Agro-Science 2021-06-30T10:57:31+00:00 Professor M. I. UGURU Open Journal Systems <p><em>Agro-Science</em>, the journal of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Nigeria, was borne out of the need for a forum and technical mouthpiece for the communication and extension of scientific and agricultural research in Africa and countries in the rest of the tropical region of the world. Agro-Science is an international journal of high technical/intellectual quality, published four times a year (January, April, July and October). It is tropical in scope and has the following areas of focus: Crop Science: Animal Science; Animal Health; Soil and Environment, Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Extension, Home Economics, Food and Nutrition; Post-harvest Technology; Agricultural Engineering and Mechanization.</p> <p>Other websites related to this journal: <a title="" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></a></p> Tractor use and agricultural productivity in Nigeria: Prospects and challenges 2021-06-30T07:46:22+00:00 M.B. Umar M.M. Yarima O.E. Yusuf A. Adetayo M. Salihu <p>The objectives of this study were to examine the role of tractor use in agricultural mechanisation, explore the prospects of tractor use in Nigeria and identify the challenges of tractor use in agriculture in Nigeria. The study adopted literature review; whereby secondary data have been used. The assumption of the study was that improvement in farming is directly connected with improvement in farmer’s income and livelihood. Also, that mechanised agriculture is necessary for productivity, and by implication increases profit in farm production. Tractor is one of the major farm tools that enhance mechanisation in agriculture. Therefore, incorporating the mechanisation, notably tractor is essential because it affects the farmer’s livelihoods and living conditions. The finding of the study indicated that tractor plays significant role as it is established that crop-production increased through tractor use, which increased the farmers’ income, giving room for increased production capacity thereby enabling the farmers to settle some of their outstanding debts. The study also found that tractor has prospect in Nigeria because recent development in economic diversification which emphasised agribusiness in the country portends movement towards application of intensive farm labour. However, there are some noticeable challenges associated with tractor use in Nigeria. One of these challenges is un-affordability because tractor use is very costly. Other challenges are under-utilisation, lack<br>of knowledgeable personnel to manage the tool, lack of spare parts; and government-run tractor hire schemes are not effective because they are in a state of collapse. The study therefore concluded that tractor use is a necessary evil in Nigeria, because despite its&nbsp; displacement tendency and cost, the increasing population of Nigeria calls for investing in mechanised agriculture for increasing&nbsp; productivity, improving farmers’ income and livelihood, and above all achieving food security.</p> <p><strong>Key words:</strong> agricultural mechanisation, productivity, Nigeria, tractor </p> 2021-06-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Socio-economic analysis of non-timber forest products: A case of wrapping leaves in Oluwa Forest Reserve, Ondo State, Nigeria 2021-06-30T07:52:19+00:00 E.B. Olawuyi O.C. Odeyale B.H. Ugege D.A. Adenuga <p>The significant role of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) cannot be over emphasized in nation building. Despite the tremendous&nbsp; benefits derived from the NTFPs in supporting the rural dwellers financially, it is perceived as less important to national development&nbsp; especially in developing countries. This study analyzed the economic benefits of non-timber forest products in Oluwa forest reserve, Ondo State with a view to encouraging sustainable forest management. Purposive and random sampling were used to select 213 respondents for the study. Descriptive statistics and the budgetary techniques analyses were used for the study. Results indicated that majority of the respondents were male (56.10%), 30.00% were between the age of 30-39 years, 78.10% were married, 55.90% had household size between 1-5 people and 47.10% had secondary education. Major non-timber forest products identified in the study area include; wrapping leaves (23.20%), fuel wood (22.60%), bush meat (14.80%), snails (9.70%) and wild fruits (7.70%). The study showed that respondents used more of wrapping leaves and fuel wood with average ranking of 0.84 and 0.83 respectively. The result showed a positive profit (₦20,700.00) for wrapping leaf business and returns ₦1.80k for every ₦1 invested. The study calls for sustainable forest management of non-timber forest products to be taken up as a developmental strategy in the study area.