Agro-Science <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> en-US <div>The Editorial Board of AgroScience and the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka are committed to disseminating the research publications in AgroScience Journal as widely as possible. In line with this commitment, the Editorial Board of AgroScience has adopted the policy of Open Access, with the content licensed under Creative Commons Attrition License (CCBY). On this premise, every author grants to the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka irrevocable, nonexclusive permission to exercise the copyright in the article for the purpose of open dissemination.</div> (Professor M. I. UGURU) (Professor M. I. UGURU) Wed, 06 Sep 2023 00:00:00 +0000 OJS 60 Hydrochemical characteristics and suitability of Kanzenze River for irrigation of akagera upper catchment in Rwanda <p>The purpose of the study was to assess the hydrochemical characteristics of the Kanzenze River and its suitability for irrigation use in the&nbsp; Akagera upper catchment in Rwanda. In this respect, 12 samples of surface collected water in four sites namely Karumuna, Muzi,&nbsp; Karugenge, and Nyamabuye were at a distance of 100.00 meters one to another. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) standards&nbsp; were referred to analyze water quality parameters such as potential hydrogen (pH), electrical conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids&nbsp; (TDS), sodium adsorption ratio, soluble sodium percent, total hardness, magnesium adsorption ratio and Kelly index were used for the&nbsp; evaluation of water quality and its suitability for irrigation. Data were analyzed using descriptive analysis and principal components&nbsp; analysis. All parameters analyzed were within the FAO standards stipulated for irrigation. The mean pH of the water sample was 7.30; the&nbsp; mean TDS was 205.10 mg l<sup>‒1</sup>; mean sodium adsorption was 2.30 while the mean EC was 302.26 µS/cm which indicated that Kanzenze&nbsp; River is in category I of classification standard suitable for irrigation. This indicated that the Kanzenze River was suitable for irrigation.&nbsp; </p> J. Nsengiyumva, K.N. Taremwa, H. Vasanthakaalam, P. Musabyimana, V. Ruganzu, N. Etim Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 06 Sep 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Determinants of youth participation in agribusiness activities in Ikwuano Local Government Area, Abia State, Nigeria <p>Young people perceive agriculture as a profession of intense labour, not profitable and unable to support their livelihood compared to&nbsp; what white collar jobs offer. The study was on determinants of youth participation in agribusiness activities in Ikwuano Local Government&nbsp; Area, Abia State, Nigeria. Specifically, the study examined the socio-economic characteristics of youths in the study area;&nbsp; identified various agro-related enterprises participated by the youths and estimated factors that influence youth participation in agro- related enterprises. Random sampling technique was used to select 90 respondents for the study. Data were analyzed using both descriptive statistics and Probit regression model. Majority (62.42%) of the youths were male. Mean age of the respondents was 23 years.&nbsp; About 90% of the youths were single with diverse levels of formal education. The agribusiness enterprises mostly participated in by the&nbsp; youths were animal production (51.1%) and crop production (23.33%). Result of Probit regression showed that age, household size,&nbsp; access to land, non-farm income, empowerment were 1% respectively and sex (5%) were significant variables influencing youth&nbsp; participation in agribusiness activities. It was recommended that youth in the study area enhance their livelihood sources through&nbsp; diversifying into other agro-related enterprises such as sale of agro-inputs and agro-processing.&nbsp; </p> N.G. Nnamani , C.P. Obediah Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 06 Sep 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Digital imaging of morphometric characteristics of pigeon pea (<i>Cajanus cajan</i>) for genotype discrimination <p>Digital seed imaging was utilized in this study to evaluate the morphometric characteristics of pigeon pea for genotype discrimination.