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EVALUATION OF GROWTH AND YIELD RESPONSES OF TARO (COLOCASIA ESCULENTA) TO PLANT SPACING AND NPK FERTILIZER IN THE PLAINS OF NSUKKA, NIGERIA.

By Orji, Kalu Okoro

Two field experiments were conducted in 2008 and 2009 cropping seasons at the linkage farm of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka to evaluate growth and yield response of (Taro) Colocasia esculenta to plant spacing and NPK fertilizer on the plains of Nsukka with the objectives of identifying best performing cultivar, optimum plant spacing and NPK fertilizer rate. Experiment one was laid out in a 3x5 factorial in Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) in which Factor A is plant spacing comprising 0.3m x 1.0m, 0.4m x 1.0m and 0.5m x 1.0m levels while Factor B is taro cultivars consisting of Nkpong, Odogolo, Nworoko, ugwuta and Nachi. Experiment two was laid out in a 5x6 factorial in RCBD in which Factor A is taro cultivars as mentioned above and Factor B NPK fertilizer with 6 levels among which are : Okg/ha, 100kg/ha, 150kg/ha, 200kg/ha, 250kg/ha, and 300kg/ha with three replications in each of the two experiments. F-LSD was applied to detect significant differences at 5% probability level. The result showed that the mean rainfall for 2009 planting season was higher than that of 2008. The soil was texturally clayey and moderately acidic with a PH of 5.0 .Cultivar diferences in cormel and corm yield were not significant, however Nworoko produced the highest yield of 11.0 t/ha among the cultivars. Plant spacing produced significant effect (P=0.05) in the tuber yield in both 2008 and 2009. Planting at 0.3m x 1.0m significantly gave the highest tuber yield/ha among the three plant spacing. NPK fertilizer showed significant effect (P=0.05) on the measured traits with 200kg/ha and 150kg/ha producing the highest yield of 43.0 t/ha and 3.0 t/ha respectively, in both 2008 and 2009.

Published: 10/03/2018

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EFFECTS OF PELLETED AND UNPELLETED COMPOSTED ORGANIC MATERIALS ON THE GROWTH AND YIELD OF THREE VARIETIES OF CUCUMBER (Cucumis sativus L.)

By Ikenganyia, Ejike Emmanuel

The main objective of this study is to determine the effects of the pelleted and unpelleted composted organic materials on the growth and yield of three varieties of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). The specific objectives were to: determine the physical and chemical properties of pelleted and unpelleted composted organic materials, determine the effects of pelleted and unpelleted composted organic materials on the growth and yield of three varieties of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) and evaluate the effects of unpelleted composted rice husks + poultry manure (75%:25%, v/v) rates on the growth and yield of three varieties of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). Three experiments were undertaken at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Experiment one was a laboratory analysis to determine the physical and chemical properties of pelleted and unpelleted composted organic materials. Experiment two was done in the greenhouse as a 3 × 13 factorial trial in a completely randomized design (CRD) with three replications. The treatments were three varieties of cucumber (Poinsett, Marketer and Supermarketer) and unpelleted composted rice husks (100%), unpelleted composted moringa pod husks (100%), unpelleted composted maize cobs (100%), unpelleted composted rice husks + poultry manure (75%:25%, volume to volume; v/v), unpelleted composted moringa pod husks + poultry manure (75%:25%, v/v), unpelleted composted maize cobs + poultry manure (75%:25%, v/v), pelleted composted rice husks (100%), pelleted composted moringa pod husks (100%), pelleted composted maize cobs (100%), pelleted composted rice husks + poultry manure (75%:25%, v/v), pelleted composted moringa pod husks + poultry manure (75%:25%, v/v), pelleted composted maize cobs + poultry manure (75%:25%, v/v), top soil (control). Experiment three was done in the field as a 3 × 4 factorial laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications. Twelve treatment combinations consisting of three cucumber varieties (Poinsett, Marketer and Supermarketer) and four rates (0 t ha -1, 5 t ha -1, 10 t ha -1 and 15 t ha-1) of unpelleted composted rice husks + poultry manure (75%:25%, volume to volume; v/v) were used. The physical properties of pelleted and unpelleted composted organic materials revealed that the top soil significantly (p < 0.05) gave a higher bulk density value of 1.21 g cm-3 compared with pelleted and unpelleted composted organic materials. Total porosity and available water holding capacity were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the unpelleted composted rice husks (100%). The chemical properties showed that the organic matter content of unpelleted composted maize cobs (100%) was significantly (p < 0.05) higher with a value of 26.48% compared with pelleted composted maize cobs (100%). Total nitrogen and carbon nitrogen ratio were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in unpelleted composted rice husks + poultry manure (75%:25%, v/v). The morphological growth traits (plant height, leaf area per plant, number of internodes per plant, number of leaves per plant, internode length per plant and stem girth per plant) and yield performances (root, stem, leaf dry weight, fruit length, fruit width, fruit girth, number of fruits per plant and total fresh fruit weight) of the three varieties of cucumber grown in soil amended with unpelleted composted rice husks + poultry (75%:25%, v/v) had significantly (p < 0.05) the highest values compared with the other treatments. The highest application rate of 15 t ha-1 gave significantly (p < 0.05) the highest values of total nitrogen (1.36%), available phosphorus (80.36 ppm), organic carbon (4.10%), organic matter content (7.07%), exchangeable potassium (0.38 meq/100 g), exchangeable calcium (5.80 meq/100 g) and exchangeable magnesium (4.30 meq/100 g) compared with the other rates. The correlation coefficient (r = 0.995**) between soil organic carbon and exchangeable calcium was the highest and the least was the association (r = 0.473) between exchangeable potassium and exchangeable magnesium. The main objective of this study is to determine the effects of the pelleted and unpelleted composted organic materials on the growth and yield of three varieties of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). The specific objectives were to: determine the physical and chemical properties of pelleted and unpelleted composted organic materials, determine the effects of pelleted and unpelleted composted organic materials on the growth and yield of three varieties of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) and evaluate the effects of unpelleted composted rice husks + poultry manure (75%:25%, v/v) rates on the growth and yield of three varieties of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). Three experiments were undertaken at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Experiment one was a laboratory analysis to determine the physical and chemical properties of pelleted and unpelleted composted organic materials. Experiment two was done in the greenhouse as a 3 × 13 factorial trial in a completely randomized design (CRD) with three replications. The treatments were three varieties of cucumber (Poinsett, Marketer and Supermarketer) and unpelleted composted rice husks (100%), unpelleted composted moringa pod husks (100%), unpelleted composted maize cobs (100%), unpelleted composted rice husks + poultry manure (75%:25%, volume to volume; v/v), unpelleted composted moringa pod husks + poultry manure (75%:25%, v/v), unpelleted composted maize cobs + poultry manure (75%:25%, v/v), pelleted composted rice husks (100%), pelleted composted moringa pod husks (100%), pelleted composted maize cobs (100%), pelleted composted rice husks + poultry manure (75%:25%, v/v), pelleted composted moringa pod husks + poultry manure (75%:25%, v/v), pelleted composted maize cobs + poultry manure (75%:25%, v/v), top soil (control). Experiment three was done in the field as a 3 × 4 factorial laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications. Twelve treatment combinations consisting of three cucumber varieties (Poinsett, Marketer and Supermarketer) and four rates (0 t ha -1, 5 t ha -1, 10 t ha -1 and 15 t ha-1) of unpelleted composted rice husks + poultry manure (75%:25%, volume to volume; v/v) were used. The physical properties of pelleted and unpelleted composted organic materials revealed that the top soil significantly (p < 0.05) gave a higher bulk density value of 1.21 g cm-3 compared with pelleted and unpelleted composted organic materials. Total porosity and available water holding capacity were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the unpelleted composted rice husks (100%). The chemical properties showed that the organic matter content of unpelleted composted maize cobs (100%) was significantly (p < 0.05) higher with a value of 26.48% compared with pelleted composted maize cobs (100%). Total nitrogen and carbon nitrogen ratio were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in unpelleted composted rice husks + poultry manure (75%:25%, v/v). The morphological growth traits (plant height, leaf area per plant, number of internodes per plant, number of leaves per plant, internode length per plant and stem girth per plant) and yield performances (root, stem, leaf dry weight, fruit length, fruit width, fruit girth, number of fruits per plant and total fresh fruit weight) of the three varieties of cucumber grown in soil amended with unpelleted composted rice husks + poultry (75%:25%, v/v) had significantly (p < 0.05) the highest values compared with the other treatments. The highest application rate of 15 t ha-1 gave significantly (p < 0.05) the highest values of total nitrogen (1.36%), available phosphorus (80.36 ppm), organic carbon (4.10%), organic matter content (7.07%), exchangeable potassium (0.38 meq/100 g), exchangeable calcium (5.80 meq/100 g) and exchangeable magnesium (4.30 meq/100 g) compared with the other rates. The correlation coefficient (r = 0.995**) between soil organic carbon and exchangeable calcium was the highest and the least was the association (r = 0.473) between exchangeable potassium and exchangeable magnesium.

