Vol. 1 No. 5; September 2012

International Journal of Applied Research and Technology

   ISSN 2277-0585

 Vol. 1, No. 5      |        September 2012

 Cover Page

  Table of Contents

 Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Sociology

 Title:         An Assessment of Yam Mini-Sett Utilization and Profit level in Kogi State, Nigeria.

  Author(s):  Ibitoye, S. J. and Attah, E. S.


Abstract: This study assessed the utilization and profit level of yam mini-sett in Kogi State of Nigeria. A multi-stage random sampling technique was used in the selection of six Local Government Areas, twelve communities and 240 yam farmers for the study. A structured questionnaire was used to obtain information from the respondents on their socio-economic characteristics. Major areas of investigation are the knowledge and utilization of yam mini-sett, profit level and constraints to yam mini-sett production. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics, mean score and gross margin analysis. The results revealed that majority (71%) of the yam farmers in the State are males with most of them (85%) having at least 10 years experience in yam production. About 63% of the respondents cultivated between 1.0 and 3.0 hectares of farmland and 76% are with annual income of not more than N 100,000.00. About 96% of the respondents are aware of yam mini-sett technology, but only 11% of them used the technique. The major constraint to the use of the technique was the inability of the farmers to fully understand the practice of the technology. The result further showed that the gross margin for yam mini-sett production was N16, 300.00 per 1,000 mini-setts and benefit-cost ratio was 1.47. This implies that yam mini-sett production is profitable in Kogi State. It was recommended among other things that Kogi State Agricultural Development Programme should embark on massive transfer of yam mini-sett technology to yam farmers.

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 Title:           Analysis of Women Involvement in Ginger Production in Abia State, Nigeria.

 Author(s):    Mazza, M.

 Abstract:  This work was carried out to analyze women involvement in ginger production in Abia State, Nigeria. Multi-stage random sampling technique was used in getting to the respondents for the study. Interview schedule was used in eliciting information from the respondents. Descriptive statistics such as frequency, percentage, participation index and multiple regression analysis were employed in analyzing the data. Women ginger farmers always participates in activities such as planting, mulching, weeding, fertilizer application and harvesting, but never participates in tilling/bed making and split drying of ginger. Education, income, cooperative participation and access to credit were the significant factors influencing women involvement in ginger production. The major constraints to women involvement in ginger production were inadequate capital, lack of improved varieties of ginger, pre-occupation with household chores, inadequate fertilizer and poor technical skill. The study recommends that women education should be encouraged to enhance their involvement in ginger production.

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Title:           Utilization of Cocoyam Value Added Technology in Umuahia North Local Government Area, Abia State, Nigeria

  Author(s):   Onumadu, F. N. and Ukanwolu, G. K.


Abstract: The study analyzed utilization of cocoyam in Umuahia North L.G.A of Abia State Nigeria. Simple random sampling techniques were employed in the selection of 120 respondents. Pre-tested questionnaire was use to collect the data for the study.  The data generated were analyzed using descriptive (frequency counts and percentages and inferential (correlation) Statistical tools. The findings indicated that many (35.8%) of the respondents were between 51 to 61 years of age, Majority (70%) were female while 50% of the respondents have large family size. The study revealed low level of education, 78.3% of the respondents had between 0.1 to 1.0hectares of land.  Cocoyam species mostly grown are white, red and Indian cocoyam and were grown mostly for food. Cocoyam is boiled and eaten with red oil, as porridge, pounded and eaten with soup. The use as flour for chin- chin, cake and chips as cocoyam value added technologies were minimal. Major constraints in cocoyam production include lack of extension services, inadequate capital, lack of access to improved cocoyam species and poor storability. The test of hypothesis showed that age had a weak and negative relationship with cocoyam utilization while there was a positive and significant relationship between education and utilization of cocoyam. It was therefore recommended that extension services should be encouraged to reach out to rural areas to educate them on the utilization of cocoyam added values.

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   Title:        Determinants of Rice Production by Women Farmers in Ayamelum Local Government Area, Anambra State,  Nigeria.

 Author(s):   Onumadu, F. N. and Udemgba, D. A.


