Vol. 1 No. 4; August 2012

International Journal of Applied Research and Technology

          ISSN 2277-0585

 Vol. 1, No. 4      |        August 2012

Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Sociology


Title:            Analysis of Income Diversity of Rural Farm Households in Imo State, Nigeria.

 Author(s):    Korie, O. C., Ibekwe, U. C. and Henri-Ukoha, A.


Abstract:  There has been increasing emphasis on livelihood strategies and diversification of income sources among the rural households. The objective of the study is to ascertain the level of diversification into income generating strategies among the rural farm households in Imo state. The study adopted multistage sampling technique to 90 households in 18 communities from the three agricultural zones of the state. Data were collected using structured questionnaire. Shannon index and equitable index were used to analyse data. The result shows that agricultural activities accounted for 36.21% of the total household income, while non-farm income accounted for 63.50% of the total household income. Crop production activities declined by 67.37%, animal production by 42.78%, sales from forest products by 25.18%, sales from palm tapping, hunting and gathering activities by 21.0% and 21.94%, respectively. However, self-employment activities like trading, artisan activities increased by 78.88%, remittances by 40.82%, non-agricultural wages by 40.66%, agricultural labour wages by 20.19% among others.

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Title:             Health Status and Other Determinants of Food Security among Rural Households of Kogi State, Nigeria

Author(s):    Onuche, U., Edoka, M. H. and Audu, S. D

Abstract:  This study was carried out in Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State in order to analyze the factors of food security. Two hundred and forty households were randomly sampled for questionnaire administration. Simple descriptive statistics were used for the presentation of the socioeconomic characteristics of the respondents while The FGT poverty decomposition tool was adopted for food security status analysis. The probit model reporting marginal effect was used to analyze the determinants of food security. Results showed that 45% of the households were female- headed and majority (59.2%) of the households in the area had between 0.5 - 2 hectares of farm land. The study also found that while only 2.5% of the household heads did not lose any work day due to illness and recovery, 32.5% of them lost over 10 days to ill health. On the whole, about 52 % of the households were found to be food insecure with a food insecurity Gap of 18.2% and severity of 9.7 percent. The study also revealed that female headed households were less food secured than their male headed counterparts. When decomposed by type of ailment suffered, it was found that typhoid fever accounted for the highest food insecurity headcount (73.3%) and severity (34.3%). Result of probit analysis of determinants of food security revealed that education status, sex of the household head as well as size of farm land were found to be significant positive predictors of food security at 1%, 10% and 5% respectively; while numbers of days in which the household head was indisposed due to ailment, treatment and recovery was found to be negatively related to food security at 1 percent. Greater access to health care delivery, sensitization on preventive health care, provision of an economic improvement package for widows and access to more farm land are recommended.

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Title:             Determinants of Household Food Insecurity in Imo State, Nigeria

Author(s):    Ohajianya, D. O., Onyeagocha, S. U. O., Enwerem, V. A., Echetama, J. A.,

Nwaiwu I.U., Henri-Ukoha, A. and Osuji, M. N.


Abstract:  This study estimated the determinants of household food insecurity in Imo State, Nigeria and ascertained the measures adopted by households to cope with food insecurity. Data were collected with structured and validated questionnaire from 180 randomly selected households in Imo State. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and ordinary least squares multiple registration techniques. Results show that level of household food insecurity was accounted for by the independent variables included in the multiple regression model. The determinants of household food insecurity were found to be food production, household income, food prices, household food consumption, dependency ratio and seasonality in food production. Major measures adopted by the households to cope with food insecurity were child labour use, withdrawal of children from school, engaging in casual labour, reduction in rate of food consumption and giving out children for apprenticeship.

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 Title:           Evaluation of the Contribution of Processed Parkia biglobosa in Reducing Poverty among Women in Kwara State, Nigeria

 Author(s):    Fashina, A. Y., Oyetunji, O. O. and   Bolaji-Olutunji, K. A.


Abstract:  This study evaluated the processing of Parkia Biglobosa among the women in Kwara State. Data were collect with the aid of structured questionnaire from 40 respondents from 5 villages in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State. It was discovered that all the respondents were females, of which married and widows accounted for 60% and 25%, respectively while 2.5% were singles. The study revealed that majority of the respondents (67.5%) are 41years and above. This implies that the people involved in the processing of Parkia.biglobosa are older women. From the budgetary analysis, the gross margin was N166, 340 and the profit is N59, 390 when total revenue is deducted from total variable cost. The efficiency level was 2.80.This means that for every N2.00 Spent in production of Parkia biglobosa, 80kobo is realised as return. This shows that processing of Parkia biglobosa is of high profit and benefit to the women.