Published: 10/03/2018

Size: 1.68MB

GENETIC DIVERSITY OF FIVE POPULATIONS OF THE NIGERIAN LOCAL BREEDS OF GOAT USING RANDOM AMPLIFIED POLYMORPHIC DNA (RAPD) MARKERS

By Udeh Fredrick Ugochukwu

Genetic diversity and genetic distance of five populations of the Nigerian breeds of goat were investigated using random amplified polymorphic DNA markers. Five breeds of goat were used for the study and each breed constituted a population, hence, the five populations considered in the study. The populations were: Sokoto Red (SR), Sahel (SH), Kano Brown (KB), Bornu White (BW) and West African Dwarf (WAD) goats. The experiment was conducted within four geographical zones of Nigeria: South east, North west, North east and North central. One hundred and twenty (120) blood samples were randomly collected from various locations across the four geographical zones in Nigeria. The samples were collected from the stocks at the central markets, which served as collection point from all the localities and from household goat keepers. Varying numbers of sample sizes (Sokoto Red = 23, Kano Brown = 21, Bornu White = 23, WAD = 26 and Sahel = 27) were collected from each breed. The blood samples were collected from the jugular vein of the animals through a process known as venipuncture. Approximately, 5 ml of blood was collected aseptically from each animal into an EDTA container, using 23 gauge sterile needle and syringe, and was stored at -20oC using (ethylene-di-amine-tetra-acetic acid, EDTA) as anticoagulant containers. The DNA samples were isolated and purified from the 120 blood samples following protocol as recommended by (ZYMO RESEARCH CORPORATION, e-mail: info@zymoresearch.com). The RAPD-PCR reaction followed the procedure described by El Hentati et al., (2012). Seven random primers were used for this study but only three (3) primers produced clearly polymorphic and reproducible bands whereas four (4) failed to produce any band. Allele frequency per population per loci under consideration exceeded the minimum allele frequency (MAF) limit 10%. Level of polymorphism per primer varied from 43 – 80%. Total of 20 scoreable bands were obtained and thirteen (13) out of which were polymorphic to arrive at a total of 65% polymorphism. Genetic diversity of the studied populations was measured with three indices: (Nei’s genetic diversity, Shannon’s information index, Observed and Effective number of alleles). Observed number of allele (Na) was 2.0000 across the populations while Effective number of alleles (Ne) varied from 1.9003 in WAD to 1.9900 in Sahel population. However, SR, KB and BW had Ne values of 1.9897, 1.9287 and 1.9836 respectively. Nei’s heterozygosity varied across the populations with highest values 0.4975 and 0.4974 obtained in Sahel and Kano Brown respectively whereas lowest value 0.4736 was obtained in WAD. Shannon’s Information index followed similar trend across with average of 0.6822. The mean of coefficient of gene differentiation Gst was (0.0139) and mean of gene flow Nm across populations was (35.3710). The highest genetic similarity (0.9995) and lowest genetic distance (0.0005) was recorded between Sokoto Red and Sahel, while the lowest similarity (0.9505) and highest genetic distance (0.0507) was recorded between Bornu White and WAD. Populations with higher similarity indicated that they are of closer descent and closer geographical locations. The unweighted pair group method of arithmetic means (UPGMA) dendrogram based on Nei’s genetic distance clearly separated the five populations into two clusters. The closest relationship was observed between Sokoto Red, Sahel and Bornu White goat populations/breeds and the farthest relationship was observed between WAD and Sokoto Red populations. It was concluded that the high similarity obtained in this study was as a result of loss of heterozygosis in the populatons of Nigerian breeds of goat which may have originated among mates in each population/breed. However, the results of this experiment can offer some crucial scientific data useful for breeding programme of Nigerian breeds of goats.Genetic diversity and genetic distance of five populations of the Nigerian breeds of goat were investigated using random amplified polymorphic DNA markers. Five breeds of goat were used for the study and each breed constituted a population, hence, the five populations considered in the study. The populations were: Sokoto Red (SR), Sahel (SH), Kano Brown (KB), Bornu White (BW) and West African Dwarf (WAD) goats. The experiment was conducted within four geographical zones of Nigeria: South east, North west, North east and North central. One hundred and twenty (120) blood samples were randomly collected from various locations across the four geographical zones in Nigeria. The samples were collected from the stocks at the central markets, which served as collection point from all the localities and from household goat keepers. Varying numbers of sample sizes (Sokoto Red = 23, Kano Brown = 21, Bornu White = 23, WAD = 26 and Sahel = 27) were collected from each breed. The blood samples were collected from the jugular vein of the animals through a process known as venipuncture. Approximately, 5 ml of blood was collected aseptically from each animal into an EDTA container, using 23 gauge sterile needle and syringe, and was stored at -20oC using (ethylene-di-amine-tetra-acetic acid, EDTA) as anticoagulant containers. The DNA samples were isolated and purified from the 120 blood samples following protocol as recommended by (ZYMO RESEARCH CORPORATION, e-mail: info@zymoresearch.com). The RAPD-PCR reaction followed the procedure described by El Hentati et al., (2012). Seven random primers were used for this study but only three (3) primers produced clearly polymorphic and reproducible bands whereas four (4) failed to produce any band. Allele frequency per population per loci under consideration exceeded the minimum allele frequency (MAF) limit 10%. Level of polymorphism per primer varied from 43 – 80%. Total of 20 scoreable bands were obtained and thirteen (13) out of which were polymorphic to arrive at a total of 65% polymorphism. Genetic diversity of the studied populations was measured with three indices: (Nei’s genetic diversity, Shannon’s information index, Observed and Effective number of alleles). Observed number of allele (Na) was 2.0000 across the populations while Effective number of alleles (Ne) varied from 1.9003 in WAD to 1.9900 in Sahel population. However, SR, KB and BW had Ne values of 1.9897, 1.9287 and 1.9836 respectively. Nei’s heterozygosity varied across the populations with highest values 0.4975 and 0.4974 obtained in Sahel and Kano Brown respectively whereas lowest value 0.4736 was obtained in WAD. Shannon’s Information index followed similar trend across with average of 0.6822. The mean of coefficient of gene differentiation Gst was (0.0139) and mean of gene flow Nm across populations was (35.3710). The highest genetic similarity (0.9995) and lowest genetic distance (0.0005) was recorded between Sokoto Red and Sahel, while the lowest similarity (0.9505) and highest genetic distance (0.0507) was recorded between Bornu White and WAD. Populations with higher similarity indicated that they are of closer descent and closer geographical locations. The unweighted pair group method of arithmetic means (UPGMA) dendrogram based on Nei’s genetic distance clearly separated the five populations into two clusters. The closest relationship was observed between Sokoto Red, Sahel and Bornu White goat populations/breeds and the farthest relationship was observed between WAD and Sokoto Red populations. It was concluded that the high similarity obtained in this study was as a result of loss of heterozygosis in the populatons of Nigerian breeds of goat which may have originated among mates in each population/breed. However, the results of this experiment can offer some crucial scientific data useful for breeding programme of Nigerian breeds of goats.

