Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences <p>The <em>Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences</em> JAFS is a platform for scientists dealing with agriculture, food science and related technological and socioeconomic issues with focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Articles on these areas are published after critical peer review. JAFS targets researchers and policy makers.</p> Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Imo State University en-US Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences 1597-1074 Copyright is owned by the journal Air-drying characteristics of fresh and pretreated (African Oil Bean) <I>Pentaclethra macrophylla benth.</i> cotyledons <p><em>Processing of African Oil Bean Cotyledons (AOBC), a valuable source of protein has been a bottleneck because of the associated drudgery. In addition, the shelf life of the processed bean is very short; the cotyledon turns green shortly during storage due to putrefaction. On the basis of the above, there is a need to produce shelf-stable cotyledons which could be rehydrated when needed. Three portions were separately soaked in each solution of sodium chloride (3 %), sodium meta-bisulfite (300 ppm), ascorbic acid (300 ppm) for 1h, and one portion were subjected to natural fermentation for three days, while the other was used as control. All the samples (single and double cotyledons) were oven-dried at 50, 60, 70, and 80<sup>o </sup>C to constant weight. The dehydration rate of AOBC decreased gradually until the water activity of the oil bean cotyledon reduced to less than one. Moisture diffusivity increased from 4.9061×10-10 – 2.091 × 10-9 m<sup>2</sup>/s, and varied with drying temperature, thickness, and pretreatments. Midilli and Kucuk model (R<sup>2</sup></em> <em>= 0.9702 - 0.9940) showed a better fit than other drying models. Effective moisture diffusivity is direct of the samples is reliant on air-drying temperature and can be described by the Arrhenius equation. The activation energy of drying of the African Oil Bean cotyledon was in the range of 10.29 – 27.12 kJ/mol. Finally, the addition of preservatives proved to be highly effective on the drying rate and the other studied parameters as well as the shelf stability of the AOBC. </em></p> Taiwo O. Olurin Kolawole O. Falade Copyright (c) 2024 2024-01-23 2024-01-23 21 2 1 23 10.4314/jafs.v21i2.1 Management of speargrass [<i>Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raeuschel</i>] in of southern agro-ecologies of Nigeria <p><em>Speargrass [Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raeuschel] infestation limits crop growth and yield. The effects of tillage methods, kenaf genotypes, and plant spacing patterns were studied for speargrass suppression at Eruwa (Derived Savanna) and Kishi (Southern Guinea Savanna) in 2015 and 2016. These were randomized in a Split-split plot design with three replicates. Agronomic data collected were analyzed, and the means were separated at P ≤ 0.05. Results showed that tillage enhanced weed control efficiency (10%), improved I. cylindrica suppression, and kenaf performance, relative to plant sown in no-till plots at both locations. The bast-fibre yield was higher in Ifeken DI 400 than in Ifeken 400 at Eruwa, but genotypes had similar bast-fibre yield at Kishi. Also, both genotypes had comparable I. cylindrica biomass and weed control efficiency at Kishi, while Ifeken 400 had higher weed control efficiency than Ifeken DI 400 at Eruwa, due to better suppression of I. cylindrica. The agronomic traits measured and weed control efficiency (WCE %) had a substantial inverse relationship with I. cylindrical growth at both locations. Tillage improved bast fibre yield (26 – 32%), core fibre yield (20 – 28%), and seed yield (26 – 59 %) relative to no-tilled plots. Ifeken 400 showed superior weed-suppressive traits and optimum fibre yield to Ifeken DI 400 at both locations. Tilling speargrass-infested land, with kenaf plant spacing of 50 cm × 10 cm and 50 cm × 15 cm with early canopy formation and better weed suppression are considered for an integratedspeargrass management scheme. </em></p> O.A. Aluko Copyright (c) 2024 2024-01-23 2024-01-23 21 2 24 42 10.4314/jafs.v21i2.2 Fertility assessment of soils under different land use in Oguta, Nigeria <p><em>Soil fertility assessment is essential for effective land management practices. This study was carried out to investigate the impact of three land