&nbsp; One hundred seeds in each of the pigeon pea accession were subjected to digital imaging analysis using the WinSEEDLE™ software to&nbsp; differentiate the seed metric characters. Seeds were placed on a lighting hood and were automatically analyzed by the scanner and the&nbsp; image of the seed was recorded by the WinSEEDLE™. The procedure was repeated three times. The parameters observed were projected&nbsp; area, straight length, curve length, straight width, curve width, volume circle, and projected perimeter. Data collected were subjected to&nbsp; analysis of variance, principal component analysis and product moment correlation coefficients between the parameters were obtained.&nbsp; The result revealed that the pigeon pea accessions were highly variable in all the seed metric traits evaluated. Accessions NSWCC-34 and&nbsp; NSWCC-32 showed superiority values in most of the seed metric traits evaluated. Accessions NSWCC-32 had 28.35 mm<sup>2</sup> , 6.99 mm, 7.37&nbsp; mm, 5.23 mm and 5.28 mm in seed projected area, seed straight length, curve length, straight width and curve width, respectively while NSWCC-34 recorded 28.34 mm2 , 6.75 mm, 7.10 mm, 5.22 mm and 5.27 mm for the same evaluated traits. Most of the seed traits showed&nbsp; significant positive and strong association. The study, therefore, recommends that accessions NSWCC-34 and NSWCC-32 as well as those&nbsp; traits with high contribution to the major variation (seed projected area, seed straight length, curve length, straight width, curve width&nbsp; and volume circle) could be included in the seed improvement programme for improved seed quality in pigeon pea.&nbsp; </p> J.O. Olufelo Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 06 Sep 2023 00:00:00 +0000 The phytochemicals, antioxidant activities and nutritive qualities of some selected tomato pastes sold in Umuahia Metropolis, Abia State, Nigeria <p>Tomato paste contains antioxidant compounds which act against free radical actions in the body and prevents oxidative damage and&nbsp; boost the physiological health of consumers. However, information on the phytochemicals, antioxidant activities and nutritive qualities of&nbsp; tomato pastes sold in Umuahia Metropolis is scarce. This work was undertaken to fill this gap on five selected commercial tomato pastes&nbsp; sold in Umuahia Metropolis, Abia State, Nigeria namely, Sonia (SON), Gento (GEN), Superdelicieux (SUP), Star (STA) and Clappa (CLA). The&nbsp; physicochemical and antioxidant activity parameters were determined by standard methods. The results showed that lycopene (4.20 mg&nbsp; 100g<sup>‒1</sup> ), vitamin C (12.76 mg 100g<sup>‒1</sup> ) and vitamin A (1.43 mg 100g<sup>‒1</sup> ) were significantly (p &lt; 0.05) higher in STA tomato paste.&nbsp; β-carotene (3.02 mg 100g<sup>‒1</sup> ) and vitamin E (11.14 mg 100g<sup>‒1</sup> ) were significantly (p &lt; 0.05) higher in CLA tomato paste, while phenol was&nbsp; significantly (p &lt; 0.05) higher in SUP tomato paste. The chemical composition revealed that total solid ranged from 28.91 (STA) to 31.67%&nbsp; (SON), reducing sugar ranged from 8.78 (SUP) to 16.16% (CLA), while titratable acidity ranged from 0.21 (SON) to 0.31% (GEN) and pH&nbsp; ranged from 4.27 (CLA) to 4.47 (STA), respectively. Minerals concentration for Ca ranged from 1.79 (CLA) to 2.86 mg 100g<sup>‒1</sup> (SON), Mg&nbsp; from 8.57 (SON) to 13.61 mg 100g<sup>‒1</sup> (STA), K from 7.81 (SON) to 30.44 mg 100g<sup>‒1</sup> (STA), Na from 12.21 (STA) to 15.59 mg 100g<sup>‒1</sup> (CLA)&nbsp; and Fe from 0.82 (STA) to 1.89 mg 100g<sup>‒1</sup> (SON). Stronger antioxidant activity was observed in SON paste for 1,1- diphenyl-2-picryl&nbsp; (DPPH) (62.07%), 2,2-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) (41%) and Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power (FRAP)&nbsp; (47.88%). The results revealed that concentration of nutritive quality was specific to individual tomato paste, but SON possessed stronger&nbsp; antioxidant activity scavenging power than other tomato pastes. From the results of physicochemical and antioxidant activity of these&nbsp; tomato pastes, they may be used to boost physiological performance against degenerative diseases.