</p> <p><strong>Key words</strong>: NTFPs, Oluwa forest reserve, rural dwellers, sustainable forest management, wrapping leaves </p> 2021-06-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Consumption behaviour analyses of cassava products among rural household in Ebonyi State, Nigeria 2021-06-30T08:15:02+00:00 F.U. Okoye A.C. Okoye S.I. Umeh <p>This study provides empirical evidence on consumption behavior of cassava products among households in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. A&nbsp; multistage sampling technique was employed to collect data from 120 households using structured questionnaire. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, ordered Probit and Spearman correlation models. The study finds garri, fufu (pounded cassava) and tapioca as&nbsp; the three major cassava products consumed while rice, yam and beans as three the major substitute of garri by the households in the area. The households preferred garri over other cassava products as the factors of household choice, nutritional value and availability. The coefficient for age was negative while coefficients of cost of cassava products, marital status and household size were positively related to&nbsp; choice of cassava products consumed in the study area. The study therefore recommended for policies that will effectively promote cassava product consumption should emphasize on the adult population and household size.</p> <p><strong>Key words</strong>: Choice, decision, garri, ordered Probit</p> 2021-06-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Genotype × environment analysis of cowpea grain production in the forest and derived savannah cultivation ecologies 2021-06-30T09:03:31+00:00 A.L. Nassir M.O. Olayiwola S.O. Olagunju K.M. Adewusi S.S. Jinadu <p>Differential performance of genotypes in different cultivation environments has remained a challenge to farmers and plant breeders, the emphasis being the selection of high yielding and stable genotypes, across similar ecologies. A set of nine cowpea genotypes were&nbsp; cultivated in Ago-Iwoye and Ayetoro, two locations representing high and moderate moisture zones. Plantings were done with the early and late season rains in Ago-Iwoye and mid-late season rains of Ayetoro. Statistical analysis was done to understand genotype reaction to the different environments and the plant and environment factors mediating the performance. The Additive Main Effect and Multiplicative Interaction (AMMI) model captured 61.30% of the total sum of squares (TSS). The main effects: genotype (G) environment (E) and their interaction (GxE) were significant with the largest contribution of 28.70% by the environment while the interaction and genotype fractions<br>captured 20.20% and 12.40%, respectively. The percentage contribution of the main effects and GxE to total sum of squares (TSS) for traits was not consistent. The Genotype plus Genotype-by-Environment (GGE) analysis summarized 91.30% of the variation in genotype performance across environment. The cultivation environments were separated into two, with IT 95M 118 as the vertex genotype in the Ayetoro while TVU 8905 was the topmost genotype in Ago-Iwoye. The two genotypes recorded the highest grain weight per plant (GWPP) but were also the most unstable The stable genotypes IT 95M 120 and IT 86 D 716 flowered relatively late compared to others, are taller, had higher vegetative score and are low grain producers.</p> <p><strong>Key words:</strong> AMMI, drought, GGE, stability, <em>Vigna unguiculata</em> </p> 2021-06-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Characterization and land evaluation of three tropical rainforest soils derived from the coastal plain sands of southeastern Nigeria 2021-06-30T09:24:07+00:00 C.O. Madueke I.K. Okore E.C. Maduekeh A.O. Onunwa M.J. Okafor E.C. Nnabuihe B. Nwosu C.J. Nwaiwu T.V. Nwosu <p>Soils on coastal plain sands of southeastern Nigeria have hitherto been referred to as fragile sandy and acidic soils of low base saturation, cation exchange capacity (CEC) and fertility, as evidenced by the extensive land degradation evident in the region. This underscores the need for the characterization of the soils for