Published: 10/03/2018

Size: 6.47MB

SEMEN QUALITY AND EGG HATCHABILITY IN LOCAL TURKEY FED DIETS CONTAINING MORINGA OLEIFERA AND GONGRONEMA LATIFOLIUM LEAF MEAL.

By Yusuf, Mercy

The experiment was conducted to determine semen quality, fertility, egg hatchability and some biochemical parameters in Nigerian local turkey toms fed diets containing Moringa oleifera (MO), Gongronema latifolium (GL) leaf meals and their combinations. A total of 72 Nigerian local turkeys comprising of 54 males and 18 females were used for the study. The males were randomly divided into 9 treatment groups, each treatment was replicated 3 times with 2 toms per replicate. The treatment diets were given only to the toms, starting from three month of age through the experimental period. The experimental animals were fed and given water properly, twice a day without restriction. All the management practices were carried out to the best of ability. The males in all the treatment groups were weighed weekly to determine their daily and weekly body weight gain. At 26 weeks of age, toms were trained for semen collection, and 32 weeks of age, semen was collected using abdominal massages. Samples were analyzed for colour, volume, progressive motility, sperm concentration, viability and sperm morphology. Fresh semen sample were also collected per treatment in vials’ stored in ice block and analyzed for fructose, Na and K. A total of 18 hens were randomly shared 2 per treatment corresponding to the 9 treatments. Pooled Semen from each treatment was used to inseminate the hens twice a week at the beginning of egg lay and once a week subsequently. A total of 225 eggs were collected and incubated in weekly batches, analyzed for fertility and hatchability. The result revealed that M. oleifera and G. latifolium leaf meals had significant (P

Published: 10/03/2018

Size: 1.23MB

EFFECT OF SELENIUM AND VITAMIN E ON THE REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE OF RABBIT DOES AND KITS

By Shaibu, Gabriel Ameh

This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary supplementation of Vitamin E and Selenium on the reproductive performance of rabbit Does and Kits. Four groups of mixed breeds of rabbits (Newzealand white, Dutch black, and Chinchilla) 8-9 months old with an average body weight of 1.98±0.6kg were considered in the experiment. Each group was made up of 3does and a buck to serve them. All the bucks were fed the basal diet during the study alongside group 1 Does which served as the control. Does in groups 2, 3 and 4 Does were fed the basal diet supplemented with 40mg vitamin E (VE); 0.3mg Selenium (Se); and 40mg Vitamin E plus 0.3 Selenium (VE + Se) for 4 weeks respectively. From the study, there were no significant (P>0.05) differences in the reproductive performances of Does except for body weight of litter at birth which was significantly (P>0.05) increased by Se and significantly decreased by VE + Se supplementation; and weight at weaning which was increased in the Se group. Blood Haemoglobin, PCV, RBC, and LH did not differ (P>0.05) from the control. Se and VE groups increased blood Neutrophils. In the VE+ Se group, Eosinophil and FSH were significantly (P>0.05) increased, while lymphocyte was significantly (P>0.05) reduced. However, Eosinophil and Lymphocyte were significantly (P>0.05) decreased in the VE group. For the oxidative enzymes, the Se, SOD, and Glutathione peroxidase were not influenced by the treatments (P>0.05). The Se group had a significantly (P>0.05) increased MDA and Reduced glutathione values. Glutathione level was significantly lowered in the VE and Se group. For the VE + Se group, MDA was significantly increased while Catalase was significantly (P>0.05) reduced. Other oxidative enzymes were not however influenced (P>0.05) by the treatments. In conclusion, in addition to improvement in the FSH and oxidative enzymes status of Does, there was also better reproductive performance when Se is supplemented at 0.3mg/kg diet.This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary supplementation of Vitamin E and Selenium on the reproductive performance of rabbit Does and Kits. Four groups of mixed breeds of rabbits (Newzealand white, Dutch black, and Chinchilla) 8-9 months old with an average body weight of 1.98±0.6kg were considered in the experiment. Each group was made up of 3does and a buck to serve them. All the bucks were fed the basal diet during the study alongside group 1 Does which served as the control. Does in groups 2, 3 and 4 Does were fed the basal diet supplemented with 40mg vitamin E (VE); 0.3mg Selenium (Se); and 40mg Vitamin E plus 0.3 Selenium (VE + Se) for 4 weeks respectively. From the study, there were no significant (P>0.05) differences in the reproductive performances of Does except for body weight of litter at birth which was significantly (P>0.05) increased by Se and significantly decreased by VE + Se supplementation; and weight at weaning which was increased in the Se group. Blood Haemoglobin, PCV, RBC, and LH did not differ (P>0.05) from the control. Se and VE groups increased blood Neutrophils. In the VE+ Se group, Eosinophil and FSH were significantly (P>0.05) increased, while lymphocyte was significantly (P>0.05) reduced. However, Eosinophil and Lymphocyte were significantly (P>0.05) decreased in the VE group. For the oxidative enzymes, the Se, SOD, and Glutathione peroxidase were not influenced by the treatments (P>0.05). The Se group had a significantly (P>0.05) increased MDA and Reduced glutathione values. Glutathione level was significantly lowered in the VE and Se group. For the VE + Se group, MDA was significantly increased while Catalase was significantly (P>0.05) reduced. Other oxidative enzymes were not however influenced (P>0.05) by the treatments. In conclusion, in addition to improvement in the FSH and oxidative enzymes status of Does, there was also better reproductive performance when Se is supplemented at 0.3mg/kg diet.