&nbsp; </p> A.N. Ukom , C.L. Obikwelu , I.I. Okparauka, O.T. Ogbu Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 06 Sep 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Gender analysis of wholesale smoked-fish marketing in Kainji Lake Basin, Nigeria <p>The study investigated gender in wholesale smoked-fish marketing in Kanji Lake Basin, Nigeria. Specifically, the study identified roles of&nbsp; individual actors in fish marketing, determined the profitability of fish marketing, analyzed the marketing efficiencies and estimated gaps&nbsp; in the fish marketing chain. A two-stage sampling procedure was used to select 60 wholesale smoked-fish marketers from 13&nbsp; communities. Primary data were collected from wholesale smoke-fish marketers using an interview schedule. Data were analyzed using percentages, net profit margin and efficiency models. The result showed that the youths perform about 60% of task in activities such as&nbsp; sorting and grading, fish arrangement in cartons, loading and offloading and transportation to market centers. Wholesale fish marketing&nbsp; was profitable with a 4.45% return on investment (ROI) for the men, 3.76% ROI for the women and 2.88% ROI for the youths while&nbsp; Shepherd’s marketing efficiency was 24.84 for the men, 25.65 and 26.65 for the women and youths respectively. Also, there were no glaring gender gaps in value of fixed assets, revenue, gender-based employees and wage for the men, women and youths involved in the&nbsp; business. Therefore, it is recommended that capacity building which targets women and youths should be adopted and implemented&nbsp; by government and other relevant agencies in order to enable them compete equally with men in wholesale smoked-fish&nbsp; marketing.&nbsp; </p> J.E. Omeje , A.I. Achike, C.J. Arene , P.I. Ifejika, S.P. Bankole Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 06 Sep 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Economic analysis of cashew nut marketing in Udi Local Government Area, Enugu State, Nigeria <p>Cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale L) is one of the most essential and major cash crops produced in Nigeria. This research, therefore,&nbsp; explored the economics of cashew nuts marketing in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria. Primary data were sourced&nbsp; from cashew nut marketers through the use of well-designed questionnaires. Sixty respondents were randomly selected from three main&nbsp; markets in the study area. Descriptive statistics and (OLS) multiple regression models were used to achieve the study objectives. Descriptive statistics and (OLS) multiple regression models were used to achieve the objectives. Wherefore the study identified the&nbsp; marketing channels, analysed the cost and returns of the enterprise, determined the socio-economic factors affecting the quantity of&nbsp; cashew nuts marketed, and ascertained the constraints associated with cashew nuts marketing in the study area. From the results, the&nbsp; market was dominated by males (65%), most of the respondents (51.7%) were between 21 and 40 years, and majority were married&nbsp; (81.7%). An average number of the marketers (50%) had secondary school education, while 31.7% and 18.7% had primary and higher&nbsp; education, respectively. Most of the marketers (63.3%) bought directly from farmers, while 26.7% purchased from wholesalers. Total&nbsp; revenue, gross profit, and net profit were respectively ₦651,627.00, ₦120,618.00, and ₦81,067.70, showing that the business is profitable.&nbsp; Respondents’ socioeconomic characteristics which significantly affected quantity of cashew nut marketed were age (p &lt; 0.1), household&nbsp; size (p &lt; 0.05), and membership to market association (p &lt; 0.05). Major constraints were seasonality of produce, high cost of&nbsp; transportation, bad weather (rain), and inadequate capital. It was recommended that government should provide good road networks to&nbsp; ease transportation problem. The marketers should form cooperative societies to facilitate easy access to credits and other relevant&nbsp; resources.