Abstract: The study examined the determinants of rice production by women farmers in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria.  The specific objectives were to: describe the socio economic characteristics of women rice farmers in the study area, identify sources of farm inputs to women rice farmers, determine constraints encountered by women rice farmers; determine rice output per hectare of land and ascertain factors that influence rice production by women farmers.  Multi-stage random sampling techniques were used in obtaining a sample size of 120 respondents for the study.  Data were collected with a pre-tested questionnaire while descriptive statistics involving frequencies and percentages and inferential statistics such as multiple regression were employed to analyse the data generated. The results showed that majority (68.3%) of the age range of the respondents were within the economically productive age.  Majority (50.0%) were married with small-house holding.  Many had one form of education at their varying levels, long farming experience while 58.3% were small-scaled farmers.  About 50.0% source their farm inputs from open market while majority (55.8%) source labour from family and hired labour.  Constraints that impede increased rice production were land acquisition (97.5%) and lack of access to credit facilities (75.8%).  Majority (58.3%) of the respondents harvested 20-30 bags of 300kg each of rice showed that age was negatively related to output of rice while farming experience, fertilization, farm size, household size, and level of education were positively related to output of rice in the study area.  It was recommended that the bottle neck in land acquisition and accessibility to credit facilities among others be removed to enable women rice farmers in the study area realize their felty latent needs.

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   Title:           Ethno - Veterinary Practices among Livestock Farmers in Mbaitoli Local Government Area, Imo State, Nigeria

  Author(s):   Nnadi, F. N., Umunakwe, P. C., Nnadi, C. D.and Okafor, O. E.


Abstract: The increasing realization that local people in Africa have over time developed and perfected local knowledge that is cost-effective, resilient, easily accessible and sustainable for the successful management of the health of their livestock informed this study that investigated the ethno-veterinary practices used for animal health management among livestock farmers. The study set out to identify common livestock reared, determine the awareness of ethno-veterinary practices, identify common livestock diseases, identify herbs/concoctions used for livestock healthcare management and identify the constraints militating against the use of ethno-veterinary practices in the study area. Data were collected from 120 randomly sampled farmers using questionnaire and interview schedule. These were analyzed using frequency tables, percentage count and mean statistics. The results revealed that majority of the farmers kept goat (94.17%) and poultry (86.67%) and all the farmers (100.00%) were aware of ethno-veterinary practices. It was further revealed that diarrhea (99.17%), Newcastle disease (53.3%), ringworm (67.5%) and mange (85.5%) constituted the common livestock diseases. Seasonality of herbs (M = 3.99), poor keeping quality of concoctions (M = 3.86) and non-standardization of dosages (M = 3.80) constituted major constraints to the effectiveness of ethno-veterinary practices. The study recommended the strengthening of researches on ethno-veterinary practices to improve their efficacy and acceptability.

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 Title:           Farmers’ Adoption Responses to Selected Agricultural Innovations in Mbaitoli L.G.A of Imo State, Nigeria.

 Author(s):  Ibezim, G. M. C.

Abstract:  This study examined farmers’ adoption responses to selected agricultural innovations – yam minisett technique, fertilizer application and improved cassava varieties in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria.  The specific objectives of the study were: to describe the socio-economic characteristics of farmers in the area, to ascertain the sources of agricultural information to them, to find out their level of adoption of the innovations, to determine the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers which influence their adoptive behaviours and to identify the constraints that influence their response to innovations.  A multi-stage random sampling technique was used to select 60 farmer-respondents.  Descriptive statistics – means, frequencies and inferential statistics – probit analysis were used to analyze the data.  Results showed that the Extension Agent was the most important source of information to farmers in the area, radio and television the least.  Fertilizer application was the most widely adopted of the three innovations and yam minisett technique the least.  Results of probit analysis showed that gender, farm size, farmers’ experience, extension visits exerted a positively significant influence on farmers’ response to innovations at 1% level, age had a negatively significant influence at 1% level of significance, sources of information and membership of organizations had a positively significant and a negatively significant influence respectively at 5% level.  Results further confirmed that 68.33% of adoption response behaviour of farmers in this area was related to their personal characteristics.  It is therefore recommended that extension activities in the area be stepped up by Imo State Agricultural Development programme (ADP) to increase farmers’ awareness of innovations and improve their adoptive behaviours.  Government should make agricultural inputs accessible to farmers.

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 Title:           Economic Analysis of Pepper Production in Mopamuro Area of Kogi State.

  Author(s):   Ayanlere, A.F., Ekenta, C.M., Mohammed A.B. andAyeni, A.