sustainable use. Three profile pits were therefore dug on the upper, middle and bottom slopes of three towns in the rainforest belt underlain by the coastal plain sands. The results showed that the topsoil of the soils was&nbsp; generally sandy, with relatively more clayey subsoil. The pH ranged from extremely acidic (&lt; 4.4) to slightly acidic (6.1- 6.5). They had low organic matter, low total nitrogen, low effective CEC, low Al saturation and moderate base saturation. The soils of the upper and the middle slopes were classified as Arenic Kandiudult by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Soil Taxonomy or as Chromic Acrisols by the World Reference Base (WRB) for Soil Resources classification system, while that of the bottom slope was classified as a Typic<br>Dystrudept (USDA Soil Taxonomy) / Dystric Cambisol (WRB classification system). The upper slope had a USDA land capability class of IIes and a United States Bureau for Reclamation (USBR) land capability class of 2v/C. The middle slope and the bottom slope both had USDA and USBR capability class of IVs and 3v/C, respectively. Though moderately to marginally irrigable, the soils can still produce increased and sustainable agricultural yield if the appropriate land use and husbandry practices are adopted.</p> <p><strong>Key words</strong>: Coastal plain sands, land use planning, soil characterization, toposequence, tropical rainforest </p> 2021-06-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Species enumeration and diversity of fire experimental plot at Olokemeji Forest Reserve, Ogun State, Nigeria 2021-06-30T09:30:54+00:00 A.J. Oloketuyi O.D. Akinyemi D.M. Taiwo O.R. Jeminiwa A.A. Ayodele <p>The fire experimental plot of a total landed area of 0.174 ha was divided into three equal parts designated Plot A, Plot B and Plot C, corresponding to the early burnt, the late burnt and the control plot, respectively. Out of the 15 species of trees identified, six species belong to Fabaceae- Mimosoideae family and other families represented are <em>Combretaceae, Meliaceae, Lamiaceae, Rubiaceae, Anacardiaceae, Urtiaceae and Sapotaceae. Gmelina arborea</em> was the most abundant species and it was found in plot A, B and C. The diversity indices enumerated were Dominance index, Simpson index, Shannon index or diversity index and evenness index. Plot C had the highest abundance (species count), followed by Plot A and Plot B. While Plot B depicted a high dominance, dominance was low in Plot A and lowest in Plot C. This means that a particular species was dominating Plot B, which was <em>Gmelina arborea</em>. This <em>Gmelina arborea</em> also dominated Plot A but to a lesser extent compared to Plot B. Plot C was richer in species than Plot A and Plot B. The Shannon index was low across the three plots, but considerably highest in Plot <em>C. Evenness</em> index was moderate at Plot C, implying that there was an even distribution of tree species in Plot C, while evenness was low at Plot A and Plot B. Comparing the present data with the older data, it is clear that the fire experimental plot has undergone deforestation over the years, which requires urgent attention and reforestation.</p> <p><strong>Key words:</strong> cluster, dendogram, deforestation, burning, richness</p> 2021-06-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Plant powders protect stored wheat from infestation by lesser grain borer <i>Rhyzopertha dominica</i> (fabricius) (Bostrichidae: Coleoptera) 2021-06-30T09:37:29+00:00 H.E. Negbenebor W.A. Makanjuola S. Nura <p><em>Rhyzopertha dominica</em> (Bostrichidae: Coleoptera) is one of the most serious devastating insect pests attacking stored wheat grains in Nigeria. The most common strategy adopted in controlling this insect pest is the application of synthetic pesticides which is costly, toxic to non-target organisms and is non eco-friendly. Botanical pesticides are recently used as alternatives to synthetic pesticides due to their non-hazardous effect on the environment and non-target organisms, cost effectiveness and direct impacts on the target organisms. This study was carried out to determine the toxicity of leaf powders obtained from three species of plants: <em>Ageratum conyzoides, Momordica charantia </em>and<em> Tephrosia vogelii</em> in the control of <em>R. dominica</em> infestation on stored wheat grains. Five doses (0.50, 1.00, 2.00, 4.00 and 8.00 g) per 20.00 g were measured from the powdered leaves of the tested plants with ethanol treatment as the control (0.00 g 20.00 g<sup>-1</sup>). The powdered doses