use types Cassava farm (CF), Oil palm plantation (OPP) and Rubber plantation (RP) on soil properties in Oguta area of Imo State, Nigeria. Randomized sampling technique was implored in the collection of nine soil samples from each of the different land use within a depth of 15cm. Samples obtained from each land use were homogenized to form three composite samples per land use. The data generated from laboratory analysiswere subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA). Sand particles had a mean of 82.7 %, 66.7 % and 76.0 % for soils under CF, OPP and RP respectively. The mean values of silt and clay particles were 8.3 % and 9.0 %; 21.0 % and 12.3 %; 13.0 % and 11.0 % in CF, OPP and RP respectively. The other soil chemical properties did not differ significantly with the exception of pH and exchangeable K. The pH (H<sub>2</sub>O) had mean of 6.43, 6.17 and 5.73 of soils under CF, OPP and RP respectively while exchangeable K had mean of 0.38 Cmol/kg for CF, 1.71 Cmol/kg for OPP and 0.61 Cmol/kg for RP. Despite not showing significant difference, OPP and RP have more soil quality attributes than CF. However, the result from this study pointed that land use influence soil properties at various rates. Hence, use of good soil management practices is required to improve the soil quality attributes. </em></p> I. M. Nwawuike Copyright (c) 2024 2024-01-23 2024-01-23 21 2 43 52 10.4314/jafs.v21i2.3 Influence of different population densities of Bambara groundnut intercrop and weeding frequency on maize (<i>Zea mays</i> L.) performance <p><em>Effective weed management is essential for enhanced productivity of maize. A two-year field experiment was carried out at the Department of Crop Science Demonstration Farm, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria (4.5-5.2<sup>0</sup></em> <em>N, 8.0-8.3<sup>0</sup></em> <em>E), in the 2019 and 2020 early planting seasons, to evaluate the influence of three population densities of Bambara groundnut [166,666 plants per hectare(B1), 100,000 plants per hectare (B2), 71,428 plants per hectare (B3)] and four hand weeding frequencies [weedy check (WC), one hand weeding (1HW), two hand weedings (2HW) and a weed free check (WFC)] on the performance of maize. The experiment consisted of three replications fitted into a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD). Data gathered on maize vegetative and yield characteristics were analysed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedures for RCBD (GenStat® statistical package, version 8.1). Significantly different means were compared at 5 % probability level using the Duncan’s New Multiple Range Test (DNMRT). From the results, maize growth and yield performance were significantly (P&lt;0.05) affected by Bambara groundnut populations and the frequency of weeding. Leaving weeds unchecked all through the cultivation season hampered the vegetative and yield performance of maize, resulting in 47.54 % reduction in maize grain yield, compared with the weeded plots. Conclusively, intercropping maize with Bambara groundnut at 71,428 plants per hectare integrated with two hand weedings at 4 and 8 weeks after sowing (WAS), which optimized maize grain yield (3.87 t/ha on the two-year average) is recommended for farmers in the Calabar humid area and its environs. </em></p> F. A. Nwagwu A. N. Ekeruke O. C. Umunnakwe O. E. Ukpong Copyright (c) 2024 2024-01-23 2024-01-23 21 2 53 68 10.4314/jafs.v21i2.4 Spatial changes of soil structural properties and organic carbon storage of arable farmland at Umuahia, Abia State <p class="Default" style="text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: 11.5pt;">Precision agriculture requires that spatial changes of soil structural properties and soil organic carbon (SOC) accumulation be established for effective soil management. A research was carried out to ascertain the spatial variation of soil structural properties and organic carbon accumulation of an arable farmland at Umuahia. The experiment was conducted by delineating the land into three (3) portions. Three auger and core soil samples each were randomly collected from each portion, and this gave nine (9) observational points which were georeferenced. The soil samples were prepared and analysed in a laboratory for determination of parameters. The data generated were analysed for spatial variation using a GIS software package. The highest SOC accumulation of 26.46 ton / ha was obtained at the extreme north and