Farmers’ Perceptions of Agricultural Extension Agents’ Performance in Sub-Saharan African Communities
Abstract— Considering the important role extension agents perform in the rural community, potential exists to measure the performance of extension workers from the smallholder perspective. The study investigated farmers’ perceptions of agricultural extension agents’ performance in Kaduna State, Nigeria. Data were collected with structured questionnaires distributed to 200 rural smallholder farmers and 20 agricultural extension agents using a multiple stage sampling technique. The main aim of the study was to evaluate the performance of extension agents on agricultural production. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Chi-square analysis was used to test significant relationship between farmers’ perception regarding the role of extension services and increase in crop production. The result of the socio and demographic characteristics of the farmers showed that more than half (59%) are within the active age and are married and had one form of education or the other. The estimated chi-square value of 12.84 revealed that there is no statistical significant relationship between extension services and increase in crop production among farmers in the study area. In addition, majority (89%) of the respondents perceived lack of regular contacts with extension agents as a great challenge in the area, while a large proportion (82%) of the respondents reported that extension services was not effective in the area. However, since contact with extension agents was ineffective, the results obtained showed that smallholder farmers preferred traditional ICT, mainly radio (63%) as their main source of accessing agricultural information. The study however recommends that government should employ and train more agricultural graduates. More extension workers need to be hired in order to significantly reduce the problem of the extension workers to farm families’ ratio which is currently 1:3000 in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
Keywords— Extension agents, smallholder farmers, perception, extension ratio, village.
Institutional Factors and Crop Farmer’s Participation in Agricultural Insurance Scheme: Evidence from South Western Nigeria
Abstract—The paper investigated the effect of institutional factors on crop farmer’s participation in agricultural insurance schemes in South Western, Nigeria. Specifically, the study described the socio-economic characteristics of crop farmers in the study area, examined the level of awareness of the crop farmers, analyzed the factors influencing the participation of crop farmers and intensity of use of the agricultural insurance policy and compare the income between the participating and non-participating crop farmers in the study area. Multistage sampling techniques were used to select 240 respondents in the study area. Primary data were used for the study, which was sourced from a cross-sectional survey of crop farmers in the study area with the aid of a well-structured questionnaire. The data were analyzed using descriptive, Cragg’s (double-hurdle) model, and t-test. The result of the descriptive analysis showed that the mean age of participant and non-participant was 49.47 (±16.36) and 48.19(±15.41) respectively, where the mean years of formal education for participants and non-participant were 10.23(±5.46) and 10.54(±5.72) respectively. The result of Cragg’s model in the first hurdle (Probit model) showed that variables such as education, access to credit, farm size, membership of association, and awareness significantly influence the decision of crop farmers to participate in agricultural insurance scheme. In the second hurdle (truncated regression), access to credit, income, risk assessment, and contact with extension was significant to intensity of participation in agricultural insurance scheme in the study area. The result of the t-test showed that there is a significant difference in the income of participants and those that do not participate in agricultural insurances scheme in the study area. Even though a considerable proportion of respondents sampled were aware of agricultural insurance, there is still a need to increase awareness among the farmers so that more farmers can participate in the scheme in other to stabilize their income.
Keywords— Agricultural Insurance, Participation, Crop farmers, Double- hurdle, South Western.
Assessment of Yield of Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) and Soil CO2 Emissions as Influenced by Compost Doses and Irrigation Regimes
Abstract— Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is one of the most important vegetables cultivated in Togo. Water stress constitutes one of limiting factors of production in dry season. Compost use improves soil properties and crop production but may lead to soil CO2 emission into atmosphere. This study assessed the influence of compost doses and irrigation regimes on tomato yield and soil CO2 emission. Trial agronomics were conducted in dry season in year 2018 and 2019 in a randomized complete block design with three repetitions. Treatments included control plots, compost plots and chemical fertilizer plots. Water was supplied according to three irrigation regimes of 1, 2 and 4 days interval. Tomato fruits were harvested when color was yellowish red. Soil CO2 emission measurement was conducted in four months (120 days) during field experiment from January to April in 2019. Soil samples were collected from plots and incubated in laboratory. Soil CO2 emission was measured every day during 28 day’s incubation using 0.1 N HCl after precipitating the carbonate with a BaCl2 solution by alkali back-titrating. The results shown that highest tomato yield and highest soil CO2 emission were recorded on plots treated with compost and submitted to two days interval irrigation while the lowest values of these parameters were obtained from control plots and treated plots submitted to daily and four days interval irrigation.This was noted that CO2 emission from soil samples collected in third and fourth months of field experiment were more than those of first and second months.