were applied onto wheat grains before the insects were introduced. The experiment was laid down in completely randomized design (CRD) with three replications. The data obtained was analyzed using analysis of variance at 5% probability level with Least Significant Difference used to separate the means. The results showed significant (p ≤ 0.05) differences in the magnitude of toxicity imparted by various doses of the powders on <em>R. dominica</em>. The treatments influence high rate of mortality, reduced number of laid eggs and emerged adults when compared with the control. The toxicity of the powders increased with increase in dosage. It was concluded that 8.00 g 20.00 g<sup>-1</sup> of the powders were more toxic to R. dominica, inducing 28.00-77.30% insects’ mortality thereby protecting grain damage to as low as 1.04% at 6th month of storage. <em>T. vogelii</em> leaf powders were recommended for use against R. dominica in stored wheat grains.</p> <p><strong>Key words:</strong> botanicals, dose, lesser grain borer, wheat</p> 2021-06-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Effects of four organic amendments on soil physiochemical properties and yield of maize (<i>Zea mays</i>) and cowpea (<i>Vigna unguiculata</i>) intercrop in Awka, southeastern Nigeria 2021-06-30T09:47:22+00:00 A.O. Onunwa C.J. Nwaiwu J.E. Nwankwor C.E. Emeh C.O. Madueke C.A. Igwe <p>Effects of four organic amendments on some soil physical and chemical properties were investigated in Awka, Anambra State in southeastern Nigeria. Over the years, use of synthetic materials in crop production has been a common practice globally. The attendant detrimental effects of the chemicals used in the formulation of these synthetics on animal and human health as well as the environment has made researchers to look out for a better agronomic practice that would not only improve productivity but at the same time sustain a healthy environment. Sole maize, sole cowpea and maize-cowpea intercrop (study area conventional practices) were planted using four soil organic amendments viz: cassava peel (CP), poultry manure (PM), pig waste (PW) and rice husk (RH) at the rate of 20 t ha<sup>–1</sup> with the fifth as the control. The treatments were laid out in a 3 × 5 factorial in randomized complete block design and replicated four times. Data on the treatments’ effects on the selected soil physical properties (bulk density, total porosity, soil moisture) and chemical properties (soil pH, available phosphorus, cation exchange capacity (CEC), organic carbon, exchangeable bases and exchangeable acidity) were subjected to factorial analysis of variance using GenStat 2006 Edition. Results indicated that for sole maize, the amendments had significant effect on<br>exchangeable Al<sup>3+</sup>and Na<sup>+</sup>; organic carbon, soil pH, available phosphorus and CEC but had no significant effect on Ca<sup>2+</sup>, H<sup>+</sup>, Mg<sup>2+ </sup>and K<sup>+</sup> as compared to the control. For sole cowpea, compared to the plots with no amendment (control), all the chemical parameters analyzed differed significantly except organic carbon. Whereas, for maize-cowpea intercrop the treatments had no significant effect on Al<sup>3+</sup>, Na<sup>+</sup>, K<sup>+</sup> and available phosphorus but differed significantly in exchangeable H<sup>+</sup>, Ca<sup>2+</sup>, Mg<sup>2+</sup>, organic carbon, soil pH, and CEC. There was a decrease in bulk density following the amendment. For sole maize, sole cowpea and maizecowpea intercrop; bulk density, total porosity and moisture content of the amended plots were significantly (p&lt; 0.05) influenced. Organic amendments also significantly improved the growth and yield of maize and cowpea in both the sole and intercrop systems. Generally, poultry manure resulted in higher plant height,<br>number of leaves and leaf area for maize; vine length, number of branches for cowpea as compared with other amendments. Hence, poultry manure was the most effective organic amendment in improving the soil physical and chemical properties as well as the growth and yield of cowpea and maize.