Published: 10/03/2018

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EFFECT OF DIETARY SUPPLEMENTATION OF ORGANIC SELENIUM AT DIFFERENT LEVELS ON REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE OF RABBIT DOES

By Omeje, Valentine Ikechukwu

The effect of dietary supplementation of organic selenium at different levels on reproductive performance of rabbit does was investigated using 16 (12 does and 4 bucks) rabbits. The rabbits were of New Zealand white, Dutch and chinchilla breeds. The twelve rabbit does were randomly assigned to four experimental treatment groups (T0, T1, T2 and T3) according to the amount of organic selenium supplementation in a completely randomized design (CRD). Rabbits in T0 served as the control and received 0.00mg/kg Se supplement diet daily, while those in T1, T2 and T3 were given 0.15, 0.30 and 0.45 mg/kg organic selenium yeast, respectively. Each rabbit in a treatment was housed in individual cage and served as replicate. Rabbits in each treatment were mated using four bucks (one buck per treatment). The parameters measured were: birth weight of the litters, body weight of the dam after kindling, litter sizes at birth including stillbirths, conception rate, gestation length, body weight of does during gestation, litter weight at weaning, litter sizes at weaning and growth rates of kits. . Haematological parameters and oxidative enzymes were also determined. Results showed that selenium supplementation in the diets had no significant (p > 0.05) effect on gestation length, litter size at birth, number of stillbirth, doe body weights at kindling and litter body weights at birth. However, selenium supplementation had significant effect (p < 0.05) on litter size at weaning, litter body weight at weaning and pre – weaning weight gain of kits during lactation. Doe weight gain during gestation and growth rate of kits were not significantly (p > 0.05) different among the treatment groups. Weight gain of kits at weaning was higher in treatment one with only two kits as the average kits weaned. Litter size at weaning was significantly higher at treatment 3 (6.50) and for treatment 2 (5.00). The higher values in number of kits at birth, birth weight of kits and litter size weaned as recorded in treatment 2 showed the significant role of selenium as an anti-stress in the diets of the animal. Inclusion levels of selenium had no significant (p > 0.05) effect on such haematological indices on RBC of rabbits. However, there were significant differences (p < 0.05) among treatment group on haematological values of Hb, PVC, Neutrophils and eosinophils. There was a significant difference (p < 0.0.5) among treatment groups on follicule stimulating hormone (FSH) secretion, however no difference was found in LH. Selenium in the diets of rabbit does had no significant effect (p > 0.05) on such oxidative enzymes like catalase, , selenium and reduced glutathione. However, there were significant differences (p < 0.05) among the treatment groups on oxidative enzymes of MDA, SOD and glutathione peroxidase, glutathione, and glutathione transferase with higher significant (p < 0.05) effect on SOD. It was therefore concluded that under good nutritional and other management practices, inclusion of selenium in diets of rabbit does at 0.30mg/kg feed will increase the number of kits per doe per year even though best results for weight gain of litters at weaning were obtained with 0.15mg/kg selenium supplementation in the diet and this will enhance maximum productive performance, thus maximum/higher economic returns from the enterprise.The effect of dietary supplementation of organic selenium at different levels on reproductive performance of rabbit does was investigated using 16 (12 does and 4 bucks) rabbits. The rabbits were of New Zealand white, Dutch and chinchilla breeds. The twelve rabbit does were randomly assigned to four experimental treatment groups (T0, T1, T2 and T3) according to the amount of organic selenium supplementation in a completely randomized design (CRD). Rabbits in T0 served as the control and received 0.00mg/kg Se supplement diet daily, while those in T1, T2 and T3 were given 0.15, 0.30 and 0.45 mg/kg organic selenium yeast, respectively. Each rabbit in a treatment was housed in individual cage and served as replicate. Rabbits in each treatment were mated using four bucks (one buck per treatment). The parameters measured were: birth weight of the litters, body weight of the dam after kindling, litter sizes at birth including stillbirths, conception rate, gestation length, body weight of does during gestation, litter weight at weaning, litter sizes at weaning and growth rates of kits. . Haematological parameters and oxidative enzymes were also determined. Results showed that selenium supplementation in the diets had no significant (p > 0.05) effect on gestation length, litter size at birth, number of stillbirth, doe body weights at kindling and litter body weights at birth. However, selenium supplementation had significant effect (p < 0.05) on litter size at weaning, litter body weight at weaning and pre – weaning weight gain of kits during lactation. Doe weight gain during gestation and growth rate of kits were not significantly (p > 0.05) different among the treatment groups. Weight gain of kits at weaning was higher in treatment one with only two kits as the average kits weaned. Litter size at weaning was significantly higher at treatment 3 (6.50) and for treatment 2 (5.00). The higher values in number of kits at birth, birth weight of kits and litter size weaned as recorded in treatment 2 showed the significant role of selenium as an anti-stress in the diets of the animal. Inclusion levels of selenium had no significant (p > 0.05) effect on such haematological indices on RBC of rabbits. However, there were significant differences (p < 0.05) among treatment group on haematological values of Hb, PVC, Neutrophils and eosinophils. There was a significant difference (p < 0.0.5) among treatment groups on follicule stimulating hormone (FSH) secretion, however no difference was found in LH. Selenium in the diets of rabbit does had no significant effect (p > 0.05) on such oxidative enzymes like catalase, , selenium and reduced glutathione. However, there were significant differences (p < 0.05) among the treatment groups on oxidative enzymes of MDA, SOD and glutathione peroxidase, glutathione, and glutathione transferase with higher significant (p < 0.05) effect on SOD. It was therefore concluded that under good nutritional and other management practices, inclusion of selenium in diets of rabbit does at 0.30mg/kg feed will increase the number of kits per doe per year even though best results for weight gain of litters at weaning were obtained with 0.15mg/kg selenium supplementation in the diet and this will enhance maximum productive performance, thus maximum/higher economic returns from the enterprise.

Published: 10/03/2018

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CYTOGENETIC SCREENING OF DIFFERENT BREEDS OF RABBIT FOR GROWTH POTENTIALS IN A WARM HUMID TROPICAL ENVIRONMENT

By Nweke Crescent Uchenna

The study was carried out to determine the x-chromatin status of different breeds of rabbit and their crosses. The genotypes were Newzealand (NZW) x Newzealand (NZW), Dutch Black (DTB) x Dutch Black (DTB), (NZW) x DTB, and DTB x NZW. One hundred and sixty-nine offsprings from the mating were screened. Blood samples were collected with heparin sample bottles fortified with EDTA anti-coagulant via the ear veins and blood smears were made on clean glass slides. They were stained with Geimsa, rinsed in distilled water and air dried. With the aid of microscope, 200 polymorphonuclear neutrophils were examined for the presence of drumstick appendages. The result revealed that the females had the average x-chromatin status of 2.09%, 2.00%, 2.28% and 2.07% for NZW x NZW, DTB x DTB, NZW x DTB and DTB x NZW genotypes respectively while the males had the average x-chromatin status of 0.00%, 0.05% 0.00% and 0.00% for NZW x NZW, DTB x DTB, NZW x DTB and DTB x NZW genotypes respectively. These values were within the normal range of 2.00 – 12.00% for females and 0.00% - 2.00% for males. It was concluded that these animals were free from x-chromatin related physiogenetic problems. The body weight measurement of the rabbits at 4, 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age showed significant differences at (p