Abstract:  In spite of the importance of pepper and its relevance in the daily human diet, its production in the study area has not been given much attention. This study therefore made an assessment of pepper production in Mopamuro area of Kogi State. Data was collected from 96 pepper farmers selected randomly from ten villages in the study area using well structured questionnaires. The finding indicated that pepper production is profitable in the area with Net farm income of N36, 889.41/ha inclusive of imputed family labour cost. The double log production function was chosen as the lead equation which revealed that 67% of the output variation in pepper is being accounted for by its inputs (farm size, seed, chemical and fertilizer). Pepper farmers in the area did not attain absolute efficiency in the use of production resources as the resources used were either underutilized or over utilized. The result also shows that cost of hired labour, imputed cost of family labour, education level and cost of pepper seeds used are significant factors which contribute to returns in pepper output among the farmers in the area. It is however recommended that, further promotion of farmers’ education, better access to credit facilities through improvement in rural financial market and improving rural infrastructure would be needed to improve the resources use efficiency of the pepper farmers.

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  Agronomy/Crop Science

  Title:           Correlation and Path Coefficient Analysis of Growth and Yield Components in Oba 98 maize (Zea mays L.) variety.

   Author(s):   Namakka, A., Hamidu, H. A.and Ahmed, S. M.

   Abstract:  Oba 98 maize (Zea mays L.) variety was grown during 2006, 2007 and 2008 rainy seasons at the research farm of the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria. The experimental design adopted for the study was split plot design. Correlation and path coefficient were calculated for yield grain, yield parameters and growth components from the data collected in the three year experiments. There was significant positive correlation between plant height, crop growth rate, number of grains per row, cob length, cob diameter and grain yield. The path coefficient analysis revealed that the highest direct effect to grain yield was from number of grains per row followed by cob diameter, crop growth rate, plant height and cob length. This suggests that number of grains per row have strong influence on grain yield; hence it is the major determinant of grain yield in the studied variety. 

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Title:           Effects of Training on Two Tomato (Lycopersicon lycopersicum Karst) Varieties as Influenced by Irrigation Interval and Poultry Manure

Author(s):   Hussaini, Y., Abubakar, I. U., Kuchinda, N. C.and Lawal, A. B.


Abstract:   A field experiment was conducted during 2007/2008, 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 dry seasons at the Irrigation Research Station farm of the Institute for Agricultural Research Kadawa in the Sudan savannah to study the “effect of training on two tomato (Lycopersicon lycopersicum karst) varieties as influenced by irrigation interval and poultry manure.”The treatments evaluated consist of two training methods (staked and unstaked), three irrigation intervals (10, 15 and 20 days), two tomato varieties (UC 82B and Petomech VF) and three poultry manure rates (0, 6 and 12 t/ha) were factorially combined and laid out in a split plot design and replicated three times. Training method and irrigation interval were assigned to main plots while poultry manure and variety were assigned to sub plots. Results showed that staked tomatoes were taller with higher r LAI, number of branches and higher fresh fruit yield relative to the unstaked stands. Irrigation interval at 15 days produced taller plants with more number of branches and higher LAI as well as higher fresh fruit yield. UC 82B had more number of branches while Petomech VF had higher LAI. Applications of poultry manure at 12 t/ha resulted in higher fresh yield in 2008/2009 and combined data. In conclusion, both varieties could be cultivated using staking, 15 days irrigation interval and 12 t/ha poultry manure for better growth and higher yield in Kadawa in the Sudan Agroecological zone of Nigeria

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 Title:          Evaluation of Tissue Nutrient Concentration in Coffee Intercropped With Rice and Plantain at Early Stage of Field Establishment.

 Author(s):   Famaye, A.O. and Akanbi, O.S.O.


Abstract:   The experiment was conducted to evaluate the nutrient uptake in coffee intercropped with rice and plantain at early stage of field establishment in Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Uhonmora Substation, Edo State, Nigeria.  The location is in the derived savanna zone of Nigeria.  There were four treatments comprising of coffee sole, coffee/rice, coffee/plantain and coffee/rice/plantain replicated 3 times in a Randomised complete block design (RCB).   Composite samples (0-15cm) were collected, air dried and allowed to pass through a 2mm sieve, and analysed chemically to determine the tissue nutrient concentration.  Data collected were subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA).

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 Title:           Effects of “33” Consolidated Brewery Effluent on Growth and Yield of Glycine max.

 Author(s):   Ogbuehi, H. C. and Madukwe, D. K.