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Title:                Enterprise Combination and Food Security among Rural Farm Households in Abia State of Nigeria

 Author(s):  Iheke, O. R. and Onyendi, C. O.

 Abstract:    The Nigerian agricultural sector indeed has a notable relevance in the country’s economic development and growth. Not only does it contributes and employs labour, it also provides the food needs of the country. Hence, this study examined the crop enterprise combinations and food security status of rural farm households in Abia state of Nigeria. A multi stage random sampling technique was employed in selecting the respondents and data was collected using structured questionnaire and interview schedules. The food security status of respondents were analysed using food security line, the farmers combined 3 or 4 crop enterprises with the most frequent crop cultivated being yam/cassava/maize/pumpkin in order to increase their  household food security needs among others. However, the food security needs were not adequately met as 31.25% were food secured while 68.75% were food insecure. As an insurance against total crop failure, enterprise combinations should be encouraged. The extension services delivery system should be revitalized and strengthened to meet the felt needs of the farmers especially in the area of diffusion of technological innovations so as to achieve increased productivity, necessary for achieving food security. Finally, farming households should be further enlightened on the nutritional implication of various food items such as fish, soybean and egg especially for growing children to increase protein intake in their diet for improved calorie intake for an active and healthy life.

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 Title:           Training needs of Smallholder Cocoa Farmers on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Techniques: an antidote to   Sustainable Cocoa Production in Osun State, Nigeria.

 Author(s):    Famuyiwa, B. S., Adesoji, S. A., Agbongiarhuoyi, A.E., Orisajo, S. B.and

       Lawal, J. O.


Abstract:   Inappropriate use of chemical control of insect pests and diseases in cocoa production has overarching effects on cocoa beans, the environment, farmers’ profit, individual farmer and final consumer’s health. This paper examined the training needs of Smallholder Cocoa Farmers (SCFs) to performing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies effectively in Osun State, Nigeria. A set of pretested interview schedule were used to source information from 120 SCFs which were randomly selected from the association list of cocoa farmers’ in the study area. Borich method of needs assessment was used to determine the discrepancies between Research Scientists’ perceived importance and SCFs’competencies of the ten indicators on IPM using a five-point Likert-scale. Overall SCFs needs were analyzed and ranked using mean weighted discrepancy scores (MWDS). The study revealed that SCFs need to be educated in the areas of life cycle of insect pests (MWDS= 12.58), identification of banned cocoa chemicals (MWDS=11.08), and determination of economic thresholds of pest and disease build up (MWDS=10.37). It was concluded that adequate training of SCFs in the area of IPM techniques would enhance the use of IPM on cocoa for sustainable production in the study area.

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 Title:           Trends in the Adoption of Inorganic Fertilizer by Rice Contact Farmers in the North Central Agro Ecological Zone of Nigeria.

 Author(s):    Saliu O. J.

 Abstract:     Inorganic fertilizer that was introduced to Nigerian farmers in the late forties has undergone various levels of adoption as a result of different fertilizer policies put in place by the government at one regime or another. This study analyses trend in the adoption of inorganic fertilizer in the north central agro-ecological zone of Nigeria. Data on 302 contact rice farmers were collected and analyzed with the use of sigma method and Z – test at P<0.05 significance level. Fertilizer adoption levels were generally high between 2004 and 2008. There was a gradual increase in fertilizer adoption as the year progressed to 2008 (adoption levels of 68.57, 57.88, 64.90, 77.15 and 89.40 percents and adoption scores of 5.20, 5.16, 5.08, 5.42 and 5.73). There was however no significant difference between the outputs of improved and local rice under fertilizer uses. This study recommends that government should put in place agro-dealer network in the rural areas to ensure uninterrupted supply of inorganic fertilizer at affordable price to improve rice production in Nigeria.

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 Title:             An Analysis of the Trends in Outputs of the Nigerian Agricultural Transformation Agenda Crops.

 Author(s):      Ammani, A. A.