Published: 10/03/2018

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PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSE OF BROILER BIRDS TO ORAL SUPPLEMENTATION WITH ALOE VERA AND NEEM LEAVE EXTRACTS

By Edeh, Henry Onyeji

Two hundred and forty 14-day old broiler birds were used in a study conducted to investigate the physiological response of boiler birds to oral supplementation with aloe vera gel and neem leaf extracts. In experiment one, one hundred and twenty 14- day old broilers were used to assess the physiological response of the broiler birds to oral supplementation with alovera gel extract, while in experiment two, one hundred and twenty 14- day old broilers were used to assess the physiological response of the broiler birds to oral supplementation with neem leaf extract. The birds of both sexes were randomly allotted into five treatment groups of 24 birds each in a completely randomized design (CRD) in both experiments. Treatments 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 received ordinary water, Vitaltye, 10, 20, and 30% of each of the two extracts, respectively. Results obtained in experiment one showed that there were significant (p

Published: 10/03/2018

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TRENDS IN THE ACTIVITIES OF THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA, 1991-2013

By Amakom, Stanley Tochukwu

This study evaluated the impact of the extension services of Green River Project (GRP) on fish farmers in Niger Delta, Nigeria. Specifically, it sought to ascertain fishery technologies received by GRP fish farmers; determine adoption of fish farming technologies by fish farmers; determine impact of extension services of GRP on socioeconomic condition of the fish farmers as at the year 2012; ascertain farmers’ perceived constraints to adoption of GRP fish farming technologies; ascertain constraints to effective performance of extension services of GRP and determine perceived strategies to improve effectiveness of the extension services of GRP. The study was carried out in Niger Delta, Nigeria. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 120 fish farmers and 20 GRP personnel. Data were collected through the use of questionnaire and interview schedule. Descriptive statistics (frequency, mean statistic, percentage) were used to present data while t-test, regression, chi-square and factor analysis with varimax rotation were used to analyze the data. Mean age of GRP fish farmers and personnel were 50 and 41.70 years, respectively. Majority (76.7% of fish farmers and 65% of GRP personnel) of respondents were male. Also majority (77.5%) of the fish farmers and all (100%) the GRP personnel were married. The respondents were literates. Majority (70.0) of the fish farmers also engaged in other income generating activities. Average household size of the fish farmers and GRP personnel were 6.0 and 4.0 persons, respectively. Average years of participation in GRP for the fish farmers was 8.00 years while the mean years of working with GRP of the personnel was 12.65years. The farmers’ average number of contact with GRP was 4.0 times per month. GRP personnel used different types of teaching methods such as the use of contact group (100%), T&V system (90%) and SPAT (85.0%). Majority (86.7%) of the fish farmers belonged to social organisations. Majority of respondents received most of the technologies disseminated. Adoption index of fish farm management technologies, feeding techniques, fish culture management technique, water quantity and quality management techniques and liming techniques were 0.79, 0.77, 0.77, 0.88 and 0.52 respectively. Extension services of GRP had impact on quantity of fingerlings stocked (t=6.398; p≤ 0.05) and quantity of fishes harvested (t=6.279; p≤ 0.05); income from fishes produced (t=7.390; p≤ 0.05) among others. Constraints to adoption of GRP technologies were grouped into technology dissemination constraints; project implementation and sustainability constraints among others. Some socioeconomic characteristics of the respondents (age (years), years spent in formal education and years of participation in GRP) influenced the adoption of the fish farming technologies. Therefore, the null hypothesis was rejected for these variables. There was significant difference between the average quantities of fish stocked and average quantity of fish harvested by the fish farmers in Imo and Rivers States after participation in GRP hence the null hypothesis was rejected. The null hypothesis was rejected while the alternative hypothesis was accepted. It further revealed that there was no significant difference between the average income earned by the fish farmers in Imo and Rivers States after participation in GRP and the null hypothesis was accepted. Implementation constraints to effective performance of extension services of GRP according to GRP personnel included: climatic uncertainties and flooding (M= 1.55) and delay in input supply (M=1.20). It was recommended that there is need to increase youth involvement in the project (90.0%), increase farmers’ participation in decision making (90.0%) and increase the number of trained extension personnel (85.0%). This study evaluated the impact of the extension services of Green River Project (GRP) on fish farmers in Niger Delta, Nigeria. Specifically, it sought to ascertain fishery technologies received by GRP fish farmers; determine adoption of fish farming technologies by fish farmers; determine impact of extension services of GRP on socioeconomic condition of the fish farmers as at the year 2012; ascertain farmers’ perceived constraints to adoption of GRP fish farming technologies; ascertain constraints to effective performance of extension services of GRP and determine perceived strategies to improve effectiveness of the extension services of GRP. The study was carried out in Niger Delta, Nigeria. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 120 fish farmers and 20 GRP personnel. Data were collected through the use of questionnaire and interview schedule. Descriptive statistics (frequency, mean statistic, percentage) were used to present data while t-test, regression, chi-square and factor analysis with varimax rotation were used to analyze the data. Mean age of GRP fish farmers and personnel were 50 and 41.70 years, respectively. Majority (76.7% of fish farmers and 65% of GRP personnel) of respondents were male. Also majority (77.5%) of the fish farmers and all (100%) the GRP personnel were married. The respondents were literates. Majority (70.0) of the fish farmers also engaged in other income generating activities. Average household size of the fish farmers and GRP personnel were 6.0 and 4.0 persons, respectively. Average years of participation in GRP for the fish farmers was 8.00 years while the mean years of working with GRP of the personnel was 12.65years. The farmers’ average number of contact with GRP was 4.0 times per month. GRP personnel used different types of teaching methods such as the use of contact group (100%), T&V system (90%) and SPAT (85.0%). Majority (86.7%) of the fish farmers belonged to social organisations. Majority of respondents received most of the technologies disseminated. Adoption index of fish farm management technologies, feeding techniques, fish culture management technique, water quantity and quality management techniques and liming techniques were 0.79, 0.77, 0.77, 0.88 and 0.52 respectively. Extension services of GRP had impact on quantity of fingerlings stocked (t=6.398; p≤ 0.05) and quantity of fishes harvested (t=6.279; p≤ 0.05); income from fishes produced (t=7.390; p≤ 0.05) among others. Constraints to adoption of GRP technologies were grouped into technology dissemination constraints; project implementation and sustainability constraints among others. Some socioeconomic characteristics of the respondents (age (years), years spent in formal education and years of participation in GRP) influenced the adoption of the fish farming technologies. Therefore, the null hypothesis was rejected for these variables. There was significant difference between the average quantities of fish stocked and average quantity of fish harvested by the fish farmers in Imo and Rivers States after participation in GRP hence the null hypothesis was rejected. The null hypothesis was rejected while the alternative hypothesis was accepted. It further revealed that there was no significant difference between the average income earned by the fish farmers in Imo and Rivers States after participation in GRP and the null hypothesis was accepted. Implementation constraints to effective performance of extension services of GRP according to GRP personnel included: climatic uncertainties and flooding (M= 1.55) and delay in input supply (M=1.20). It was recommended that there is need to increase youth involvement in the project (90.0%), increase farmers’ participation in decision making (90.0%) and increase the number of trained extension personnel (85.0%).

Published: 10/03/2018

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FARMERS’PERCEPTION OF THE GROWTH ENHANCEMENT SUPPORT (GES) SCHEME IN KOGI STATE, NIGERIA.

