Open Access Original Research Article

Phenology of ‘Magallanes’ Pummelo (Citrus maxima) Trees and Its Growth and Development as Influenced by Potassium Nutrition

Alminda Magbalot-Fernandez, Constancio C. De Guzman

Asian Journal of Research in Agriculture and Forestry, Page 1-18
DOI: 10.9734/ajraf/2019/v3i430043

This study aimed to determine the influence of potassium (K) fertilization on the vegetative growth, flowering and fruit development of 13-year old ‘Magallanes’ pummelo [Citrus maxima (Burm. Ex Rumph.) Merr.] trees. The experiment was conducted at South Davao Corporation (SODACO) farm, Davao city for 12-months duration. Five treatments were observed with increasing K levels were applied per tree: control (no fertilization), without K, 150 g K basal (recommended rate based on soil analysis), 225 g K basal, and 225 g K basal + foliar application. The critical stage of tree growth coincided with the months of May and August. Peak leaf flushing occurred in June and peak flowering with fruit set in April. The crucial stage of fruit development was noted two months after fruit set. Thus, optimum fertilization must be applied during these stages for maximum growth and production in ‘Magallanes’ pummelo. The vegetative growth of pummelo was not affected by increasing K rates. The recommended rate (150g K basal per tree) significantly increased canopy diameter by 76% but higher K rates did not increase tree height, due to the effect of fruit load and nutrient competition. On the other hand, increasing K rates to 50% higher than the recommended rate (225 g K per tree) increased the number of flushes by 36-100%. Flowering, fruit set and yield of ‘Magallanes’ pummelo were also enhanced by higher K rates. Flowering was increased by 4 times, fruit set by 86-100%, fruit number by 7 times, weight per fruit by 22-26%, and yields up to 9 times on trees composted with 225 g K rates.  The fruit size (diameter and length), however, did not increase by increasing the K level.

Open Access Original Research Article

Vegetative Propagation of Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del. by Air Layering under Sahelian Climate in Niger

Maman Kamal Abdou Habou, Habou Rabiou, Laouali Abdou, Boubacar Moussa Mamoudou, Ismaël Bio Yandou`, Ali Mahamane

Asian Journal of Research in Agriculture and Forestry, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/ajraf/2019/v3i430044

Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del. is a fruit species from the Sahelian and Sudano-sahelian zones, highly appreciated by the population. It provides a source of income for the rural population and its various parts are used for human and animal food, handicrafts and traditional medicine. However, the lack of data on propagation techniques of the species is a significant limitation to its domestication. This study aims to evaluate the vegetative propagation capacity of Balanites aegyptiaca by air layering. The trials were conducted in the Arboretum of Sahara Sahel Foods in Zinder, Niger. The layers were placed on orthotropic branches. The variables selected were the diameter class (1-2 cm, 2-3 cm and 3-4 cm) and the substrates (sand+manure, sand+sawdust and sand). A total of 116 layers were made. The results show that 93.1% of the layers have taken root two months after realization. The diameter classes and the three substrates have no significant influence on the number of roots. In contrast, root length varied significantly with substrates (P = 0.000) and branch diameter classes (P = 0.031). As for the diameter of the newly formed roots, a significant difference was observed between the diameter classes and the substrates have no significant effect on this parameter. One month after weaning of layers, an average survival rate of 68.5% was obtained. The seedlings of the diameter class 2-3 cm have the highest survival rate (83.1%). These results suggest that it is possible to produce Balanites aegyptiaca plants by air layering, and could contribute to the development of strategies adapted to its domestication.

Open Access Original Research Article

Economic Analysis of Grasscutter Production (Thryonomys swinderianus) in Osun State, Nigeria: A Case of Data Envelopment Approach

M. S. Olatidoye, O. D. Adisa, A. A. Akinola, F. E. D. Awoyelu

Asian Journal of Research in Agriculture and Forestry, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/ajraf/2019/v3i430045

Aim: The study estimated the technical, allocative and economic efficiency indices and further examined the factors influencing technical efficiency for the sampled Grasscutter farms in Osun State.

