop. Despite to its lower productivity, which brings below the world average, onion is becoming as the sources of livelihood for many peoples who have engaged in the production and trading. The main reason for this lower productivity of the crop is most probably due to lack of improved onion cultivars, inappropriate agronomic practices and a little-given attention to the crop production. Hence, most of the grower uses the planting material that has obtained from their local markets, from semi-formal seed producers and from imported seeds (not tested for its quality) which are inferior in yield, easily susceptible to diseases and insect pests and none adapted to wider agro-ecologies. Currently, therefore, the absence of an authorized body that produces and distributes the improved onion seed materials at the country level is the main bottleneck problem of the sector due to onion is a cross-pollinated crop and difficult to maintain its genetic integrity. However, the area under cultivation is increasing from time to time both under rain feed and irrigation conditions due to its economic profitability. Melkasa agricultural research center, EIAR, has released and recommended different onion varieties for different agro-ecologies of Ethiopia and now it is under production progress in some parts of the country. Also, an inevitable yield and yield component improvement activities including of plant nutrient management, crop water requirements and scheduling programs, plant population densities, and disease and insect pest control systems were identified and now carrying on at different research centers and higher learning institutes. Therefore, this paper mainly focuses on the work done by onion improvements practices in the country and its future progress.
Keywords: Onion Bulb, Onion Seed, Onion Varieties, Production, Productivity