Abstract:    Nigerian agriculture was the mainstay of the Nigerian economy since independence in 1960 until the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantities and the subsequent oil boom period that started in 1973. Previous Nigerian governments have introduced several policies to help return back Nigeria’s agriculture past glory, all to no avail. However, the present government has launched a highly ambitious programme, the agricultural transformation agenda (ATA), aimed at restoring the lost glory of Nigeria’s agriculture by the year 2015. This paper set out to analyze the trend in output growth rates for each of the seven identified ATA crops. Specifically, the study seek to (i) estimate the instantaneous and compound output growth rate as well as (ii) investigate the existence of acceleration, stagnation or deceleration in output growth for each of the seven ATA crops over the period (1970-2007). Time series data on aggregate output of the seven ATA crops in Nigeria for the period 1970-2007 were collected and analyzed. A semilog growth rate model was developed and estimated to achieve the study’s objectives. Findings indicate acceleration in output growth rate of maize (IGR 8.9%; CGR 9.3%), rice (IGR 9.8%; CGR 10.3%), sorghum (IGR 3.9%; CGR 11.0%) and cotton (IGR 3.5%; CGR 7%). Cocoa had a very small growth rate (IGR 0.4%; CGR 0.4%), over the study period. Oil palm output in Nigeria had a negative annual instantaneous growth rate of -0.2%; as well as a negative compound growth rate of -0.2% over the period of the study. Implications of the study’s findings were highlighted. It is recommended, among others, that the government should not intervene in the procurement and distribution of farm inputs especially fertilizer.

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 Title:             Effects of Human Capital on Rural Livelihood Income Strategies among Farm Households in South East Nigeria

 Author(s):      Korie, O. C., Okorji, E. C and Nwagbo, E. C.

Abstract:   This study was to ascertain the effects of human capital on rural livelihood income strategies among farm households in south east Nigeria.  A multistage sampling technique was used to collect data from two communities from three local government areas of Imo state. Three local government areas were selected from three agricultural zones of the state. Five households were selected from each of the selected communities. In all, 18 communities and 90 households were selected. The data collected were analysed using frequency distribution and pie charts. The result shows that the age of the households influenced income generation as the households were able to take risk and diversified into other income generating activities. The results also showed that majority of the household members were students who depended on the working members of the households for livelihood. This affected the households’ ability to save and diversify for more income generating activities. There were under developed human capital potentials of the rural farm households. These suggest that there should be concerted efforts by the   government and non governmental agencies to strengthen the potentials for future benefits through the provision of qualitative education of the rural areas of the state. The result also showed that majority of the farm households do not depend on farming activities as their major sources of income. Poverty alleviation programme of the three ties of government (local, state and federal) should be adapted to the rural farm household needs which rely on the prevailing situations of the rural areas considering the community factors that are quite unique and specific.

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Title:             Marketing Analysis of Cassava Flour in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.

 Author(s):      Ajijola, S., Awoyemi, T. T., Usman, J. M. and Aina, O. S.


Abstract:    The study examined marketing of cassava flour in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. One hundred and twenty (120) cassava flour sellers were purposively sampled with the use of a well structured questionnaire and some analytical techniques such as descriptive statistics, gross margin analysis and regression were used for the study. The results show that the cassava flour traders were predominantly female out of which about 48% were married while 10%, 26%, 17% were single, widowed and divorced, respectively. About 65% had no formal education. The statistical test of significance of the estimated function shows a high correlation coefficient of 0.950.  The value of profit margin per measure of the product was ₦9,501.25 per month. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended that adequate storage facilities should be provided for the cassava flour trader because this was one of the greatest problems facing the business of cassava flour marketing in the study areas.  The traders should be encouraged to form cooperative societies so as to have access to loans which will lead to expansion of their business thereby enhancing increase in flour production and profitability.

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Title:             Improving Soya Bean Production in Benue State: Implications for Sustainable Rural Income and Food Security

Author(s):  Ahokegh, A. F.

Abstract:    Ordinarily, one would consider ability to feed properly as the basic parameter for well-being because good food is health and health is wealth. Soya bean has several nutrients that can guarantee good health, through its various processed products as milk (in both liquid and powder form), soup condiment and akpekpa or okpa otherwise called ‘African bread’. It is also a potential source of income generation for both the rural farmers and the government. However, its production in Benue State has been marred by several problems most prominently, scarcity of farm land occasioned by extensive plantation agriculture, which places large hectres of land permanently under orange and mango tree crops, crises over land due to holding and speculation, lack of adequate/appropriate fertilizer and the dwindling fortune of Taraku mills, its greatest market, established by the State government. Yet poverty rate in a civil service economy like Benue State can only be ameliorated through improvement of the agricultural sector. The State lacks industries to turn around the economy and has the option to improve agricultural production through appropriate policies. This paper examines the problems associated with soya bean production in Benue State against the backdrop of its numerous nutrients and monetary gains. Based on the problems affecting soya bean production in the State, it is recommended among others, that government steps up positive measures to ensure prompt supply of the right fertilizer to farmers at the right time and other palliatives that might douse the situation.