&nbsp; </p> J.C. Ibe, T.C. Okoh , R.N. Arua , P.I. Opata, U.O. Obuna Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 06 Sep 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Tied ridging enhances soil water conservation and productivity of common bean (<i>Phaseolus vulgaris</i>) <p>A field trial was conducted to determine the effects of different water conservation practices done in-situ on soil water content, stomatal&nbsp; conductance, and seed yield of common beans at Fumesua experimental station of the CSIR-Crops Research Institute in Ghana during&nbsp; the 2020 and 2021 cropping seasons. The water conservation practices implemented were tied ridges (TR), bunded basins (BB), and flat&nbsp; land (FL). Results showed that the TR treatment increased soil water content by 18 and 16% (0-5 cm), 12 and 13% (5-10 cm), and 18 and&nbsp; 7% (10-30 cm), compared with the FL treatment in 2020 and 2021 respectively. Across years, TR treatment increased stomatal&nbsp; conductance by 39 and 53% at both vegetative and flowering sampling periods. Soil water content and stomatal conductance also&nbsp; increased in the BB treatment compared to the FL treatment, but to a lesser extent than that of TR. The TR treatment improved seed yield&nbsp; by 31 and 42% over that of FL in 2020 and 2021, respectively. At a lesser magnitude, the BB treatment increased seed yield by 17 and&nbsp; 40% compared with the FL treatment during the same period. These results showed a positive relationship (p &lt; 0.05) between the&nbsp; soil water content and common beans seed yield, such that an increase in soil water content determined about 75% of the increase in&nbsp; seed yield. Based on the results of this study, tied ridging could be considered a suitable water conservation strategy for improving&nbsp; common bean yield.&nbsp; </p> P. Amankwaa-Yeboah , S. Yeboah , J.Y. Asibuo, J. Adomako , C. Darko , K. Agyeman , B.M. Badu, D.E. Owusu , P.P. Acheampong Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 06 Sep 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Growth and mitotic chromosomes of soybean (<i>Glycine max L. Merril</i>) plants as affected by spent engine oil in sandy-loam soils <p>Soybean (<em>Glycine max L. Merril</em>) is one of the most nutritionally valuable legumes in Africa. However, spent automobile engine oil is always&nbsp; disposed indiscriminately on lands and water bodies in Nigeria, which pollutes both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, with adverse&nbsp; effects on crop growth and productivity. This study investigated the effects of spent engine oil (SEO) polluted soils on growth parameters&nbsp; and mitotic chromosomes of soybean. Two soybean varieties (TGX-1448-2E and local) were planted in pots filled with sandy-loam soil treated with 0, 0.1, 0.4 and 0.7% v/w SEO concentrations, in 2 × 4 factorial experiment laid in a completely randomized design with six&nbsp; replications. Data were collected at weekly intervals for four weeks on growth parameters (plant height, number of leaves, leaf width and&nbsp; leaf length) and chromosomal aberration. Data were subjected to ANOVA and means separated with LSD. Among the treatments, seed&nbsp; germination rate was significantly higher in TGX-1448-2E (95.0 ± 0.0-96.0 ± 0.7%) than local variety (70.0 ± 0.7-71.0 ± 0.7%). Both 0.4 and&nbsp; 0.7% SEO caused significant (p ≤ 0.01) reductions in plant height, number of leaves, leaf length and leaf width whereas, 0.1% did not&nbsp; reduce growth parameters. Treatments 0.4 and 0.7% SEO caused high chromosomal aberrations in soybean as they reduced&nbsp; chromosome numbers (from 40.0 to 23%), cell division, mitotic index (70.0 to 20.8%) and produced 31.7% abnormal cells. Abnormalities&nbsp; such as bridges, laggards and chromosome stickiness occurred. This study shows that 0.4-0.7% SEO polluted soils is phytotoxic to&nbsp; soybeans.