Abstract:   An experiment was carried out at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Imo State University, Owerri, Nigeria to investigate the effect of “33” Consolidated Brewery Effluent on the growth and yield of soybean. The experiment was conducted using four different levels (0.0, 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 litres) of effluent as treatment replicated four times, in a Completely Randomized Design. Data were collected on the germination percentage, plant height, and number of leaves, leaf area, leaf area index and yield. Result showed that the different levels of the “33” Consolidated Brewery Effluents (“33” CBE) affected the growth and yield of soybean when compared with the control. The percentage germination was found to be significantly higher in control (80%) than in 3.0litres of the “33”CBE (40%). The mean number of leaves, plant height, leaf area and leaf area index were also affected, although the extent varies from level to level and also with time interval. The variations observed in most of the above mentioned parameters were not significantly influenced. However, the effect was more pronounced in the 3.0 litres treatment level where the mean number of pod was least (13.00) which was significantly different (P<0.05) when compared to the number of pods (30.00) in the control pots. The yield (6.0g) was significantly reduced (P<0.05) in the 3.0 litre treatment pots compared with the control which gave 15.00g. Although the different noticed in the morphological parameters were not significant (p<0.05) compared to control. It was concluded that the brewery effluent had physiological effects that significantly reduced productivity in soybean.

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 Title:           Impact of Industrial Effluents on some Biochemical Parameters of Abelsmuscus esculentus

 Author(s):   Ogbuehi, H. C., Madukwe, D. K. and Onuh, M. O.


Abstract:   An experiment was conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Imo State University Owerri, Nigeria, to determine the Impact of Industrial effluent from coca-cola plant on some biochemical constituent of okra (Abelmuscus esculentus L.). The experiment constitute 4 levels (0, 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 litres) of effluent replicated five times in a Completely Randomized Design. Results showed that the moisture content (MC), percentage fibre, percentage Ash, percentage fat and percentage protein were found to be affected differently by different levels of effluent. The 3.0 litres effluent decreased the percentage moisture content (39.09%) percentage fibre (0.045%) and percentage Ash (0.2150%) which was significantly different compare to control 89.66%, 0.600% and 6.733% respectively. While increase in level of concentration of effluent significantly increased fat and protein content of okra fruit. The viscosity of okra fruit which is the measure of its desirability was equally reduced significantly by increase in level of effluent, 3.0 gave litre 27.00 while control have 28.00. Also the chlorophyll content was reduced significantly by 3.0 litre (0.4236) compare to the control (0.5040). Increase in effluent concentration increase the accumulation of Lead (Pb) and Copper (Cu) compare to the control.

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 Title:           Evaluation of Different Morpho-Types and Spacing on the Performance of some Sweetpotato Cultivars at Umudike, Nigeria.

 Author(s):   Njoku, S. C., Korieocha, D. S., Onunka, N. and Ogbonna, M


Abstract:   A field trial was conducted under rain fed condition at the Research Farm of the National Root Crops Research Institute Umudike to assess the effect of different morpho-types (creeping and bushy) and spacing on the yield of some sweetpotato cultivars. A four times three factorial experiment in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) was replicated three times with a plot size of 6mx5m.  The four sweet potato varieties used were Tis 87/0087, Tis 8164, Tis 8441 and Ex-Igbariam and three spacing 20cm, 30cm, and 40cm. Result showed no significant difference(P>0.05) on total root number between varieties  and spacing. For total root yield, there was significant (P<0.05) effect on varieties and spacing. Sweet potato variety Tis 87/0087 with 20cm spacing had the highest total weight.

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 Title:           Effect of Industrial Effluent from Coca-Cola Plant on the Growth and Yield of Abelmoschusesculentus

 Author(s):   Ogbuehi, H. C., Madukwe, D. K. and Onuh, M.O.


Abstract:  The pot experiment was conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Imo State University, Owerri to evaluate the effect of coca-cola effluent on the growth and yield of okra plant. The experiment was arranged in a Completely Randomized Design with four different (0, 1.0 litre, 2.0 litres and 3.0 litres) effluent concentrations replicated five times in a 20kg soil. Data on germination percentage, number of leaf, leaf area, plant height, leaf area index and yield were collected at 2weeks intervals. Results revealed that 3 litres concentration affected the time of flowering, the number of leaves, plant heights, leaf area and leaf area index. The yield was also found to be equally affected by 3.0 litres of effluent compared to the control. 1.0 litre of effluent was found to stimulate growth in number of leaves, leaf area and plant height, leaf area index, stem girth, number of fruits, fruit yields compared with control and other treatment levels. The germination percentage was not affected by the treatment levels. Hence it was not significant. The coca-cola effluent at lower concentration was found to enhance okra productivity.