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Pest Management


Title:           The Morphometrics and Developmental Stages of Callosobruchus maculatus (F) at Varying Temperature Regimes onVigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.

Author(s):       Adenekan, M. O., Makinde, A. I., Adeniran, A. A., Aremu, D. O. And Oluade, E. A.

Abstract:  The current study investigated the effect of different temperature regimes on oviposition, eclosion, adult emergence, developmental stages and the morphometrics of Callosobruchus maculatus on cowpea seeds in the laboratory. The mean number of eggs laid was significantly affected by different temperature regimes (P<0.01). The highest number of eggs was laid at the control experiment (29 ± 30C), compared to those laid at 100C, 200C and 400C, respectively. Varying temperature conditions have significant effects on the mean number of egg hatch and adult emergence, which increased with increase in temperature regimes up to 300C but decreased considerably at 400C.The morphometrics of immature stages of C. maculatus showed overall mean growth ratio (M.G.R) of 1.36 and there were four larval instars in the development of the insect. The results also revealed a C and sub-cylindrical shape of the larvae and total developmental period of 23 days from egg to adult stage.

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Title:             A Study of Species Diversity and Distribution of Soil Macro arthropod Fauna In Irrigated Vegetable Plots in Jos South Local Government Area, Plateau State, Nigeria.

 Author(s):      Mwansat, G. S., Njila, H. L. and Levi, R. Y.

 Abstract:    A study on the species diversity and distribution of soil macroarthropod fauna in irrigated vegetable plots in Jos was carried out. Five sampling sites were selected based on the mass cultivation of four staple food crops: cabbage, maize, potatoes and carrots. A total of 981 soil macroarthropod were collected. Out of which 539(54.94%) were collected by pitfall traps and 442 (45.60%) were collected by hand capture technique 953 (97.12%) were adults while 28(2.85%) were juveniles. 11 orders and 19 families were identified. Unidentified families were termed, “others”. The Hymenoptera (37.3%), Coleoptera (24.5%) and Diplopoda (8.8%) were the dominant macroarthropod group, but the least dominant groups are Hemiptera (1.0%) and Chilopoda (2.0%).  There was no significant difference (P>0.05) between macroarthropod collected by pitfall trap and those collected by hand capture technique. A significant difference (P<0.05) was observed between the juvenile and adult populations collected. Factors such as pH, soil temperature, fertilizer application, crop type, control methods influence the abundance and distribution of soil macroarthropod fauna. Data across sites showed that maize had highest abundance of 408 macroarthropod at 26.5OC while there was decline in cabbage with 183 at 27OC. However, a decrease to 187 at 26.7OC    for carrot and increase to 203 macroarthropod at soil temperature of 27.8OC for potatoes was noted.


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Title:             Distribution and Effects of Plant-parasitic Nematodes Associated with Cashew in North Central Nigeria.

 Author(s):     Orisajo, S. B.

 Abstract:    Roots and soil were sampled for the presence of plant-parasitic nematodes from seven selected locations in North Central-Nigeria noted for cashew production. Ten genera of plant-parasitic nematodes were found associated with cashew in North Central-Nigeria. Meloidogyne spp., Helicotylenchus coffeae and Radopholus spp. were widespread in all the locations, while Rotylenchulus reniformis was recorded only in Ochaja, Ayingba and Ejule. There were significant reductions in the height of cashew seedlings inoculated with root-knot nematodes, Meloidogyne incognita, in the nursery. Therefore, pre-planting sampling strategies should be taken to predict the impact of the nematode populations and enable preventive measures to be taken, most especially at the seedlings stage.

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 Title:             Effectiveness of Senna occidentalis  (L.) Leaves Powder in Reducing F1 Progeny Development and Seed Damage by Sitophilus zeamais Mots. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Stored Maize

 Author(s):      Adesina, J. M.