Keywords— Togo, household waste compost, irrigation interval day, tomato yield, soil CO2 emission.
Formation of Dioxins during Energy Cogeneration by Burning Bagasse and Sugarcane Straw Fertilized with Chlorinated Compounds: State of the Art and Presentation of Alternatives
Abstract— Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs), also known as dioxins, are part of a group of organochlorine chemical compounds, highly persistent in the environment, with similar chemical structures. High levels of this compound are found in the burning ashes of the sugarcane and are attributed to the high concentration of chlorine present in bagasse and in the sugarcane straw that are used as a substrate for obtaining energy in the bioethanol production plants. This occurred due to the application of chlorine-containing fertilizers, such as potassium chloride, during the cultivation of sugarcane. Considering the high degree of toxicity of dioxins, the objective of this study was to conduct a literature review on the subject and research alternatives that can control the generation and emission of dioxins in bioethanol production plants, either through the application of appropriate technologies to control emission of dioxins generated during burning, or by substituting the chlorinated fertilizer used in the cultivation of sugarcane. From the analysis of different studies that researched the presence of dioxins in the ash of the bagasse burning boiler, there is a concentration that varies from 2, 2 to 190 picograms of dioxin equivalent toxicity (TEQ) per gram of ash. For the removal of these dioxins, the control systems commonly used in sugarcane plants have not proved to be efficient. In this context, the main alternatives would be the application of technologies for optimizing the combustion process combined with the treatment of end of pipe by means of a scrubber and bag filter or selective catalytic oxidation using NH3-SCR catalysts. Another option is the substitution of the potassium source, which presents itself as the most viable alternative, with the use of non-chlorine sources, such as Glauconitic Siltstone, Potassium Nitrate, Potassium Sulfate or vinasse instead of using chlorinated fertilizers such as Potassium Chloride.
Keywords— Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, cogeneration, control systems, Glauconitic Siltstone, bioethanol production.
Ultrasonic Radiation Influence on the Bioadsorbent Characteristics of Citrus (Citrus x Lemon) & (Citrus x sinensis)
Abstract— Of all the materials used as adsorbents, activated charcoal is the most popular as it is excellent for reducing/eliminating a wide variety of contaminants. This capacity is mainly due to its structural characteristics that give it a large surface area. However, it has several disadvantages. The most important are that the adsorbent material is quite expensive as is its regeneration. For this reason, more economical absorbents have been sought, highlighting the study of adsorption phenomena in some types of biomass as adsorbents.
Bioadsorption is considered a viable alternative to the physical-chemical methods currently used for the recovery or removal of heavy metals dissolved in liquid effluents. Its main attraction, from an industrial point of view, is its low cost due to the great abundance, easy to obtain and low price of the bioadsorbent material. Bioadsorption is very effective in treating metal concentrations below 100 mg/L, where the application of physical-chemical methods is neither technically nor economically feasible.
One of these materials of interest is citrus peels, because, due to their abundance as a waste product of the food industries, they are hardly reused and currently have little economic value. However, these residues have a low adsorption capacity, so both physical and chemical modifications are required to increase their adsorption properties.
This study compares the characteristics of orange and lemon peels undergoing a physical-chemical treatment with ultrasonic radiation assistance and the optimization of experimental conditions to obtain useful bioadsorbents in discontinuous processes (batch).
Keywords— bioadsorption, orange peel, lemon peel, ultrasonic radiation, heavy metal removal.
Abstract— Environmental pollution, mainly caused by toxic chemicals, includes air, water, and soil pollution. This pollution results not only in the destruction of biodiversity, but also the degradation of human health. Pollution levels that are increasing day by day need better developments or technological discoveries immediately. In this sense, Nanotechnology, is the production and art of operating matter at the nanoscale (1–100 nm), offers the potential of novel nanomaterials for treatment of surface water, groundwater, and wastewater contaminated by toxic metal ions, organic and inorganic solutes, and microorganisms. Nanotechnology has three main capabilities that can be applied in the fields of environment, including the cleanup (remediation) and purification, the detection of contaminants (sensing and detection), and the pollution prevention. Different nanomaterials and their application in water treatment, purification and disinfection is reviewed in this article.