By Ndakotsu, John Egbunu

The main objective of the study was to determine the farmers’ perception of Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme in Kogi State. A total 120 copies of the questionnaires were administered to the schemes’ participants purposively selected from 12 communities of six local government areas of the State. The local government areas are Lokoja, Kogi, Ajaokuta, Adavi, Bassa and Dekina. Data was collected on both demographic and farm characteristics of the respondents. Others areas include respondents’ perceived perception of the GES scheme effectiveness, knowledge level of respondents, level of satisfaction on the scheme activities, the constraints to effective implementation of the scheme and the strategies for effective implementation of the scheme. Data collected was presented using descriptive statistics, mean scores, standard deviation, factor analysis and multiple regression models. The result of the analysis revealed that majority (78.3%) of the respondent were male and married and the farmers mean age was 42.4years. The mean farming household size was 5persons with Christian and Muslim religion being mainly practiced. About 89.2% of the respondents took farming as their major profession with the mean farming experience as 18.6 years. Majority (85.8%) of the respondents belong to social or religion organisations and have access to agriculture-related information. The major crops grown in the area include maize, cassava and rice. The respondents had a very high knowledge of the schemes’ activities and the major source of information on the scheme activities was extension agents. On the farmers’ perception of the GES, a good number of respondents have positive perception on the schemes’ operational process and are equally satisfied with some implementation processes of the scheme. However, the major constraints to effective implementation of the scheme include untimely input provision, inability to pay for the mobile phones. Factor analysis also grouped these constraints into inputs, personnel and poverty-related constraints. The suggested strategies for effective implementation of the scheme include timely input provision and early registration of participants. The hypothesis shows that access to agriculture- related information (t=-2.340:p=0.05) had a significant relationship with rural farmers’ knowledge. It was recommended that early inputs provisions is to be ensured since farming operations are time bound, the farm inputs are to be further subsidised in such a way that everyone will be able to pay for the subsidized inputs. Other suggestions are the provision of mobile phones, creation of more redemption centres along with construction of feeder roads in order to facilitate the effective operations of the scheme. Lastly, early registration of participants, recruitment of more staff along with women encouragement for participation is to be ensured.The main objective of the study was to determine the farmers’ perception of Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme in Kogi State. A total 120 copies of the questionnaires were administered to the schemes’ participants purposively selected from 12 communities of six local government areas of the State. The local government areas are Lokoja, Kogi, Ajaokuta, Adavi, Bassa and Dekina. Data was collected on both demographic and farm characteristics of the respondents. Others areas include respondents’ perceived perception of the GES scheme effectiveness, knowledge level of respondents, level of satisfaction on the scheme activities, the constraints to effective implementation of the scheme and the strategies for effective implementation of the scheme. Data collected was presented using descriptive statistics, mean scores, standard deviation, factor analysis and multiple regression models. The result of the analysis revealed that majority (78.3%) of the respondent were male and married and the farmers mean age was 42.4years. The mean farming household size was 5persons with Christian and Muslim religion being mainly practiced. About 89.2% of the respondents took farming as their major profession with the mean farming experience as 18.6 years. Majority (85.8%) of the respondents belong to social or religion organisations and have access to agriculture-related information. The major crops grown in the area include maize, cassava and rice. The respondents had a very high knowledge of the schemes’ activities and the major source of information on the scheme activities was extension agents. On the farmers’ perception of the GES, a good number of respondents have positive perception on the schemes’ operational process and are equally satisfied with some implementation processes of the scheme. However, the major constraints to effective implementation of the scheme include untimely input provision, inability to pay for the mobile phones. Factor analysis also grouped these constraints into inputs, personnel and poverty-related constraints. The suggested strategies for effective implementation of the scheme include timely input provision and early registration of participants. The hypothesis shows that access to agriculture- related information (t=-2.340:p=0.05) had a significant relationship with rural farmers’ knowledge. It was recommended that early inputs provisions is to be ensured since farming operations are time bound, the farm inputs are to be further subsidised in such a way that everyone will be able to pay for the subsidized inputs. Other suggestions are the provision of mobile phones, creation of more redemption centres along with construction of feeder roads in order to facilitate the effective operations of the scheme. Lastly, early registration of participants, recruitment of more staff along with women encouragement for participation is to be ensured.

Published: 10/03/2018

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CHALLENGES IN ADMINISTERING THE CROSS RIVER STATE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, NIGERIA

By Mbang, Eno Joseph

The study was conducted to identify the challenges in administering the Cross River State Ministry of Agriculture, Nigeria. All the staff of the ministry constituted the population for the study. A proportionate sampling technique was used in selecting respondents, with twenty percent (20%) of respondents from each of the departments. Thus the total sample size for the study was one hundred and thirteen (113) respondents. Percentages, mean and frequency were used in the presentation and analysis of the data collected. The result of the study showed that the majority of staff (85.5%) were married and 64.5% of respondents were males; the mean age of staff was 43.85%. About 43.5% of the respondents had Bachelor of science (B.Sc) as their highest educational qualification, above average (55.3%) of the staff specialized in agricultural science related discipline. Results revealed that the State government (85.5%) was the ministry's major source of funding, and 80.9% indicated that fund was insufficient. They agreed the approved budget was three hundred and sixty nine million, four hundred and nineteen thousand, three hundred and sixty five hundred, forty one kobo (N 367,419,365.41) rather than a proposed budget of one billion, five hundred and sixty eight million, six hundred and twenty two thousand, eight hundred and sixty three naira, zero kobo (N1,568,622,863.00) for different departments. The ministry is understaffed by three hundred and fifty seven persons (357) and lacks infrastructure as only buildings for offices was indicated as available (71.8%) and functional (62.7%) by respondents. Major constraints identified from this result were: poor funds for purchase of equipment (M=2.18), improper and inadequate staffing (M=1.55), insufficient electricity supply (M=2.49), inadequate funding of State ministry's interrelationship activities (M=2.54). Results also show that the State ministry had weak linkage with universities (M=1.31) and the research institutes (M=1.37). Suggestions to address the challenges are: increased budgetary allocation (54.5%), training and retraining of staff (58.2%), constant recruitment (36.4%), funding for research work and facilities (32.7%). The study was conducted to identify the challenges in administering the Cross River State Ministry of Agriculture, Nigeria. All the staff of the ministry constituted the population for the study. A proportionate sampling technique was used in selecting respondents, with twenty percent (20%) of respondents from each of the departments. Thus the total sample size for the study was one hundred and thirteen (113) respondents. Percentages, mean and frequency were used in the presentation and analysis of the data collected. The result of the study showed that the majority of staff (85.5%) were married and 64.5% of respondents were males; the mean age of staff was 43.85%. About 43.5% of the respondents had Bachelor of science (B.Sc) as their highest educational qualification, above average (55.3%) of the staff specialized in agricultural science related discipline. Results revealed that the State government (85.5%) was the ministry's major source of funding, and 80.9% indicated that fund was insufficient. They agreed the approved budget was three hundred and sixty nine million, four hundred and nineteen thousand, three hundred and sixty five hundred, forty one kobo (N 367,419,365.41) rather than a proposed budget of one billion, five hundred and sixty eight million, six hundred and twenty two thousand, eight hundred and sixty three naira, zero kobo (N1,568,622,863.00) for different departments. The ministry is understaffed by three hundred and fifty seven persons (357) and lacks infrastructure as only buildings for offices was indicated as available (71.8%) and functional (62.7%) by respondents. Major constraints identified from this result were: poor funds for purchase of equipment (M=2.18), improper and inadequate staffing (M=1.55), insufficient electricity supply (M=2.49), inadequate funding of State ministry's interrelationship activities (M=2.54). Results also show that the State ministry had weak linkage with universities (M=1.31) and the research institutes (M=1.37). Suggestions to address the challenges are: increased budgetary allocation (54.5%), training and retraining of staff (58.2%), constant recruitment (36.4%), funding for research work and facilities (32.7%).