 Abstract:    The protection of stored agricultural produce against insect pest attack is essential for safe and steady supply of high quality. It is against this backdrop that this experiment was conducted in May, 2011 in Crop Protection laboratory, Agricultural Technology Department, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria to evaluate the efficacy of Senna occidentalis in reducing seed damage by Sitophilus zeamais and inhibits adult insect population. The leaves powder was tested at 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2g/20g of maize grains (OBA – 1 variety) and then infested with 10 adult weevils. The powder admixed at the rate of 2.0g/20g of maize grain caused significantly higher mortality of weevils at 48 h and 15 days after infestation (DAI), resulting in a significant reduction in F1 progeny emergence, seed damage and grain weight loss at 45 DAI. Thus, application of S. occidentalis at the rate of 2.0g is recommended for the protection of maize grain against damage by S. zeamais while in storage and could be used as alternative to synthetic insecticide.

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 Agronomy/Crop Science


Title:             Effects of Seed Size and Source on Early Morphological and Physiological Characteristics of Xylopia aethiopica (Dunal) A. Rich

 Author(s):     Offiong, M. O. and Ndaeyo, N. U.


Abstract:    Early morphological and physiological characteristics of Xylopia aethiopica (Dunal) A. Rich as affected by seed sources and sizes were investigated in the Nursery of the Department of Forestry and Wildlife, University of Uyo, Nigeriaa completely randomized block design with three replicates were used in the experiment. Matured seeds were collected from six sources from Akwa Ibom and Cross River States of Nigeria and sorted into three size classes based on predetermined weight method, large (≥0.06mg), medium (0.04-0.05mg) and small (0.02-0.03mg).  The seed weighed 9.20mg, 6.40mg and 4.00mg for large, medium and small sizes, respectively. Results indicated that seed sizes and sources had significant (P<0.05) effects on seed emergence but the interactions between seed size and seed source showed no significant effect on seed emergence.  Emergence was first observed in large seed size category at 28 days after sowing (DAS), whereas small seed size was at 33 DAS.  Large seed size had the highest emergence (72.10%) while the least (54.30%) was from small seed size.  Among the seed sources, Esit-Eket had the highest emergence (64.50%) while the least (58.90%) was from the seeds collected from Akpabuyo.  Apart from the number of leaves per plant, branches and shoot dry weight, seed sources had no significant effect (P>0.05) on other growth parameters.  Ini progeny had the tallest seedlings (22.32cm), diameter (28.52cm), and number of leaves per plant (13.50).  The shortest plant (16.21cm), collar diameter (12.60cm), and number of leaves (12.00) were from Esit-Eket progeny.  The highest net assimilation rate - NAR (4.00 x 6‑3g/cm/month) was from Uyo progeny and the least (2.04 x 10 -3g/cm/month) from Akpabuyo.  Relative growth rate (RGR) and average growth rate (AGR) varied among the seed sizes and seed sources.  Progenies from Uyo, Esit-Eket, Akamkpa and Akpabuyo had the highest AGR (0.17g/month) while the least (0.15g/month) RGR was from Ini Progeny. The highest AGR (0.09g/m) was obtained from Ini progeny and the least (0.05g/month) from Esit-Eket, Akamkpa and Akpabuyo  progenies.  Superior RGR, AGR and shoot to root ratio were obtained from the large seed size.  This study indicates that seed size and source   have significant role in seedling vigour and establishment.

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Title:             Early Growth Assessment of Cola Millenii K. Schum under Different Levels of Organic Fertilizer Application for Sustainable Utilization in Nigeria

 Author(s):     Olaitan, A. O., Adesokan, F. B. and Akanmu, O. O.


Abstract:    The study assessed the effect of organic fertilizers (cow dung and poultry manure) at different proportions on the early shoot growth of Cola millenii K.Schum. The fertilizers were applied with two weeks interval after transplanting from germination bed. Another set of seedlings were planted without fertilizer treatment, which served as the control. Growth parameters assessed for 10 weeks include shoot height, collar diameter and number of leaves. The growth parameters of C. millenii seedlings were significantly different among the fertilizer treatments at 5% probability level. The best growth of seedling was observed on the treatment of 200g of poultry manure with the mean values of 31.42 cm for seedling height and 1.44 cm for collar diameter and 11 numbers of leaves was observed the highest for 100g of Poultry manure + 100g of Cow dung.The results indicated that poultry manure enhanced the growth and yield of C. millenii. A long term fertilizer trial study under different agro-ecological regions is suggested because intended end use of C. millenii can be also economically viable and sustainably achieve with the use of fertilizers during plantation establishment.