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  Animal Science and Technology

 Title:           ReproductiveCharacteristicsOfQuailLinesDivergentlySelectedForFourWeekBodyWeight

 Author(s):     Adewale, A., Orunmuyi,M. and Akpa, G. N.

 Abstract:  Quail lines consisting of high body weight (Line 1), low body weight (Line 2) and control (Line 3) were developed divergently based on body weight at four weeks (BW4) from a random bred non pedigreed base population to determine reproductive characteristics of the lines. Mating ratio was 1:3. Selection lasted for two generations. Variations in traits showed line 1 having higher value for percentage fertility Fert (%) than other lines, hatchability as a percentage of fertile eggs (Hatch (%)) showed significant (p<0.01) differences, with lines 1 and 2 been equal. Percentage dead-in-shell Dis (%) was higher in line 3. BW4 significantly influenced percentage survived Surv (%) with line 1 having significantly (p<0.01) better performance for this trait. Line 3 had lower survival rate across generations. Moderate to high heritability estimates and genetic correlations between BW4 and most traits indicates pleiotropic effects of growth genes and suggests that selection for BW4 could be used to improve most traits.

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 Title:           Effects of Feed Lysine Content on Laying Performance and Egg Quality of Late Laying Hens.

 Author(s):   Onimisi, P. A, Orunmuyi, M., Musa, A. A., Bale, S. and Bawa, G. S.


Abstract:  One hundred and twenty-twoLohman Brown layers that has been layfor 6 months were used in this study. The experiment, which was in a completely randomized design, had five treatments with total lysine content of  0.6, 0.7, 0.8, 0.9 and 1.0% of the diets in treatment 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, respectively each replicated three times. Results showed that the supplementation of the layer diets with lysine did not significantly  influence body weight change, egg weight, feed consumption, percent hen-housed production, mortality and most of the egg quality parameters measured. However, egg number/bird, egg mass, feed conversion ratio (FCR), percent hen-day production, feed cost/kg feed, kg feed/ dozen eggs and feed cost per dozen eggs were significantly (P<0.05) affected. Egg height and egg diameter were also significantly (P<0.05) affected among egg quality parameters. Egg mass, feed conversion ratio (FCR) and percent hen-day production were improved by diets with 0.7% total lysine. Dietary lysine levels higher than 0.9% is not economical since there was a decrease in percent hen-day production, egg mass and increased FCR, feed cost/kg feed, kg feed/ dozen eggs and feed cost per dozen eggs.

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 Title:           Profitability Analysis and Serum Biochemistry of Broilers Fed Graded Levels of a Blend of Enzyme-Supplemented Bovine Blood and Rumen Digesta.

 Author(s):   Okpanachi, U., Musa, A. A. and Obeche, H. U.


Abstract:  An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of graded levels of a blend of enzyme-supplemented Bovine Blood and Rumen Digesta on the profitability and serum biochemistry constituents of broiler chickens. The supplemental enzyme (Roxazyme—G) was incorporated at equal levels (0.10g) into four dietary treatments containing Bovine Blood and Rumen Digesta. A total of one hundred and five day old chicks were randomly allocated to five dietary treatment groups with three replicates. Inclusion levels of Bovine Blood and Rumen Digesta were at 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40% in the dietary treatments. Serum biochemistry parameters and profitability parameters were measured. There were no significant (P>0.05) differences in most of the analysed serum biochemistry parameters except for urea (P<0.05). However, there were significant differences (P<0.05) among profitability parameters, such as gross margin and feed cost/ kg gain. Final body weight gain, total weight gain, feed consumption, feed conversion ratio, revenue/bird and cost benefit ratio were highly significant (P<0.01). The study indicated that Bovine Blood and Rumen Digesta when supplemented with an enzyme could be fed to broilers at 20% level of inclusion, thus providing cheaper sources of feeds and also helps in reducing environmental pollution caused by Bovine Blood and Rumen Digesta.

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 Title:           Determination of Optimum Methionine Requirements of Broiler Chickens Reared in the Hot Season under Tropical Environment.


Author(s):   Opoola, E.,Ogundipe, S. O., Bawa, G. S. and Abejide, O.