northwestern regions of the land, while the lowest SOC accumulation of 19.71 ton / ha was obtained at extreme southeastern region of the land. The entire central area to the north western portion of the land had lowest bulk density (BD) of 1.33 kg / m<sup>3</sup>, while the southward to the north eastern portions of the land had the highest BD of 1.37 kg / m<sup>3</sup>. The highest hydraulic conductivity of 4.75 cm / mins was observed at the south western portion. The southward and extreme north eastern portions of the land had the highest mean weight diameter (MWD) of 0.95 mm, while the lowest MWD of 0.75 mm was observed at the central areaand extended to the north western portions of the land. There were also spatial changes in the total porosity, and micro aggregate stability indices across the land area. Suitable agronomic practices need to be adopted within the various portions of the land in managing the soil. </span></em></p> C. T. Amanze C. O. Nwosu K. F. Eluagu M.E. Ukabiala L. U. Amulu Copyright (c) 2024 2024-01-23 2024-01-23 21 2 69 84 10.4314/jafs.v21i2.5 Impact of biochar from different agricultural wastes on soil chemical characteristics and growth of maize <p><em>The use of biochar as soil amendment is gaining acceptance as an important management strategy to tackle food insecurity for the growing population in Nigeria amid soil deterioration. This study examined the influence of biochar produced from the different agricultural wastes on soil chemical characteristics and growth of maize. A pot experiment was conducted at the greenhouse of Imo State University Owerri, Nigeria. The experiment was laid out in completely randomized design. The agricultural wastes used were rice husk, corn cob, poultry manure and pig dung. The agricultural wastes were charred differently for 60 minutes at the temperature of 250<sup>o</sup>C. The maize plant used for the experiment was Oba super II. The biochar was produced using modified biochar kiln and were applied to the soil at the rate of 10t ha<sup>-1</sup>. The treatments were replicated thrice. Soil amended with poultry manure charred for 60 minutes at 250<sup>o</sup>C (PMB60) had the highest significant growth (plant height) and yield (dry matter) parameters. Significant differences were observed among the biochar amendments with the soil chemical characteristics (pH, Available P, SOM, TN, Exchangeable base cations and CEC). However, the study reported that PMB60 gave the highest significant increase in almost all the soil chemical characteristics (soil pH(6.0), Avail. P(18.20mg kg<sup>-1</sup>), exchangeable Ca(5.8Cmol kg<sup>-1</sup>), Mg(3.97Cmol kg<sup>-1</sup>, K(0.32Cmol kg<sup>-1</sup>, Na(0.28Cmol kg<sup>-1</sup>) and CEC(10.75Cmol kg<sup>-1</sup>)) compared to the other biochar amendments. This study concluded that PMB60 was better suited to improve soil chemical characteristics while also improving maize performance compared to the other biochar amendments. </em></p> Ifeoma Monica Nwawuike Copyright (c) 2024 2024-01-23 2024-01-23 21 2 85 95 10.4314/jafs.v21i2.6 Bacteriological assessment of kunu-zaki sold in selected communities in Port Harcourt, Nigeria <p><em>Kunu-zaki is a fermented beverage sold in Nigeria; often prepared under unsafe conditions, predisposing it to pathogen contaminations. The bacteria associated with Kunu-zaki sold in the different area of Port Harcourt and an antibiogram of the pathogens was determined using standard methods involving nutrient agar, Salmonella-Shigella agar, Thiosulphate citrate bile salt sucrose agar, MacConkey agar, Mannitol salt agar, Eosin-Methylene blue agar and Mueller Hinton agar. The counts for kunu-zaki obtained from Choba, Mile 1, Rumuodara and Rumuokoro ranged from 2.87±0.11 to 5.39±0.19, 4.50±0.27 to 5.46±0.38, 4.02±0.54 to 5.96±0.27 and 4.24±1.13 to 5.94±0.22 log<sub>10</sub><sup>c</sup>fu/ml, respectively. The confirmation of the isolates as: Staphylococcus spp. (27%), Lactobacillus spp. (20%), Streptococcus spp. (17%), Bacillus spp. (17%), E. coli (10%), and Shigella at (10%) was based on cultural and biochemical characteristics. The Gram-negative bacteria were 100% susceptible to pefloxacin, gentamycin, ciprofloxacin and tarivid while the Gram-positive bacteria isolates showed varying resistance to the antibiotics with Staphylococcus being the most susceptible. The occurrence of the antibiotic resistance isolates possess danger for potential consumers, hence the need to improve the production