&nbsp; </p> K.E. Ogunsola , K.A. Odesola , B.F. Eniola , O.E. Majebi Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 06 Sep 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Cultural practices and post-harvest handling of selected neglected food crops in south-east and South-south Nigeria <p>The study was conducted to assess cultural practices and post-harvest handling of some selected neglected food crops (bambara nut,&nbsp; bread fruits and bush-mango) in South-east and South-south Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study were to; identify the cultural&nbsp; practices of selected neglected crops; identify the postharvest handling procedure of the selected neglected crops; identify uses of other&nbsp; parts of the neglected crops apart from the food storage organs and investigates the medicinal value of selected neglected crops. A&nbsp; purposive and snow-ball sampling procedure was used to sample 120 farmers of selected neglected crops in South-east and South-south&nbsp; Nigeria (Akwa-Ibom, Ebonyi and Rivers). A well-structured questionnaire was used to obtain information from the respondents and&nbsp; presented using percentage and mean. The result showed that the cultural and agronomic practices for the neglected crops included;&nbsp; nursery (66.7%), intercropping (79.2%), fertilizer application (66.7%) and weeding (100%). The farmers use the neglected crops as soup,&nbsp; chips, flour, and food by boiling or roasting. Processing activities done before storage include fermentation, breaking of the pod, sun&nbsp; drying and cleaning of the crops without water. The method of storage showed that 25% used nylon, 65% used bags and 10% used air&nbsp; tight container. The farmers made use of; leaves of neglected food crops for animal feeds formulation, fermented fruits for organic&nbsp; manure, and stems and branches for timber woods for building and construction. Also, farmers used some of the neglected tree crops&nbsp; for treating fever, stomach upset and diabetes. Also, it is used to boost blood level, antibiotics, pile treatment and prevention of heart&nbsp; failure. The study recommended that Research institutes, ADPs and other related NGOs should work in collaboration to train the farmers&nbsp; on modern methods of post-harvest handlings of crops in the study area. Also, policy maker should formulate policy that will encourage&nbsp; the production of neglected food crops in large quantity.&nbsp; </p> M.K. Elemasho , M.K. Abdulbaki , N.C. Ajanwachuku , C.H. Okoroafor , I.U. Nwaehujor , F.F. Olayemi , P.O. Pessu Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 06 Sep 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Intensity of palm fruit processing technology-use among palm fruits’ processors in onicha local government area in Ebonyi State, Nigeria <p>The study analyzed intensity of technology-use among palm fruits’ processors in Onicha Local Government Area in Ebonyi State, Nigeria.&nbsp; Specifically, the study described the intensity of technologies-use in oil palm processing in the area; ascertained the determinants of&nbsp; method of processing used by oil palm fruit processors and examined the constraints to oil palm fruits processing in the study area.&nbsp; Purposive sampling procedure was employed to select 58 respondents for the study. Data were analyzed using descriptive analysis (frequency, percentage, mean) and logit analysis. Logit analysis indicated that marital status (–6.754), cost of labor (–0.002), level of&nbsp; education (2.303) and annual income (0.342) were the variables that determined technology-use, while variables such as credit access&nbsp; and quantity of oil palm fruit were not significant. The constraints encountered in technology-use were ranked as follows high cost of&nbsp; palm fruits (95%), inadequate processing equipment (91.37%), difficulty in obtaining credit (86.21%), high cost of palm fruits&nbsp; transportation (84.48%), and inadequacy in the supply of palm fruits (76.31%). It is recommended that palm fruit processors should form&nbsp; a co-operative society thereby procure more equipment for sustainable palm fruits’ processing.