</p> <p><strong>Key words:</strong> Growth, maize-cowpea intercrop, soil physical and chemical properties, soil organic amendments</p> 2021-06-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Credit access and faecal management practices among poultry farmers in Ogun State, Nigeria: Implications for climate change 2021-06-30T09:54:04+00:00 O.B. Osuntade D.A. Babalola <p>This research identified the sources of credit available and utilized by the respondents, evaluated the socioeconomic factors determining farmers’ access to credit, constraints encountered by respondents and the influence of access to credit on management practices of poultry farmers in Obafemi Owode Local Government of Ogun State. The data collected from 90 poultry farmers were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the logit regression model, to evaluate the socio-economic factors determining the respondents’ access to credit<br>and also to analyze the influence of access to credit on faecal management practices in the study area. The descriptive result showed the farmers earned less than N100, 000 monthly (mean = 61,402±12,127.17, ca. $290) and up to 48% still lacked access to credit. The major use of credit among the farmers was for operational activities (53%) which included waste management. Only 48% of the farmers had access to quality extension service and 46% do not participate in any cooperative. Despite the fact that most of the farmers were aware of impact of farming activities on climate change, about 80% still practiced open dumping of faecal waste without proper treatment because of credit constraint. The logit result (all at p &lt; 0.05) showed that farming experience, farm size, awareness of credit source, cooperative participation, access to extension service and farm income were associated with both access to credit and farmers’ use of appropriate waste management practice. Based on the findings, it is recommended that better waste management practices among poultry farmers should be enhanced by facilitating increased access to credit and this is sine qua non to mitigating climate change.</p> <p><strong>Key words:</strong> climate change, credit access, faecal management, Nigeria, poultry </p> 2021-06-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Performance of Translog and Cobb-Douglas models in the estimation of technical efficiency of Irish potato production in Plateau State, Nigeria 2021-06-30T10:01:37+00:00 C.O. Uche H.S. Umar A.A. Girei H.Y. Ibrahim <p>The study compared the performance of Cobb-Douglas and Translog frontier models in the analysis of technical efficiency in Irish potato production in Plateau State. A multistage sampling technique was employed to select 180 respondents for the study. Data were analyzed using stochastic frontier model in the Cobb-Douglas and the Translog functional forms. Results revealed that farm size and seed had&nbsp; positive and significant coefficients under the Cobb-Douglas model. However, estimated Translog model showed that, while farm size and labour had negative relationships with output, fertilizer had a positive relationship. The elasticity estimates from both frontier models show that Irish potato farmers were operating at an increasing return to scale. The mean technical efficiency estimates were 68% and 59% for Cobb-Douglas and Translog models respectively. Hypothesis testing showed that there was a significant difference in the technical<br>efficiency estimates between the Cobb-Douglas and Translog frontier models. The inefficiency estimates revealed that education, household size and extension reduced inefficiency while farming experience increased inefficiency under the Cobb-Douglas model. None of the socioeconomics variables analysed in the Translog model for inefficiency was significant. It is recommended that training of the farmers on the optimum rate of input utilization and combination should be organized. The Cobb-Douglas model provided better results, in terms of economic and statistical properties of the coefficients, and therefore recommended for the estimation of technical efficiency of Irish potato farms in the study area.</p> <p><strong>Key words:</strong> Cobb-Douglas, performance, technical efficiency, translog </p> 2021-06-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Marketing, distribution and consumption of fish in Ido Local Government Area, Oyo State, Nigeria 2021-06-30T10:06:57+00:00 F.A. Azeez G.B. Kabir M.A. Amoo M.O. Nosiru <p>Like other developing countries, Nigeria faces a lot of problems confronting fish marketing such as dwindling profit due to fish spoilage as post-harvest losses occur more frequently particularly in the rainy reason, lack of improved technology for the management of fish production, inefficient harvesting methods and wastefulness due to lack of infrastructural facilities. This study assessed fish marketing, distribution and consumption in Ido Local Government Area (LGA), Oyo State, Nigeria. A two-stage random sampling technique was used<br>while descriptive statistics (frequency distribution and percentage frequencies) and inferential statistics (such as multiple regression analysis and budgetary analysis) were used for the analysis. The study concluded that fish marketing was a profitable business though with a small profit margin. The study thus recommended that micro lending programmes should be given a needful attention and priority to increase the entrepreneurs’ income and bring about a massive economic prospect for Ido LGA in particular and Oyo State Nigeria in general.