process. </em></p> U.T. Echeonwu O.C. Eruteya Copyright (c) 2024 2024-01-23 2024-01-23 21 2 96 106 10.4314/jafs.v21i2.7 Chemical composition and sensory characteristics of fermented condiments produced from soybean, bambara nut and pigeon pea seeds blends <p><em>This study evaluated the chemical composition and sensory characteristics of fermented condiments produced from blends of soybean, bambara nut and pigeon pea. The soybean, bambara nut and pigeon pea fermented using banana leaves were formulated and designated as 100:0:0 (SBPB), 60:25:15 (SBPB1), 40:35:25 (SBPB2), 20:45:35 (SBPB3) and 10:55:35 (SBPB4), where sample SBPB served as the control. Proximate, mineral and sensory properties of the condiments were determined using standard methods. The proximate results showed significant (p&lt;0.05) differences among the samples. The mineral results indicated increase in calcium, iron, zinc and reduction in magnesium and potassium with higher proportion of bambara nut and pigeon pea in the blend. Sensory evaluation results showed significant (p&lt;0.05) differences in texture, appearance and overall acceptability, with sample SBPB4, containing 10% soybean, 55% bambara nut and 35% pigeon pea recording the highest scores for all the attributes assessed. Therefore, nutritious and acceptable fermented condiments can be produced from the blends of soybean, bambara nut and pigeon pea. </em></p> D. C. Arukwe J. N. Okoli C. O. Adindu-Linus Copyright (c) 2024 2024-01-23 2024-01-23 21 2 107 120 10.4314/jafs.v21i2.8 Perceptions of climate change-related disasters and impact on household food security in rural farm households in Imo State, Nigeria <p><em>This study investigates the perception of climate change-related disasters and their impact on household food security in rural farm households in Imo State, Nigeria. Studies have consistently shown an association between climate change and food insecurity in different parts of the world. However the impact of climate change varies over time and space and therefore cannot be generalized. If household food security is to be secured in Imo State, it becomes imperative to identify the specific climate change related disasters that adversely affect household food security as well as the intervention priorities in specific communities. The study utilizes descriptive analytical tools to analyze the data from 186 farm households across four agricultural communities in the state. Findings reveal that excessive rainfall leading to flooding is the most prevalent climate change-related disaster, followed by excessive heat and irregular rainfall patterns. A significant majority of respondents attribute household food insecurity to these climate change-related disasters at high or very high levels. Various mitigation strategies adopted by households include changes in farming practices, irrigation methods, crop replacement, and land modification techniques. The study also identifies top priorities for government intervention as improving drainage and irrigation systems, establishing community weather forecast centers, and providing fertilizer subsidies. Additionally, enhancing hedging technology and pest/disease control strategies were recognized as important interventions. The study emphasizes the importance of tailored interventions, continuous data collection, and awareness campaigns to enhance agricultural resilience and ensure food security in the face of climate change impacts. </em></p> W.N. Kanu I. A. Onyekwere Copyright (c) 2024 2024-01-23 2024-01-23 21 2 121 134 10.4314/jafs.v21i2.9 Rural farmers access to extension services: Implications for increased adoption of improved farm technologies in Delta State, Nigeria <p><em>This study analyzed rural farmers access to extension services and its implications for increased adoption of improved farm technologies in Delta State, Nigeria. It examined the personal characteristics of the respondents of the study, the rate of farmers access to extension services, evaluates the impacts of farmers access to extension services on farm technology adoption and identified the strategies that could be adopted to improve extension service access to farmers. The respondents were randomly selected through multi-stage sampling technique and the data gathered were analyzed using descriptive and inferential techniques. Results revealed that most of the respondents were males (65.96%), married (67.38%), have secondary education (38.29%) have membership with cooperative