Keywords— Nanotechnology, Nanoparticles, Water Purification, Water Remediation, Wastewater treatment.
Abstract— On Farm Trail was conducted in five locations of Mangalore and Nallore Block of Cuddalore District to assess the ‘Nutriseed pack’ technique on maize. Nutriseed pack is a small tubular form that is 20 mm diameter, 10 cm height. Nutriseed pack contains seed at top, manure in the middle and fertilizer at bottom. The experiment consisted of three treatments viz., Farmer practice (TO1), recommended dose of fertilizer (TO2) and Nutriseed Pack (TO3) The results revealed that, the grain yield recorded with different treatment ranged between 65.44 to 74.00 q ha-1. Among the technologies, Nutriseed pack (TO3) was recorded more yield of 74.00 q ha-1 (13.08% increased yield over control) than that of 71.92 q ha-1 recommended dose of fertilizer applied in the field followed by farmers practice (65.44 q ha-1). Similar trend of results were also observed in yield parameters. Enrichment of manure pellet and fertilizer that is Nutriseed pack was effective when compared to other technologies.
Keywords— Nutriseed Pack, Hybrid Maize, Yield, Yield Attributes.
Relationship between California Mastitis Test Scores and Somatic Cell Counts in Different Crossbred Dairy Cattle Genotypes
Abstract— The objective of this study was to evaluate relationship between California Mastitis Test scores (CMT) and Somatic Cell Counts in different crossbred dairy cattle genotypes. A total of 152 milk samples were screened for mastitis using the California Mastitis Test (CMT) kit. Somatic Cell Count (SCC) in milk samples were analysed directly using microscopic method. Based on the analysis of CMT score, the study found out that 55.92 % of udder quarters were negative while 43.99 % were positive for subclinical mastitis. The Least Square Difference (LSD) for pairwise comparison between CMT scores and lactation stage were significantly different between First and second lactation at 0.25±0.11; second and third at 0.27±0.0118 at P≤ 0.05. The means of SCC among the breeds were significantly different at P≤0.05; Ayshires and Friesians (68,055±18.82 cells/ml); Ayshire and Guernsey (71,976±23.844 cells/ml); Friesians and Jerseys (64.863±21.429 cells/ml); and Guernsey and Jersey (68.78±25.952 cells/ml). In conclusion, this study provides baseline information in the area of selection for mastitis resistant breeds of dairy cattle. This study also strongly recommends the use of this technique in screening for somatic cell counts in udder quarters of crossbred dairy cattle.
Keywords; Crossbred, Mastitis resistant, Somatic Cell Count, Somatic Cell Score.
Abstract— This study was carried out to evaluate the bread characteristics and sensory attributes of sorghum- cocoyam-cassava flour composite bread using simplex lattice of experimental design of response surface methodology (RSM). The sensory evaluation results from semi-trained panelists were generated into a 3D plot for color, taste, aroma, texture and overall acceptability. Wheat bread was used as control for comparison. The loaf weight of the bread samples ranged from 216.0g by sorghum-cocoyam-cassava bread to 177.5g of wheat bread(control); the loaf specific volume ranged from 251.9cm3 of wheat to 187.2cm3 of sorghum bread while loaf specific volume ranged from 1.42cm3/g to 1.10cm3/g. The linear mixture components of sorghum-cocoyam, sorghum-cassava, cocoyam-cassava and sorghum-cassava-cocoyam flours were not significant on the attributes. The mean hedonic score values for all tested attributes were different from the bread sample (control) at p<0.05. The overall acceptability of the samples showed p>0.05 indicating poor acceptance of the composite bread. Generally the samples under study showed dark brown external and internal colour with increased coarseness and firmness. However, a successful use of sorghum, cocoyam and/or cassava with improved processing methods leading to production of indigenous bread would save many less developed countries from importation of wheat.
Keywords— Bread characteristics, sensory evaluation, composite flour, mixture experimental design, Response Surface Methodology (RSM).