Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Feeding Raw Kapok (Ceiba pentandra) Seed Meal on the Growth Performance, Nutrient Digestibility, Carcass and Organ Weights of Weaner Rabbits

R. J. Wafar, B. Yakubu, B. C. Lalabe

Asian Research Journal of Agriculture, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/ARJA/2017/33431

The study was carried out to evaluate the effects of feeding raw kapok seed meal on growth performance, nutrient digestibility and carcass characteristics of weaner rabbits. Thirty (30) weaner rabbits were used for the study. Five diets were compounded using raw kapok seed meal (RKSM) at 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20% inclusion levels. The rabbits were weighed and randomly assigned to the five dietary treatments replicated three times with two rabbits per replicate in a completely randomized design. The proximate composition of raw kapok seed meal showed it contains 89.51% dry matter, 17.45% crude fibre, 22.59%, crude protein, 10.05% ether extracts, 6.53%, ash and 43.38% nitrogen free extract. The seed meal also contains tannin (2.53%), Alkaloid (3.34%), phenol (2.48%), flavonoid (2.95%), saponin (1.30%), trypsin inhibitors (17.97%), hemagglutinin (1.69%) and total oxalate (1.12%).The result of growth performance and nutrient digestibility decreased significantly (P<0.01) as the dietary levels of raw kapok seed meal increases. Similarly carcass and internal organ weights were significantly influenced by the dietary levels of RKSM. The relative weights of liver, lungs and kidney significantly (P<0.01) increased beyond 15% RKSM inclusion in the diet. It was concluded that RKSM can be fed to weaner rabbit up to 10% inclusion levels without any adverse effect on the rabbit performance.

Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of Stem Bark Extracts of Azadiratcha indica (A. Juss) and Vernonia amygdalina (Del.) for the Management of Aspergillus flavus on Tomato

Chigoziri Ekhuemelo, Ocholongwa Michael Eigege

Asian Research Journal of Agriculture, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/ARJA/2017/34640

This study investigated the antifungal effects of three concentrations of the stem bark extract of neem (Azadiratcha indica A. Juss) and bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina Del.) on Aspergillus flavus causal agent of rot in tomato fruits.  Five, ten and fifteen percent concentration of the plant extracts  were prepared by weighing 25 g, 50 g and 75 g and infusing each in 500 ml sterile cold water for 48 hours (weight by volume w/v). Potato dextrose agar (PDA) media was amended with the plant extracts and inoculated at the centre with 1 mm diameter mycelia discs taken from a advancing edges of a pure culture of seven days old A. flavus. Healthy tomato fruits were dipped in 5% w/v, 10% w/v and 15% w/v concentrations of the stem bark extracts for five minutes and the tomato fruits inoculated with 7 day old pure cultures of A. flavus. All the plant extracts tested at all concentrations significantly reduced the mycelia growth of A. flavus compared with the control. The tomato fruits treated with 5% w/v of A. indica had the lowest firmness decrease of 1.67 and was considered marketable. Tomato fruits treated with 15% w/v of A. indica had significantly (P≤ 0.05) lower weight loss of 20.30% compared with the control (61.73%). The study suggests that             V. amygdalina can be used for the preservation of tomato fruits while A. indica can be used to improve tomato fruit quality in storage.

Open Access Original Research Article

Changes of Soil Fertility Status in Some Soil Series of Tista Floodplain Soils of Bangladesh, during 1996-2016

Masud Hassan, Abdullah Abu Syeed Ahmed, Md Arafat Hassan, Rubaya Nasrin, A. B. M. Sadique Rayhan, Sk. Musfiq-Us- Salehin, Md Khaliur Rahman

Asian Research Journal of Agriculture, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/ARJA/2017/34365

The study of several soil series of Tista Floodplain soils were carried out to find the changing trend of nutrients status from 1996 to 2016. The studied values of different soil quality variables were changed likewise pH 5.87 ± 0.47 to 5.95 ± 0.33, organic matter 1.37 ± 0.31% to 1.47 ± 0.41%, ,total nitrogen 0.49 ± 0.13 cmol/kg to 0.64 ± 0.07 cmol/kg , phosphorous 0.10 ± 0.04 cmol/kg to 3.19 ± 0.34 cmol/kg, potassium 0.31 ± 0.29 cmol/kg to 2.93 ± 0.26 cmol/kg, sulfur 0.19 ± 0.05 cmol/kg to 8.66 ± 2.74 cmol/kg, iron 1.09 ± 0.46 cmol/kg to 2.07 ± 0.99 cmol/kg, manganese 0.10 ± 0.02 cmol/kg to 0.31 ± 0.30 cmol/kg, copper 0.03± 0.01 cmol/kg to 0.02 ± 0.01 cmol/kg, zinc 0.01 ± 4.8E-20 cmol/kg to 0.01 ± 0.01 cmol/kg in 1996 and 2016 respectively. Almost all variables changed over significantly at 5% (P < 0.05) level except pH, organic matter, total Nitrogen and Copper content whose were not significant at 5% (P < 0.05) level not even 10% (P < 0.10) level. The increasing trends of total Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Iron were positively correlated from 1996 to 2016 than other variables. The copper and zinc content did not showing any effective change over these 20 years. The overall nutrients were adequate except organic matter and total nitrogen content. But, the trends had positive direction of all nutrients due to application of organic and inorganic fertilizer that might be correlated with increasing concern about nutrients management concept among the farmer.