societies (86.52%) and have access to credit provision (82.27%). The average age, household size, farming experience and farm size was 40.04 years, 7 persons, 10.78 years and 3.23 ha. respectively. The rate of access to extension services was high (45.39%) and that have positively impacted on the farmers in several ways. Several strategies were agreed that can improving the rate of access of farmers to extension services to include: improving on farmers educational level (mean = 4.31) and members of farmers social group (mean = 4.31). Personal characteristics like gender, age, level of education, household size, cooperative membership and farm income were found to significantly affect the rate of farmers access to extension services. The result also showed that farmers access to extension services have also impacted significantly to household welfare. Based on results, the study recommended that there is still need to privatize, if not all but some sensitive aspects of the extension service system that could help to better the farmers output, income and welfare. </em></p> G.O. Ikoyo-Eweto I.F. Adedokun J.P. Archibong G.F. Okwuokenye Copyright (c) 2024 2024-01-23 2024-01-23 21 2 135 152 10.4314/jafs.v21i2.11 Effect of fermentation agents on the pH, tta and microbial composition of <i>Fufu</i> dough <p>Fufu, a product of cassava has been adulterated by processors. They add toxic substances to the soaked roots to fasten the fermentation&nbsp; days and make quick money. There is need to evaluate the effect of these fermentation agents on the microbial, pH and total titratable&nbsp; acidity (TTA) of the fufu dough. Fufu dough was produced with fermentation agents; kerosene, detergent and palm ash and also with a&nbsp; control without agent. They were wrapped in polyethylene bags, stored at ambient temperature and evaluated for storage and microbial&nbsp; quality in the Biochemistry Laboratory of National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike, Nigeria. These samples were assayed for&nbsp; chemical and microbial qualities which include pH and TTA. The results showed that the pH values ranged from 3.70 - 6.80, and Total&nbsp; Titratable Acidity (TTA) values ranged from 0.004 - 0.048 %. The microbial analysis showed increase in fungal (2.1×10<sup>8</sup> (cfu/g)) and bacterial (1.0 ×10<sup>6</sup> (cfu/g)) counts as the storage time increased with the control having the least microbial load. The fungal isolates from&nbsp; the samples are<em> Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus </em>and<em> Penicillium spp,</em> while the bacteria isolates from the samples include <em>Bacillus spp</em>&nbsp; and <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em>. Statistically, there were significant differences (p&lt;0.05) in appearance of the fufu as storage time&nbsp; increased. The results from this study showed that the fufu with fermenting agents had higher microbial load than the control. It&nbsp; therefore encourages healthy practices among the fufu producers by stopping the use of fermenting agents to reduce the proliferation&nbsp; of pathogenic microorganisms in processed fufu.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> E.C. Ogbete M.E. Ogbonnaya M.A. Ofoeze Copyright (c) 2024 2024-04-18 2024-04-18 21 2 153 163 10.4314/jafs.v21i2.10 Extension workers’ capacity for outreach to crop farmers on climate change resilience and adaptation in Edo state, Nigeria <p>The study evaluated capacity for extension workers’ outreach to crop farmers on climate change resilience and adaptation in Edo State,&nbsp; Nigeria. The study specifically described socio-economic characteristics of the extension workers; described capacities for outreach by the&nbsp; extension workers; identified constraints to building capacities for outreach by the extension agents and identified strategies to&nbsp; building capacities of the extension workers. A multistage sampling technique was used to select 69 extension workers. Data for this&nbsp; study were obtained through the use of structured interview schedule. Descriptive statistics and factor analysis were employed in the&nbsp; analysis. The results showed that majority of the respondents (50.7%) were Extension Agent (EA) followed by 29.0% who were Block Extension Supervisors (BES). The result reveals that 34.8% of the extension staff to have attended between 1 to 4 conferences in the last&nbsp; three years. About 44.9% of the respondents participate in workshops, training, seminars for extension workers and farmers. Majority (82.6%) of the respondents identified bush burning, massive deforestation and excess use of agro-chemicals in farming as the major&nbsp; causes of climate change. A major constraints to building capacities for outreach by extension agents was absence of well-defined&nbsp; agricultural policy (3.254). Restructuring of extension agents’ education and trainings was identified as a major strategy to building the&nbsp; capacities of the extension workers. It is recommended that agricultural extension policies relating to climate change need to be&nbsp; reviewed, among others.