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Title:             Effects of NPK and Poultry Fertilizer on the Yield and Performance of Maize (Zea mays L.) in Mungbean (Vigna Radiata) (L.) Wilczek) Intercrop

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


Abstract:      This study was conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Imo State University, Owerri to evaluate the influence of poultry manure and NPK fertilizer on the performance of Mungbean intercropped with maize. The experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design with four replications. Mungbean seeds were sown at the spacing of 30cm x 30cm while the maize seeds were sown at 25cm x 50cm between rows of Mungbean. Two different rates of poultry manure (250kg/ha and 400kg/ha) and 20kg/ha of NPK fertilizer were applied as treatment to plots. Data were collected on stem girth, plant height, number of branches per plant, number of leaves per plant, number of pods per plant, 1000 seed weight (g) and seed yield (kg/ha). The results showed that in terms of plant height, NPK fertilizer treated plots gave the highest (24.5cm) which was significantly different at 5% level of probability from the 18.7cm recorded as the lowest height from 250kg/ha poultry manure treated plot. In terms of stem girth, number of leaves and number of branches there was no significant difference (p<0.05) in these parameters as influenced by the nutrient sources. In terms of number of pods and 1000 seeds weight, plot treated with NPK significantly (p<0.05) performed better with the highest (46.2 and 47.4g) means respectively while the lowest mean number of pods and 1000 seeds weight were recorded as 28.5 and 41.2g respectively from the control plots. The highest yield (217.5kg/ha) was recorded from the control plot but was significantly different from the lowest (196.4kg/ha) recorded from 250kg/ha poultry manure treated plots. It was concluded that intercropping Mungbean with maize improved seed yield while fertilization with NPK fertilizer (15:15:15) improved the agronomic performance of both crops.

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 Title:             Promotion of Yam Propagation using Vine Cutting Technique

 Author(s):     Mazza, M.1, Ikeorgu, J. G.1 and Mazza, M.2 


Abstract:   Nigeria is a major yam growing country. Seed yam alone constitutes over 40% of capital outlay in yam production in Nigeria. The major constraints to increased yam production are scarcity and high cost of seed yams. These constraints are now tackled by the development of vine cutting technique through collaborative research of National Root Crops Research Institute, (NRCRI) Umudike, Nigeria and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, (IITA) Ibadan, Nigeria. This technique uses yam vines as planting material thereby reducing the cost of buying seed yams and also scarcity of seed yams for yam production. Seven hybrid yams of NRCRI Umudike propagated using vine cutting technique showed positive significant difference among the mean tuber yield of the tested varieties.  The result revealed that Dioscorea rotundata (TDr89/02565, TDr89/02665, TDr89/01213, TDr89/02677, TDr438, TDr89/01924, TDr89/02461) can be propagated through vine cuttings.  Propagation of yams using vine cutting technique gave high promising mean tuber yield with TDr89/02665 and TDr89/02565 among the hybrid yams tested. Field day, farmers’ forum and demonstration plots were adopted in the promotion of vine cutting technique in some communities in Niger State and Abuja in the north central agro ecological zone of Nigeria. Five hundred and fifty farmers have been trained in yam vine cutting technique in this zone.

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 Animal Science and Technology


Title:             Performance, Nutrient Digestibility and Carcass Characteristics of Broiler Chickens Fed Diets Supplemented With Phytase

 Author(s):     Eniola, O. and Ogunwole, O. A.


Abstract:  In order to investigate the effect of dietary phytase supplementation on broilers performance, nutrient digestibility, and carcass characteristics, a total of 324 day-old broilers (Arbor Acre strains) were randomly allotted to six dietary treatments of 54 birds per group in a Completely Randomized Design. Each treatment was in triplicates composed of 18 birds per replicate. The basal starter and finisher diets were formulated to contain Metabolisable Energy of about 3000Kcal/kg (23%) and Crude Protein (20%).The control were fed standard starter and finisher diet without phytase. Result shows that addition of phytase to P-deficient diets improved (P<0.5) broilers performance with impact, starting from the beginning of the third week of the feeding. The weight of birds in treatments 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 were 1.69kg, 2.19kg, 1.85kg, 1.61kg, 2.62kg and 1.47kg, respectively with birds on diet 5 having the highest weight of 2.62kg at week 8. There were significant variations (p<0.05) in feed intake, feed conversion ratio and dressing percentage. Feed conversion ratio, weight gain and dressing percent increased (P<0.05) in birds fed P-deficient diets supplemented with phytase. Phytase supplementation had slight effect on broiler carcasses compared to birds fed low P diets. Phytase enzyme supplementation decreased (P>0.05) the excreta content of Ca and P indicating the improvement of the retention of these two minerals. Incorporation of phytase in broiler ration could be economically feasible as significant portions of dietary P could be reduced. The aim of this study is to make economic decisions about minimum phosphorus required for optimum performance with the aim of reducing phosphorus excretion into the environment by addition of phytase enzymes.