</p> <p><strong>Key words:</strong> constraints, consumption, determinant, fish, marketing, profit</p> 2021-06-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Effect of fermentation media and time on physicochemical and sensory properties of soybean powders 2021-06-30T10:12:43+00:00 F.U. Ugwuona N.A. Obeta I.S. Asogwa T.R. Sabo <p>Fermentation improves quality of food, and is exploited in processing soymilk powder. Unfortunately, there is no unified fermentation procedure for producing powdered soymilk in Nigeria. A fermentation condition to produce high nutritional and most acceptable powdered soymilk is ideal for Nigerians. This study evaluated the effect fermentation media and time on physicochemical and sensory properties of powdered soymilk. Seven batches (600 g each) of soybean seeds were fermented, the first three in neutral water, sample A for 4 h, B for 16 h in the same water, and C for 16 h but changing the water every 4 h. The next two were fermented in alkaline solution for 16 h, D in the same water, and E with changing the water every 4 h. The last two were fermented for 16 h in acidic solution, Fin the same solution and G with changing the water every 4 h. The beans were processed into cooked soy flour and analyzed for physicochemical and sensory properties. Fermentation enhanced better quality than soaking; fermentation time and medium pH significantly (p &lt; 0.05) induced variations in quality of the powder. Soaking produced soy powder with highest carbohydrate (44.47 %) and fibre (1.355%) but significantly (p &lt; 0.05) low in protein, minerals and crude fat. Continuous 16-h fermentation in the same medium produced soy powders with lowest<br>phytochemical contents. Soaked (4 h) soybean in neutral water (A) produced powder with 39.50% protein, 44.47% carbohydrates, 1.35% fibre, 5.58% fat and 2.75% ash while continuous fermentation for 16 h in the same water produced powder (B) with 42.47% protein, 41.71% carbohydrate, 1.22% fibre, 5.81% fat and 2.42% ash. Continuous 16-h fermentation was better than changing the medium; and neutral medium was better than acidic and alkaline medium. All the soy powder high sensory scores (≥ 5) and were acceptable to the panelists. Thus, 16-h continuous fermentation in neutral medium was more cost effective and produced soybean powder of better quality than fermenting in alkaline and acidic media.</p> <p><strong>Key words:</strong> fermentation time, quality, soaking media, soybean powders</p> 2021-06-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Seasonal variation of enteric bacteria population in surface water sources among rural communities of Ijebu North, Ogun State, Nigeria 2021-06-30T10:20:02+00:00 H.O. Egberongbe M.O. Bankole T.O.S. Popoola O. Olowofeso <p>The study assessed the effect of seasonal variation on enteric bacteria population in water sources of six different communities between April 2017 and March 2018 using conventional microbiological methods. Bacteria belonging to the enteric family were primarily investigated in this study. The bacteriological analyses included total viable bacterial counts and phenotypic characterization. The bacteriological analyses showed that total heterotrophic counts ranged from 1.2 × 10<sup>4</sup> cfu/ml to 3.0 × 10<sup>4 </sup>cfu/ml and from 1.0 × 10<sup>4 </sup>cfu/ml to 2.0 × 10<sup>4</sup> cfu/ml during the dry and wet seasons, respectively. One hundred and twenty-two potentially pathogenic species of bacteria representing 10 genera were identified. These included <em>Acinetobacter sp., Enterobacter sp.,</em> <em>Escherichia coli, Shigella sp., Salmonella sp., </em>and<em> Proteus sp.</em> Others are <em>Serratia sp., Pseudomonas sp.,</em> <em>Yersinia sp., </em>and<em> Klebsiella sp</em>. Results showed that bacteria isolated (10) were higher during the rainy season while <em>Klebsiella sp</em> (24) and <em>Enterobacter sp</em> (30) were the predominant species. It was apparent that water sources investigated in this study were unsafe for domestic use due to the presence of these pathogenic bacteria. So, there is a need for the provision of safe water in these communities to prevent outbreaks of waterborne disease.