Published: 10/03/2018

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AVAILABILITY AND USE OF SWAMP RICE PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGIES AMONG FARMERS IN ENUGU STATE NIGERIA.

By Eze, Kelvin Chinedu

In spite of the use of available production technologies by swamp rice farmers, much of the world’s intensive food production is still on small land holdings. Although swamp rice contributes significantly to the food requirements of the population, its production is far below the national requirements. Hence this study was designed to assess availability and use of swamp rice production technologies among farmers in Enugu State, Nigeria. Primary data were obtained from 96 swamp rice farmers through the use of a structured interview schedule. Descriptive statistics, multiple regression and logit regression equation were used to analyze the data. Findings indicated that (13.3%) of the respondents had no formal education, with a mean household size of 6 persons. Majority of the respondents (43.2%) borrowed their farmland and cultivated an average of 3.8 hectares of land yearly. The percentage of the respondents that belonged to at least one organization was (78.6%), while about 21.4% were not members of any organization. Majority of the respondents (60.6%) had no access to credit facilities, and 52.4% had no contact with extension agents while the average contact made by the farmers was 9.5 contacts in the past one year. Findings of the swamp rice production technologies available to the farmers included: Rice varieties such as Nerica and Faro (95.7%), recommended seed/seedling rate (95.7%), planting with 20x20 cm or 25cm x 25cm spacing (92.0%) control weed using herbicides such as propanyl-plus (90.4%). Also, the number of respondents that were categorized as high users was 14.2% while 21% were medium users, 11.5% were categorized as low users and 3.3% did not use any production technologies. The respondents perceived the following as factors promoting level of use of swamp rice production technologies; ability to enhance income of farmers (M = 2.52), adaptable to culture of users (M = 2.35) and access to available technologies (M = 2.28) among others. The respondent’s perceived constraints to the use of available swamp rice production technologies include pest, diseases and weeds, (M = 2.64), drought issues such as rainfall, solar radiation, (M= 2.49) and land tenure issues M = 2.46 among others. The regression results show that there was a significant relationship (f = 2.341., p< 0.05) between the socio-economic characteristics of the SR farmers and the use of available SR production technologies. Furthermore, results of the hypothesis revealed that years of farming experience (t = 0.032: P = 0.021), membership of social organization (t = 2.179: p= 0.001) number of contacts with extension workers (t = 0.965; P = 0.000) had positive significant relationship on farmers use of available swamp rice technologies. The overall finding of the study shows that the identified constraints to the use of available swamp rice production technologies should be tackled by government and non government organizations in
order to enhance farmers ability to use available technologies effectively.In spite of the use of available production technologies by swamp rice farmers, much of the world’s intensive food production is still on small land holdings. Although swamp rice contributes significantly to the food requirements of the population, its production is far below the national requirements. Hence this study was designed to assess availability and use of swamp rice production technologies among farmers in Enugu State, Nigeria. Primary data were obtained from 96 swamp rice farmers through the use of a structured interview schedule. Descriptive statistics, multiple regression and logit regression equation were used to analyze the data. Findings indicated that (13.3%) of the respondents had no formal education, with a mean household size of 6 persons. Majority of the respondents (43.2%) borrowed their farmland and cultivated an average of 3.8 hectares of land yearly. The percentage of the respondents that belonged to at least one organization was (78.6%), while about 21.4% were not members of any organization. Majority of the respondents (60.6%) had no access to credit facilities, and 52.4% had no contact with extension agents while the average contact made by the farmers was 9.5 contacts in the past one year. Findings of the swamp rice production technologies available to the farmers included: Rice varieties such as Nerica and Faro (95.7%), recommended seed/seedling rate (95.7%), planting with 20x20 cm or 25cm x 25cm spacing (92.0%) control weed using herbicides such as propanyl-plus (90.4%). Also, the number of respondents that were categorized as high users was 14.2% while 21% were medium users, 11.5% were categorized as low users and 3.3% did not use any production technologies. The respondents perceived the following as factors promoting level of use of swamp rice production technologies; ability to enhance income of farmers (M = 2.52), adaptable to culture of users (M = 2.35) and access to available technologies (M = 2.28) among others. The respondent’s perceived constraints to the use of available swamp rice production technologies include pest, diseases and weeds, (M = 2.64), drought issues such as rainfall, solar radiation, (M= 2.49) and land tenure issues M = 2.46 among others. The regression results show that there was a significant relationship (f = 2.341., p< 0.05) between the socio-economic characteristics of the SR farmers and the use of available SR production technologies. Furthermore, results of the hypothesis revealed that years of farming experience (t = 0.032: P = 0.021), membership of social organization (t = 2.179: p= 0.001) number of contacts with extension workers (t = 0.965; P = 0.000) had positive significant relationship on farmers use of available swamp rice technologies. The overall finding of the study shows that the identified constraints to the use of available swamp rice production technologies should be tackled by government and non government organizations in
order to enhance farmers ability to use available technologies effectively.

Published: 10/03/2018

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CONSTRAINTS TO ORGANISING AGRICULTURAL SHOWS IN BENUE STATE, NIGERIA