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Title:             Assessment of Microbial Quality on Indigenous Cocks Semen

 Author(s):     Amadi, C. U., Ibe, S. N. and Nwachukwu, E. N.


Abstract:   This experiment was conducted to investigate the semen microbial flora of Nigerian indigenous chicken cocks. The semen samples were collected from adult Nigerian indigenous cocks comprising; Normal feathered (NF), Naked-Neck (NN), Frizzle (FR) and Naked-Neck x Frizzle (NN x FR) reared in a deep litter management of system. The cocks were subjected to two ejaculation frequencies of once and twice per week for nine weeks using a hand massage technique (back lumbar / abdominal massage method). The semen ejaculated were subjected to both physical and laboratory evaluation for quality and microbial examination. The data collected from the semen analysis of the experimental cocks were subjected to statistical analysis using descriptive statistics (percentage). The result showed that semen samples contained bacterial flora with seventy-six (76) of the 86 (87.35%) while semen samples without microbial growth were ten (10) of the 86 (12.64%) and none of the semen samples grew fungi. Bacteria isolates obtained from the cultured semen include: Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus faecalis, Klebsiella penumonie. 26 out of the bacteria isolates were gram negative organisms while 50 were gram positive organisms. Staphylococcus aureus was the most common bacteria isolates among the genotypes and occurred highest in the normal feathered (NF) 10 (27.03%), Naked-Neck x Frizzle 8 (7.14%) and Frizzle 7 (58.33%). The frequency of isolation of Streptococcus faecalis was higher in the Normal feathered (12/32.43%) and Naked-Neck x Frizzle cocks (5/35.71%). The result showed that the semen collected from Nigerian Indigenous cocks in the experiment contained bacterial flora and pathogens. This was due to the proximity of the cloaca increasing the likelihood of obtaining semen contaminated with feaces, urates, and bacteria that are detrimental to semen quality. The method used for semen collection may have run the risk of possible contamination with the contents of the cloacae and the excretory materials which indicated that the bacteria had affected the quality of the sperm.

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 Title:             Effects of Dietary Prebiotics and Probiotics on the Gut Microbial Characteristics in Rabbits.

 Author(s):     Ewuola, E. O., Amadi, C. U., Imam, T. K. and Jagun, A.T.


Abstract:   A total of 32 weaned rabbits were selected to investigate the effect of dietary growth promoting supplementation on the gut microbial characteristics of rabbits. The animals housed individually in cages were randomly assigned to four treatments (n = 8) including a basal diet (control), diet 2 (prebiotics, 4kg/tonne), diet 3 (probiotics, 500g/tonne) and diet 4 (combination of prebiotics, 4kg/tonne and probiotics 500g/tonne) for 12 weeks. Five rabbits per treatment were selected and slaughtered at the end of the experimental period. The rabbits were fasted over night, euthanized, and digesta from the ileum were collected immediately for gut microbial analysis. The results showed that there was no significant (P>0.05) difference in the total viable count, total coliform count, total fungal count and total yeast count among the treatments. From the results, A total number of 25 different microorganisms were isolated from the digesta. The microorganisms isolated from the gut of the rabbits are strains of gram positive bacteria of the genera of Bacillus (B. substilis, B. marcerans, B. cereus), Streptococcus (S. faecium, S. faecalis, S. Pyogenes),  Micrococcus (M. acidophilus, M. lecteus) and Staphylococcus (S. aureus), gram negative bacteria of the genera of Pseudomonas (P. aeruginosa, P. fragil, P. fluorescence), Proteus (P. Vulgaricus, P. Morganul, P. Morganii), Enterobacteria, Escherichia Coli, Senatia marscences and Aerobacter aerogenes  and Fungus/yeast are Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Aspergillus niger, Fusarium (F. compacticum, F. oxysporum), Pencicillum (P. Oxalicus, P. chrysogenum). The frequency of occurrence of gram negative organisms among the treatments was: control (11), prebiotics (13), probiotics (14) and symbiotics (14) as compared to the gram positive organisms in the control (17), prebiotics (17), probiotics (18) and symbiotics (19). The Yeast/fungus organisms occurred in the control (13), prebiotics (14), probiotics (14) and symbiotics (14).