Open Access Original Research Article

Inter-seasonal Effects on Selected Maturity Parameters of DK8031 Maize Grown under Varying Irrigation and Nitrogen Levels in Embu County, Kenya

Charles Nyambane Onyari, Antony Mwangi Kibe, Samuel Mwonga

Asian Research Journal of Agriculture, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/ARJA/2017/34453

Maize is a staple food and a source of carbohydrates to a large proportion of people in Kenya. The performance of crop plants such as maize depends on a number of factors such as climate, soil characteristics and plant species. The maturity parameters such time to tassel, milk stage, physiological maturity and biological maturity are consequently affected which in turn has an influence on crop performance. A study was carried out at University of Embu Demonstration Farm that lies at 03° 30′ S latitude, 37° 30′ E longitude, and altitude 1480 m above sea level, soils being Humic Nitisols. To evaluate the effects of seasonal weather variability on maturity parameters of DK8031 maize, a CRBD in a split plot experimental arrangement was set up in which four irrigation levels (I) and five nitrogen fertilizer rates (N) were allocated the main and subplot treatments in two seasons, respectively. The results revealed that the irrigation levels and nitrogen rates significantly (P<0.05) affected the time to reach the 50% tasseling, 50% milk stage and 50% physiological maturity, ranging from 69 to 73, 99 to 107 and 128 to 140 days after planting, respectively. In all cases, Season I (cool and less rainfall, 530.3 mm) crop took longer to reach any the three developmental stages, compared to Season II (warm and more rainfall = 605.6 mm). The time variation in reaching the developmental stages was attributed to the seasonal weather conditions. Farmers can opt to plant their maize crop in Season II to take advantage of the shorter period the crop takes to mature.

Open Access Original Research Article

Characterising Loan Default among Women Microcredit Borrowers an Empirical Study in Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Natarajan Kolandavel, Safene Choma Chubato

Asian Research Journal of Agriculture, Page 1-15
DOI: 10.9734/ARJA/2017/33020

Aims: Credit is a critical input for agriculture and women empowerment. Rural Savings and Credit Cooperatives (RuSACCOs) are important financial institutions in remote villages of Ethiopia offering avenues for savings and credit for farmers and the poor. The aim of this study was to find out the repayment status of loans obtained by women farmers who were members in RuSAACOs.

Study Design: The Study design followed was Ex-post facto Design through survey research.

Place and Duration of Study: This study was undertaken in Kindo Koysha Woreda (district) in Wolaita Zone, Ethiopia. The study was held between December 2015 and May 2016.

Sample: From four randomly selected RuSACCOs of the study district, 96 women farmers who had been members of RuSACCOs were selected as respondents.

Methodology: Primary and Secondary data were gathered respectively from women members and district government agencies respectively. The sample size was determined using Yamane formula. The primary data yielded quantitative information on repayment status (Repaid regularly or otherwise). Similarly, data was gathered on 17 personal, socio-economic characteristics of the women members to provide the backdrop for their loan repayment status and to analyze the possible linkage between such characteristics and the repayment status.  

Results: Descriptive statistics of the study showed that out of 96 respondents 50 per cent repaid the loan before due dates and the rest 50 percent could not repay the loan before due dates. The following categories of women borrowers were found to have higher tendency to repay rather than not to repay on time: Younger women, more educated, married, with lower dependency ratio, with higher household income and expenses, with higher livestock holding, with prior business engagement, having better access to road and market, who availed higher loan amount and having higher amount as savings in  RuSACCO, higher level of training, following weekly repayment rather than fortnightly or monthly and higher economic motivation. Interestingly, the characteristics of women like family size, household social ceremony expense, timeliness and adequacy of loan did not show any association with repayment status. 

Conclusion: The study recommended that RuSACCOs must follow up closely with women borrowers having the characteristics opposite of those aforementioned (in “Results” paragraph) for ensuring prompt repayment of loan. The cooperative management could consider frequent cooperative training of women members for ensuring prompt repayment of loan.