Abstract:  This study was carried out to determine the methionine requirements for broiler chickens reared in the hot season under tropical environment. Three hundred day old chicks were used for the experiment at the starter phase. This number was reduced to two hundred and eighty five during the finisher phase.  The experimental diets consisted of five treatments replicated three times with graded methionine levels of 0.45, 0.50, 0.55, 0.60 and 0.65% for the starter phase and 0.40, 0.45, 0.50, 0.55 and 0.60% at the finisher phase. The experimental period lasted from 0-4 weeks for the starter phase and 5-8 weeks for the finisher phase. The chicks fed 0.60% methionine in their diet gave the highest final body weight, average daily gain and better feed conversion ratio. Feed cost per kg gain for this diet was also the lowest. For the finisher phase, the birds fed 0.60% methionine performed significantly (p<0.05) better. Dietary treatments had significant (P<0.05) effect on total protein of broiler chicks. Packed cell volume and haemoglobin count of broiler finisher chickens were significantly (P<0.05). These results therefore showed that the methionine requirement was 0.60% for the starter diet. For the finisher phase there is therefore probability that the optimum dietary level of methionine lies beyond 0.60% level. Further studies will be necessary to confirm these results.

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 Title:           Comparative study on the Effect of Neutering on Growth and Reproductive Performance of Kano Brown Bucks

 Author(s):   Hassan, A. M., Ibrahim, A. A., Ashiru, R. M., Ibrahim, U. and Nassir, M.


Abstract:  A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of neutering on growth and reproductive performance of Kano Brown bucks. Six (6) male Kano Brown bucks with an average body weight of 18kg and age ranging from 2 – 2.5 years old were selected and used for the study. The testes and scrotum for each buck was visualized, palpated and carefully inspected before selection, to rule out any form of abnormalities. The experimental animals were divided into two groups. Animals in group 1 were castrated using burdizzor while those in group 2 were orchidectomized. Results indicated that neutering greatly influenced body weight and scrotal circumference of the animals as orchidectomized bucks had higher body weight (P < 0.05) and lower scrotal circumference than burdizzor castrated animals. Semen traits were also influenced by both methods as orchidectomized bucks had zero percent sperm motility, watery semen, lower semen volume and pH one week post operation. The correlations between semen characteristics of burdizzor castrated and orchidectomized bucks shows that semen volume was positively correlated with sperm motility for both methods (r = 0.348 to 0.869, p < 0.01) but negatively correlated with semen pH and colour (r = -0.331 to -0.746, p < 0.001). On the other hand, semen pH was negatively correlated with semen volume, colour and sperm motility for the two methods (r = -0.732 to -0.751, p < 0.01). Semen colour was positively correlated with sperm motility for both methods (r = 0.887 to 0.888, p < 0.01). The correlations between body growth and semen characteristics of burdizzor castrated and orchidectomized bucks indicated a positive relationship between scrotal circumference and semen colour, volume and sperm motility for both methods (r = 0.233 to 0.967, p < 0.001) but negatively correlate with semen pH (r = -0.599 to -0.656, p > 0.05). Body weight was positively correlated with semen pH (r = 0.550 to 0.645, p > 0.05) but negatively correlated with semen colour, volume and sperm motility (r = -0.193 to -0.942, p < 0.001). From this study, it was concluded that both methods could be use to castrate bucks to avoid accidental or unwanted pregnancy, to reduce number of infertile and unproductive males or those with bad trait like cryptochidsm, as such orchidectomy is considered the best since no spermatozoa was found in the ejaculate 7 days post operation.

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 Pest Management

 Title:           Potentials of Plantain and Cocoyam dried chips as growth medium for Prostephanus truncatus (Horn) (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae).

 Author(s):       Isah, M. D., Sylvester, A. and Zakka, U.