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 Title:         Loan Operational Method as Critical Factor in Repayment Performance of Microfinance   Institution in South East States of Nigeria 

 Author(s):    Onyeagocha,   S. U. O., Chidebelu, S. A. N. D., Okorji, E. C.2, Nwosu F. O. and Ehirim N. C.


Abstract:  This study investigated and compared the operational methods of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and established if repayment rate was a function of; segment, scale of operation, gender and enterprise-type. Cross-sectional data were collected from the study area using stratified sampling technique. A total of 144 loan beneficiaries from twelve MFIs in three out of five southeast states of Nigeria were interviewed with validated and pre-tested questionnaires. The study lasted for a period of six months, effective April, 2005. Both descriptive and quantitative techniques were employed in the analyses. Loan repayment rates of the profile of the MFIs were determined and Student’s t-test (or Z-test) as well as ANOVA were used in establishing the significance of the relationships between the variables. Results indicated that the semi-formal segment (e.g. NGO-MFIs) had the most superior methodology, with 26 points, followed by the formal segment (e.g. banks) with 20 points, and the informal segment (e.g. ROSCAS) brought the rear with 15 points. In terms of repayment rate, the informal segment was the best (100%), followed by the semi-formal (85%) and the banks brought the rear (57%). Female clients were found to repay loans (74%) better than their male counterparts (63%); whereas micro/small scale enterprises performed better (80%) than medium/large enterprises (63%). Similarly, nonagricultural enterprises with repayment rate of 76% surpassed agricultural enterprises repayment of 56%. Adjustments of the various methods were advocated to ensure improved performance and sustainability of the segments. In addition, support in form of subsidies and grants were solicited for agricultural production enterprises for improved performance.      

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Title:             Analysis of 2005 Rainfall Patterns with Long-Term Averages and their Implications on Climate Change in South-East Agro-ecological Zone of Nigeria

 Author(s):     Audu, H. O., Ekanem, E. M., Chukwu, G. U., Felix I. and Audu, E. B.

Abstract:   The 2005 Rainfall and rainy days of Umudike and Uyo in southeast agro-ecological zone of Nigeria were compared with their long-term averages (32 years). Simple descriptive statistics and Kendall Tau correlation coefficients were used to analyze the data. Rainfall amount showed significant positive correlation (r = 0.93, 0.85). Amount of long-term rainfall and rainy days in the study area showed significant positive correlation (r = 0.72, 0.88). Similarly, rainfall amount and rainy days in 2005 in the area showed significant positive correlation (r = 0.71, 0.86) was also observed between the long-term averages, rainy days and those of 2005. In the seasonal pattern the LTA of rainfall showed that 12.5% and 11% falls between November and March in Uyo and Umudike, respectively, whereas the 2005 rainfall and rainy days depicted 16.04% and 18.35% to 14.08%, 14.39% for Uyo and Umudike, respectively.

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Title:             Assessment of Factors Influencing Sustainability of Government Provided Water Supply Schemes in Abia State, Nigeria

 Author(s):     Apu, U., Ekumankama O. O. and Unamma R. P. A.

Abstract:   This paper examined the factors influencing sustainability of government-provided water supply schemes in Abia State, Nigeria. A multi-stage sampling technique was used in selecting the sample used for the study. Data were collected with the aid of structured questionnaire administered to 340 respondents which constituted the sample size. Data analysis made use of descriptive statistics like frequency counts, percentages as well as the probit regression model. Results revealed that availability of the safe water supply facilities, safety of the water supply schemes, participation of the rural people in the provision of the water supply schemes and cost of obtaining water for household use were the significant factors influencing sustainability of government-provided water supply schemes in the study area. It was recommended that benefitting communities where basic amenities and social services are located should ensure that such amenities are adequately maintained. Also, capacity building workshops and seminars should be organised for community leaders to sensitize them on the need to effectively maintain and safeguard facilities located in their domains.

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