By Enenche, Augustine Oche

The study assessed the constrains to organizing agricultural shows in Benue State, Nigeria. Specifically, it ascertained the roles of agencies involved in organsing agricultural shows; ascertained the procedures in organizing agricultural shows by the stakeholders; identified factors militating against the organization of agricultural shows; and identified strategies required for improving the organization of agricultural shows. The study was carried out in Benue State, Nigeria. Proportionate sampling technique was used to select 30% of the respondents from each of the five (5) agencies to obtain a sample of fifty (50) respondents. Data were collected through the use of questionnaire and interview schedule. Descriptive statistics (frequency, mean statistic, percentage) were used to present data while the statistical product and service solution (SPSS) version 16 was the statistical software package used for the analysis. Majority (74.0%) of the respondents were males while (26.0%) were females. Majority (70.0%) of the respondents were civil servants while (30.0%) engaged in farming. Majority (68.0%) of the respondents had 1-10 years of experience in agricultural show while 20.0% had between 11-20 years of experience in agricultural show. 80.0% and 4.0% had 21-30 and 31-40 years of agricultural show respectively. Majority (68.0%) of the respondents belonged to cooperative organizations. Farm inputs (94.0%) topped the list of rewards given to participants of agricultural shows, followed by certificates (90.0%), honours (82.0%); sponsorship to higher competition (72.0%); cash (64.0%); and study tour (32.0%). Factors militating against the organization of agricultural shows were lack of fund (M=2.78), policy inconsistency (M=2.55); lack of incentives (M=2.52); absence of political will by government (M=2.49); non involvement of farmers and their affiliate unions in decision making process (M=2.46); lack of infrastructural facilities (M=2.43); political interference in management (M=2.40); lack of farmers interest in agricultural shows (M=1.37); only lack of farmers’ interest in agricultural show was rated as having the lowest grade. The major strategies for improvement of agricultural shows as suggested by the respondents included; functional policy for agricultural shows to be held regularly (M=2.3); conception of agricultural shows by organizations with strong capital base (M=2.59); theme selection to address sensitive and topical issues (M=2.94); capacity building (M=2.17); and cost recovery measures (M=.200). It was, recommended that a major strategy for improving agricultural shows is for functional policy to be made a regular feature. There should be provision of adequate funding and timely release of funds by agencies to properly plan and organize agricultural shows. Farmers should be organized into viable associations to ensure their active participation in the organization of agricultural shows.The study assessed the constrains to organizing agricultural shows in Benue State, Nigeria. Specifically, it ascertained the roles of agencies involved in organsing agricultural shows; ascertained the procedures in organizing agricultural shows by the stakeholders; identified factors militating against the organization of agricultural shows; and identified strategies required for improving the organization of agricultural shows. The study was carried out in Benue State, Nigeria. Proportionate sampling technique was used to select 30% of the respondents from each of the five (5) agencies to obtain a sample of fifty (50) respondents. Data were collected through the use of questionnaire and interview schedule. Descriptive statistics (frequency, mean statistic, percentage) were used to present data while the statistical product and service solution (SPSS) version 16 was the statistical software package used for the analysis. Majority (74.0%) of the respondents were males while (26.0%) were females. Majority (70.0%) of the respondents were civil servants while (30.0%) engaged in farming. Majority (68.0%) of the respondents had 1-10 years of experience in agricultural show while 20.0% had between 11-20 years of experience in agricultural show. 80.0% and 4.0% had 21-30 and 31-40 years of agricultural show respectively. Majority (68.0%) of the respondents belonged to cooperative organizations. Farm inputs (94.0%) topped the list of rewards given to participants of agricultural shows, followed by certificates (90.0%), honours (82.0%); sponsorship to higher competition (72.0%); cash (64.0%); and study tour (32.0%). Factors militating against the organization of agricultural shows were lack of fund (M=2.78), policy inconsistency (M=2.55); lack of incentives (M=2.52); absence of political will by government (M=2.49); non involvement of farmers and their affiliate unions in decision making process (M=2.46); lack of infrastructural facilities (M=2.43); political interference in management (M=2.40); lack of farmers interest in agricultural shows (M=1.37); only lack of farmers’ interest in agricultural show was rated as having the lowest grade. The major strategies for improvement of agricultural shows as suggested by the respondents included; functional policy for agricultural shows to be held regularly (M=2.3); conception of agricultural shows by organizations with strong capital base (M=2.59); theme selection to address sensitive and topical issues (M=2.94); capacity building (M=2.17); and cost recovery measures (M=.200). It was, recommended that a major strategy for improving agricultural shows is for functional policy to be made a regular feature. There should be provision of adequate funding and timely release of funds by agencies to properly plan and organize agricultural shows. Farmers should be organized into viable associations to ensure their active participation in the organization of agricultural shows.

Published: 10/03/2018

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TRENDS IN THE ACTIVITIES OF THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA, 1991-2013

By Amakom, Stanley Tochukwu

The development of state ministry of agriculture in Nigeria changed in political structure after independence. The three regions structure in 1960 gave way to four regions in1963 and this equally gave way to states creation from 1967 up to 1996 (Ayoola, 2010). The roles of the ministry of agriculture include the following: - Organizing of short duration seminars and workshops to farmers. Providing farmers credit, subsidies and other incentives to boost total output in the various special programmes undertaken by the state government, Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other support programmes. Conduct market surveys to determine current prices of agricultural inputs and products. Carry out the technical implementation of all agricultural loan schemes. Pest control services. Overseeing the activities of all agriculture related Parastatals and Companies (www.riverstate.gov.ng).The development of state ministry of agriculture in Nigeria changed in political structure after independence. The three regions structure in 1960 gave way to four regions in1963 and this equally gave way to states creation from 1967 up to 1996 (Ayoola, 2010). The roles of the ministry of agriculture include the following: - Organizing of short duration seminars and workshops to farmers. Providing farmers credit, subsidies and other incentives to boost total output in the various special programmes undertaken by the state government, Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other support programmes. Conduct market surveys to determine current prices of agricultural inputs and products. Carry out the technical implementation of all agricultural loan schemes. Pest control services. Overseeing the activities of all agriculture related Parastatals and Companies (www.riverstate.gov.ng).

Published: 10/03/2018

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ASSESSMENT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES IN RIVERS STATE, NIGERIA

By Albert Caroline Obinedo

The study assessed Local Government agricultural activities in Rivers State, Nigeria. Specifically, the study was designed to: identify the types of agricultural activities implemented; ascertain level of local participation in agricultural activities; ascertain perceived benefits of agricultural activities; assess status of agricultural funding for agricultural development; identify areas of linkages between LG and agricultural agencies and ascertain factors inhibiting LG executing agricultural activities. Eighteen communities from nine Local Government Areas (LGAs) were selected by multi-stage sampling technique from the twenty three LGAs in the state. A total of two hundred and seven (207) respondents made up the sample size for the study. Questionnaire and interview schedule were the instrument used for data collection. Data collected were analyzed using frequency, percentage, chart, mean statistics and factor analysis. Socio economic attributes (age, sex, educational level, occupation, income, etc) on participation was ascertained using multiple regression.. The hypothesis was tested at 5% level of significance Findings revealed that 37.1% of the LG staff, 30.6% of households’ heads were within the age range of 40-49 years, majority (74.1% and 66.7%) of the LG staff and households heads, respectively were married. All (100%) of the LG staff were educated while 81.4% of the households were educated and the main occupation of LG staff was civil service while half (50.3%) of the households heads depended mainly on farming. Building of market ranked first (1st) as the dominant agricultural activity followed by fisheries sub-sector and establishment of poultry farms that ranked second and third, respectively. Local people participated at the implementation (50.0%) stage of agricultural activities, 10% participated at the planning stage and 3.3% participated at the diagnostic stage. Poverty reduction (M=3.17), reduced rural-urban migration (M= 3.06), increased employment opportunities (M=3.14), provision of raw materials for local industries (M=3.02), increase food supply (M= 3.10) and increased interest in agriculture (M=3.13) were perceived benefits of agricultural activities. Khana was the LGA that spent the highest (6.37%) (N600000) on agriculture from a mean annual allocation of N6.9m. Linkages existed between LG and Agricultural Development Project (ADP) (M=2.62), International Fund for Agricultural Development (M=2.55), and FADAMA III (M=2.62) in the areas of joint use of farmers, joint use of staff and joint funding of project. Corruption (M=2.58), non- continuity of projects (M=2.54), politicizing of selection of participants (M=2.37), poor interest of the community people (M=2.23) and low budgetary allocation (M=2.78) were seen as inhibiting factors to LG administration implementing agricultural activities. There was a significant (p

Published: 10/03/2018

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