Abstract:  Laboratory studies were conducted at the University of Ghana, Legon, to determine the potentials of plantain and cocoyam dried chips as growth medium for Prostephanus truncatus (Horn) (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae). The test was conducted using 2 varieties each of plantain (apantu, asamienu) and cocoyam (mankani pa(red), mankani serwa(white)) and kept over 2 different storage periods; three period storage durations (30, 60 and 90 days) as one test and 90 days undisturbed periods in the laboratory. Two hundred grammes each of the dried chip cultivars were weighed into 1 liter kilner jars which were infested with 1-3 weeks old unsexed adults. Data on insect preferences for the various dried chips, developmental periods, as well as the susceptibility of the substrates based on the number of adults emergence, weight gain of adults that developed on them, weight loss of the chips and the weight of frass produced from insect feeding over the 30, 60 and 90 days, and 90 days undisturbed exposure periods were recorded. The beetles exhibited higher levels of preference for plantain varieties (apantu and asamienu), compared to the cocoyam (white and red) varieties while the mean developmental period of P. truncatus on plantain (apantu, asamienu) and cocoyam (red, white) dried chips were 36.25, 36.75, 41.5 and 40.5 days respectively with the insect taking longer period to develop on cocoyam varieties than on plantain varieties. Also significantly (P< 0.05) more P. truncatus survived and bred very well on the plantain (asamienu, apantu) varieties than on cocoyam (red, white) varieties. However, there was no significant (P> 0.05) difference among the mean weight of adults recorded on the plantain (apantu, asamienu) and cocoyam (red and white) dried chips. Furthermore, the results showed that the amount of frass produced and percentage weight loss recorded due to the activity of P. truncatus increased with time over the 3 months exposure period with more significant (P<0.05) losses recorded on the plantain than on the cocoyam dried chips. The results of the studies showed that between the two dried chips substrates, the plantain provided better growth medium for the insect than cocoyam dried chips.


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 Title:           Evaluation of Azadirachta indica extracts for the control of Sylepta derogata (F) on Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench in Ibadan, South West Nigeria.

 Author(s):   Ugwu, J. A., Asogwa, E. U. and Olomola, A.


Abstract:  The efficacy of ethanolic extracts of neem seed and leaf (Azadirachta indica. A. Juss) was evaluated against Sylepta derogata in okra in a field experiment. The neem seed and leaf extracts were applied at the rate of 2.5, 3.75 and 5.0ml per liter of water. A synthetic insecticide (Cypermethrin) was applied at 2.5ml per liter of water as a standard check while distilled water was used as control. The various concentrations were  appliedat three weeks interval starting from four weeks after planting (WAP) until the end of harvest. Neem seed extract at 5ml/liter of water significantly (P< 0.05) showed better control among other treatments. Cypermethrin at 2.5ml/liter of water significantly (P<0.05) reduced the population of S.derogata over the neem leaf extracts. The leaf extract showed lesser efficacy over and above the seed extracts and Cypermethrin but exhibited significant level of efficacy over the control in most cases. The various treatments had effect on the okra pod yield. Highest yield was recorded on the plot treated with neem seed extract at the rate of 5ml/liter of water (45.10g/plant), followed by Cypermethrin 24.80g/plant. Percentage reduction of S. derogata population ranged between 86-100% in neem seed extracts, 93% in Cypermethrin and 48-86% in neem leaf extract compared with the control.A. indica trees are widely available in Nigeria and devoid of human or environmental hazards. Therefore the usefulness of this plant in pest management should be adopted by farmers.

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 Title:           Evaluation of Nuvacron for the Control of Pod Borer (Maruca vitrata) Infestation and Grain Yield of Cowpea.

 Author(s):   Oso, A. A.


Abstract:  Field study was conducted to evaluate spray regimes of Nuvacron in the control of pod borer infestation and grain yield of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata). Four varieties (IT97D-941-1, IT93K-452-1, IT86D-719 and IT845-2246-4) of cowpea and four spay regimes; a control plot (S0), three weeks interval spray ( S1), two weeks interval spray ( S2) and weekly interval spray ( S3) were investigated with cowpea varieties as main plots and spray regimes as subplots. The number of IT97D-941-1 pods damaged by Maruca vitrata was significantly lower than in IT845-2246-4 but both were not significantly different from the IT93K-452-1 and IT86D-719. The cultivars that received S3 spray regimes significantly produced the highest yield (253.33g) followed by S2 spray regimes (126.08g) while the S1 and S0 spray regimes produced 56.58 and 5.759g respectively. The combination of cultivar IT97D-941-1 and S3 spray regime appeared to show some promise against Maruca vitrata infestation and was the most effective in terms of cowpea yield.

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 Title:           Effects of Garlic Extract on Seed Quality and Three Pathogenic Fungi of Castor Bean.

 Author(s):   Nwawuisi, J. U., Ndukuba, J. and Nwosu, E. C.