Study Design: The study made use of only primary data obtained from sampled Grasscutter farmers in the three agricultural zones of the State.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in Osun State, Nigeria during 2017/2018 farming season.

Methodology: Twenty four respondents, each, were randomly selected from the list of Grasscutter farmers obtained from Osun State Agricultural Development Project (ADP). Data collected was analyzed using the stochastic frontier model and Tobit regression model. The overall technical efficiency was estimated with no effort of decomposing it into pure and scale efficiencies.

Results: The results showed that the range of efficiency indices varies greatly with minimum of 0.742, 0.263 and 0.168 and maximum of 1.0 for technical, allocative and economic efficiencies, respectively. The mean efficiencies which indicate the average potential therein in Grasscutter production in the study area were 0.96, 0.63 and 0.83 for technical, allocative and economic efficiency, respectively. Only one, out of the seventy two grasscutter farmers involved in the analysis was found to be technically, allocatively and economically efficient. Many sampled grasscutter farmers employed the ‘wrong’ input mix, given input prices, so that, on average, costs were (37%) higher than the cost minimizing level. However, farms have the potential to reduce their physical input, on average, by (4%) and still produce the same level of output.

Conclusion: There was a great potential to improve the output of grasscutter farms and save cost, if variable inputs were adjusted to the optimal level along the short-run isoquant. Education and farming experience significantly influenced technical, allocative and economic efficiencies, respectively, while inefficiency results, in large part, from allocative rather than technical inefficiency. 

Open Access Original Research Article

Profitability of Watermelon (Citrillus lanatus) Marketing in Bauchi Metropolis of Bauchi State, Nigeria

U. K. Iroegbute, J. A. Nandi, S. A. Jibril, I. Mohammed, T. M. Barnabas

Asian Journal of Research in Agriculture and Forestry, Page 1-5
DOI: 10.9734/ajraf/2019/v3i430046

The study sought to determine the profitability and constraints to watermelon marketing in Bauchi metropolis of Bauchi State and a sample of 75 marketers were randomly selected from the markets and streets in the metropolis. Data were collected with the aid of structured questionnaire complemented with interview and were analyzed using descriptive statistics (mean and percentages) and farm budgeting technique. The results showed that all the marketers in Bauchi metropolis were male, with most (77.34%) within the age bracket of 21-40 while 56.0% of the marketers were married with household size of 1-5 person which constituted 74.67%. Most (89.34%) of the marketers had marketing experience of 1-10 years while 97.33% of the marketers had one form of education or the other. Furthermore, the result of the study revealed that water melon marketing was a profitable venture in the study area with N0.32k profit on every naira invested in the business. Despite the profit some constraints were encountered in the marketing of water melon, which include inadequate capital, followed by lack of credit facilities. It is therefore, recommended that the marketers should form association in order to access loans from financial institutions.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Soil Management Investment on Cassava Production in Oyo State, Nigeria

Isaac. O. Oyewo

Asian Journal of Research in Agriculture and Forestry, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/ajraf/2019/v3i430047

This study examines the effect of soil management investment on cassava production in Ido Local Government Area of Oyo State (Nigeria) using cross-sectional data. Data were collected with the use of a structured questionnaire from eighty eight (88) respondents; four villages were randomly selected for the study. The data collected were analysed using descriptive, mean and multiple regression analyses. The results showed that 84.1% of the farmers were male while 15.9% were female, 45.4% were between the ages of 21 and 30 years, 60.2% of the farmers had 1-10 years of farming experience while 33.0% had tertiary education. Fertilizer and manure applications were the major soil management practices used by the respondents; 44.3% of the farmers invested between N11,000 and N20,000 on soil management during the farming season. The regression analyses revealed that farm size and cassava output were positively significant at 10% and 1% respectively while labour used was negatively signed and significant at 10% to the level of soil management investment. It was however, recommended that farmers should be more educated on the appropriate coping strategies for soil management. Hence, farmers should be encouraged by the Government by providing formal credit facilities with no or little interest rate to improve their soil management system in order to enhance productivity in the study area.