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> O.O Osuafor H. Onubogu O.C. Edeh A.P. Umeukeje Copyright (c) 2024 2024-04-18 2024-04-18 21 2 164 176 10.4314/jafs.v21i2.12 Response of root growth parameters and nutrient uptake of cowpea (<i>Vigna unguculata L.</i>)to rates of organic manure <p>This study was carried out to investigate the effect of different organic manure sources on Root growth parameters and nutrient uptake&nbsp; of cowpeas (<em>Vigna unguiculata L.</em>). The experiment was conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Faculty of Agriculture, Imo&nbsp; State University, Owerri. The experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD), with five treatments replicated&nbsp; four times. The treatments are 0 ton T1 (Control), T2 (10tons and pig manure), T3 (15tons of pig manure), T4 (10tons of poultry manure),&nbsp; and T5 (15 tons of pig manure). From the result of the experiment, the application of poultry manure significantly improved, the number&nbsp; of roots, root length, root dry matter, phosphorus, and potassium uptake at various growth stages of data collection. The result also&nbsp; showed that pig manure significantly improved the percentage of emergence, plant height, number of leaves, Nitrogen uptake, and high&nbsp; number of pods (9.75), seed weight (101.47g), and yield 924.16kg/ha). The cowpea responded significantly in both root growth&nbsp;&nbsp; parameters and nutrient uptake to pig manure and poultry manure at the rates used.</p> H.C. Ogbuehi E.O. Emeribe Copyright (c) 2024 2024-04-18 2024-04-18 21 2 177 190 10.4314/jafs.v21i2.13 Evaluation of biocontrol efficacy of trichoderma harzianum against fusarium oxysporium in tomatoes ( <i>Solanum esculentum L.</i>) <p>Utilizing biological techniques to manage plant diseases has demonstrated efficacy in fostering ecosystem sustainability and augmenting&nbsp; agricultural output and quality. A study was undertaken at the Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology, Imo State&nbsp; University, Owerri, Nigeria to evaluate the suppressive impact of T. harzianum on the proliferation of <em>F. oxysporusm f. sp. lycopersici</em>, and&nbsp; the advancement of <em>F. oxysporum</em> infection in tomato plants. The trial comprised culturing only <em>T. harzianum</em> in the Petri dish, culturing <em>T.&nbsp;&nbsp; </em><em>harzianum </em>and<em> F. oxysporum</em> in the Petri dish (dual culture), and culturing only <em>F. </em><em>oxysporum</em> in the petri dish, and with Mancozeb. The&nbsp; influence of <em>T. harzianum</em> on the advancement of <em>F. oxysporum</em> infection in tomato plants comprises of four distinct concentrations (1g, 2g,&nbsp; 3g, and 4g) of <em>T. harzianum</em> extract. The results revealed that the dual culture of <em>T. harzianum</em> and <em>F. oxysporum</em> successfully&nbsp; suppressed the mycelial growth of <em>F. oxysporum</em>. On the seventh day, the level of antagonistic activity exhibited by <em>T. </em><em>harzianum</em> against <em>F.&nbsp; oxysporum</em> peaked at 9.05mm. Leaf yellowing and severe wilting, indicative of Fusarium wilt, were seen during the monitoring period.&nbsp; Tomato disease incidence and severity exhibited a consistent linear decline with increasing concentrations of <em>T. harzianum.</em> The disease&nbsp; severity reached its maximum level, (31.6%) on week four. Mancozeb treatment compared favorably with 4g <em>T. harzianum</em> in decreasing&nbsp; the mycelial growth of F. oxysporium, and reducing wilt incidence and severity. Therefore, <em>T. harzianum </em>can function as a biocontrol&nbsp; agent, providing a sustainable substitute for synthetic fungicides in the control ofFusariumoxysporium wilt disease.&nbsp;</p> N. Akalazu Jacinta Copyright (c) 2024 2024-04-18 2024-04-18 21 2 191 202 10.4314/jafs.v21i2.14