Abstract:  Efficacy of garlic (Allium sativa) extract was assessed on seed storage and three pathogenic fungi of four castor bean cultivars; Rici white, Rici brown, Rici bird and Rici black. The garlic extract was prepared at the rate of 0g, 30g and 60g (garlic) in one litre of water. These garlic rates were used to treat the seeds against two major seed storage pathogens, Fusarium oxysporum and Aspergillus flavus. This was followed by a bioassay test to determine the potency of the extract on spore germination of the above two seed pathogens and Rhizopus nigricans (a capsule mould pathogen). The result showed that the garlic extract exhibited high fungicidal action on the pathogens, as an ideal alternative to synthetic chemicals. Disease severity level, percentage pathogen occurrence and spore germination of Fusarium oxysporum, Aspergillus flavus and Rhizopus nigricans were drastically reduced. The reduced seed blemishes and encouraging seed germination observed on treated seeds, is an indication that garlic extract could be an ideal promising biopesticide for protection of castor bean capsules and seeds during storage and as pre-planting seed treatment. 

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 Title:        Weed Flora of Raphia hookeri (Mann and Wendl) Plantation, Onuebum, Bayelsa State.

 Author(s):   Imogie, A. E., Eruga, H., Udosen, C.V., Ugbah, M.M., Ogeh, J.S. and

 Nwawe, A.

Abstract:  A survey of weed flora of Raphia hookeri plantation at Onuebum, Bayelsa State was carried out in 2009 and 2010 with the aim of identify the weed and make a check list of the weed population for further weed study of the swampy ecology. The results of the survey shows that the weed flora consists of 150 species distributed in 36 families. Out of these Poaceae accounts for the largest family with 28 species (18.67%), this was followed by Cyperaceae with 17 (11.33%), while 10 families had one specie each (6.67%). In terms of abundance 38 species were very abundant, (25.33%), 56 species were fairly abundant (37.33%) and another 56 species were rare in abundance (37.33%). The weed flora is influenced by the prevailing season. During the raining season which usually last for 6-8 months, the weed flora or diversity is very low because of the flooding nature of the environment and only those weeds that can withstand water logged conditions do thrive. While in the dry season, the weed flora is very high. Thus, these findings suggest a further comprehensive study of weed flora of Raphia plantation in order to develop weed management practices for the ecology.

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 Title:           Period of Weed Interference and Weeding Regime for Optimum Performance and Productivity of Rizga at Umudike, Nigeria.

 Author(s):   Njoku S. C., Olojede, A. O., Melifonwu, A. A., Okorieocha, D. and Ebeniro, C. N.


Abstract:   An experiment was conducted at National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike for 2years 2008-2009 to determine the critical period of weed interference on Rizga and Hausa potato production. Two weeding schemes were used. In the first schemes, the crops were kept weed free for specific period and after allowed to be under weed for the rest of the growth period while on the second scheme, plots are kept weedy for a period and thereafter weeded for the rest of the crops growth period. Result showed  in Rizga that yield increase as weeding regime was increased to 20weeks after planting (W.A.P) after which yield starts decreasing showing that weeding beyond here is uneconomical. Weed infestation for only 4weeks after planting produced highest yield. The total fresh yield for both years showed yield increase of 4.8 t/ha at 20weeks after planting after this point there was yield depression.  Although the yield of the control was higher than the yield at 20 WAP but it was not significant.  For weed infestation 4weeks after planting (WAP) produced the highest yield 0f 4.1t/ha .Yield reduction range between 2-41% in Rizga under weed free regime and 16-76% under weed infested regime.

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 Soil Science

 Title:              Edaphological Approach to Biodiversity Conservation in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State: Implication for Agro-Technology Transfer.

 Author(s):   Chukwu, G. O. and Ifenkwe, G. E.


Abstract:   A soil survey of Ikwuano Local Government Area in Abia State, Nigeria was conducted using a combination of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and Free Survey Techniques (FST) with a view to understanding the physical environment as a basis for biodiversity conservation. Four soil mapping units, namely, Ibe, Ibeobo, obolo and Ariolo were delineated based on toposequence and lithosequence. Mapping unit Ibe was found to be hydromorphic, clayey and derived from alluvium and shale. Mapping unit Ibeobo occupies dissected plains threatened by morpho erosion, while mapping unit Obolo occupies gently undulating plains. Ibeobo and Obolo are coarse loamy soils derived from coastal plains sands. Mapping unit Ariolo is a nearly level plain with sandy or coarse loamy soils derived from coastal plain sands and alluvium. Good land husbandry practices, fishery, rice-fish culture and sloping agricultural land technology are recommended on appropriate soil mapping units. The paper recommends dissemination of these technologies through effective extension services and on-farm research in order to increase biodiversity and enhance biodiversity conservation in Ikwuano Local Government Area.

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