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> N.G. Nnamani , O. Okereke Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 06 Sep 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Combined influence of ash and poultry manure on soil reaction and performance of maize (<i>Zea mays</i>) in a coarse-textured acid soil of South-East, Nigeria <p>Crop production can be limited by soil acidity. A two-factor factorial experiment involving three levels each of ash and poultry manure&nbsp; (PM) was conducted to determine the effects of ash and PM on soil reaction and performance of maize in an acid soil. The ash comprised&nbsp; of mixture of ash from wood, cocoa husk and palm bunch. The levels of ash (0.00, 3.00, 6.00 t ha<sup>–1</sup> ) and PM (0.00, 4.00, 8.00 t ha<sup>–1</sup> ) were&nbsp; combined to obtain nine treatment combinations (control, 3.00 ash and 0.00 PM, 3.00 ash and 4.00 PM, 3.00 ash and 8.00 PM, 0.00 ash and&nbsp; 4.00 PM, 3.00 ash and 0.00 PM) which were replicated thrice. The experiment was laid out in a randomized complete block design.&nbsp; Soil samples were collected at 3, 6, 9 and 12 weeks after planting (WAP), plant height measured at 3, 5, 7, and 9 WAP while cob oven-dry&nbsp; weight was measured after oven-drying harvested cobs at maturity. Analysis of variance was conducted on the data collected using&nbsp; GenStat version 14. The highest plant height of 132.50 cm at 12 WAP and the highest oven-dry cob weight of 7.15 t ha<sup>–1</sup> were obtained&nbsp; from plots treated with 6.00 and 8.00 t ha<sup>-1</sup> of ash and PM, respectively, and these were significantly (p ≤ 0.05) different from the other&nbsp; treatments. The lowest exchangeable acidity of 1.33 cmol kg<sup>–1</sup> which varied significantly (p ≤ 0.05) from the other values observed at the&nbsp; other plots was obtained at the plot treated with the combination of 6.00 and 4.00 t ha<sup>–1</sup> of ash and PM, respectively at 12 WAP. The&nbsp; combination of ash and PM at 3.00 and 8.00 t ha<sup>–1</sup> gave the highest pH of 6.80, and this was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) different from the other treatments. Therefore, ash and PM at varying levels of combination can simultaneously ameliorate soil acidity and improve maize&nbsp; performance; however, the best combination of ash and PM application which showed the potential to produce optimum effect in&nbsp; simultaneously ameliorating soil acidity and increasing maize performance was the combination of 6.00 tonnes of ash and 8.00 tonnes of&nbsp; PM.&nbsp; </p> C.T. Amanze , L.U. Amulu , M.E Ukabiala , A.P. Kayode , L.A. Omatule , A.S. Ozomata , J. Kolo Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 06 Sep 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Growth performance, heamatology and serum biochemistry of broiler chicks fed diets containing different clay sources <p>The study was conducted to determine the effect of diets containing different clay sources on the growth performance, heamatology and&nbsp; serum biochemistry of broiler chicks. One hundred and twenty broilers were allocated to five treatments diets containing different clay&nbsp; sources having three replicates of eight broilers in a completely randomized design. Data were collected on body weight, feed intake,&nbsp; total protein, albumin, glucose, total cholesterol, urea, low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, triglyceride, aspartate&nbsp; transaminase and alanine transaminase, hemoglobin, red blood cell, white blood cell, lymphocytes, and packed cell volume. The total&nbsp; weight gain, average daily weight gain, total feed intake, average daily feed intake, feed conversion ratio and feed efficiency ratio were&nbsp; calculated. Results showed that growth performance parameters were not significantly (p &gt; 0.05) different at the starter phase but serum&nbsp; biochemistry and haematological parameters except red blood cells were significantly (p &lt; 0.05) different. The T3 diets containing clay&nbsp; formed by sprinter termites improved the serum biochemistry as well as haematological indices of broiler better than the other sources&nbsp; of clay used in this experiment. This implies that the clay in T3 had the greatest capacity to bind to the toxins contained in the feed&nbsp; probably due to the high mineral contents.&nbsp; </p> L.C. Ugwuowo , C.A. Obikwelu Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 06 Sep 2023 00:00:00 +0000