</p> <p><strong>Key words:</strong> microbial, potable water, rural dwellers, seasonal variation </p> 2021-06-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Oral administration of <i>Vernonia amygdalina</i> leaf extract: implications on performance of broiler finishers raised in derived Savannah 2021-06-30T10:35:00+00:00 O.R. Okwesili C.M. Ikele N.E., Ikeh N.W. Anizoba C.O. Osita <p>A four-week study was conducted to investigate the effect of Vernonia amygdalina leaf extract (VALE) on growth, haematology and biochemical indices of broiler finisher birds. A total of 180 four-week old Arbor acre strain commercial broilers were randomly selected and assigned to four experimental treatments namely; T1-0 ml VALE (control), T2-20 ml VALE per liter of water, T3-40 ml VALE per liter of water, T4-60 ml VALE per liter of water. Daily feed and water intake were recorded. Weekly body weight was taken and used to calculate feed: gain ratio. At the end of the experiment, blood samples were collected from twelve broilers per treatment for haematological and serum biochemical studies. Results showed that broilers on T3 (40 ml VALE) and T4 (60 ml VALE) had significantly (P &lt; 0.05) reduced daily feed and water intake but had a better average daily weight gain and feed: gain ratio (P &lt; 0.05). The haematological indices of the birds showed significant (P &lt; 0.05) differences in haemoglobin, pack cell volume, and white blood cell counts in favour of birds in T3 and T4. The biochemical indices showed no differences (P &gt; 0.05) in aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, total protein and globulin levels. Moreover, cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein levels of birds on T3 and T4 were significantly (P &lt; 0.05) reduced compared to those on T1 (0 ml VALE) and T2 (20 ml VALE), while albumin and high-density lipoprotein levels were significantly<br>(P &lt; 0.05) increased. The study showed that oral administration of 40 and 60ml VALE improved performance of birds and had no deleterious effects on haematological and serum biochemical indices of birds. Therefore, it can be used as nutrient supplement in poultry production.</p> <p><strong>Key words:</strong> broiler finishers, Vernonia amygdalina, growth, haematology, biochemical indices</p> 2021-06-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Does credit utilization lead to increasing farm outcome? a micro-perspective of tea production from Rwanda 2021-06-30T10:56:37+00:00 A. Kabayiza G. Owuor K.J. Langat P. Mugenzi F. Niyitanga <p>Credit is a crucial factor for tea growers to pay for physical farm inputs mainly input fertilizers, research and development of high yielding tea clones and labour in order to improve the production of green tea leaf and to meet factories’ demand for raw materials. However, mismanagement of accessed credits by farmers has been reported among the snags affecting the sector development. The study analyzed the determinants and impact of credit utilization on farm income among smallholder tea growers in Nyaruguru District, Rwanda. Crosssectional tea household level data were collected from 358 farmers randomly selected from tea cooperatives. The credit utilization and causal effect were estimated using the Endogenous Switching Regression model. Results showed a positive and significant relationship between credit utilization and tea farm income. Precisely, the causal effect of credit is a 7% increase in tea income for farmers who utilised credit for tea production, while its potential effect is up to a 55% decrease in tea income for those who divert credit for out-off tea production uses. Furthermore, training on good agricultural practices and credit management, cost of farm inputs, labour and access to group credit significantly influence utilization of credit for tea production. However, the size of credit (cash) and off-farm businesses significantly increase the diversion of credit and level of tea farm income. Tea farmers are encouraged to use tea credits for planned projects. Sensitizing farmers to procure farm input fertilizers in bulk through cooperatives should be vigorously pursued to discourage credit diversion.</p> <p><strong>Key words:</strong> tea credits, tea farming households, farm income, endogenous switching regression </p> 2021-06-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c)