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 Effect of optimizing process variables on the quality characteristics of cassava-wheat composite bread <p>The optimisation of bread-making process can have a positive impact in ramping up the quality characteristics of cassava-wheat bread to&nbsp; that of whole wheat bread. In this study, a threevariable Box-Behnken design response surface methodology was employed to investigate and optimise independent variables namely cassava flour composition, water content and proofing time in relation to response variables namely dough yield, loaf specific volume and loaf protein of cassava-wheat-composite bread. The data from the experimental design were fitted into second-order regression models and their validity and reliability were confirmed by analysis of variance. Optimal cassava flour composition, water content and proofing time were derived as; 100 g/kg, 589 g/kg and 90 min, respectively. It was revealed that cassava flour composition had the most effect on the quality characteristics of cassava-wheat-composite bread. At constant cassava flour&nbsp; composition, increase in water content and proofing time had a positive effect on all the studied quality characteristics of cassava-wheat composite bread. Increase cassava flour composition regardless of proofing time and water content had a negative effect on loaf specific volume and protein. This study has provided bread-making conditions which can be utilised in enhancing the consumer acceptability of cassava-wheat composite bread.</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> Taiwo O. Olurin Olayemi E. Dudu Adeola M. Olaniyan Olugbenga A. B. Ogunmoyela Copyright (c) 2021-07-19 2021-07-19 19 1 1 17 10.4314/jafs.v19i1.1 Effect of growth regulators on African pear (<I>Dacryodes Edulis (G. don) H.J. Lam</I>) flowering, fruiting and fruit set <p>Many tropical fruit trees flower profusely. Majority produce many fruits at the onset. Most of these fruits if not all, may be aborted. African pear is a typical example. In this research, four fruit abortion-prevention treatments were evaluated namely: Distilled water, Urea,&nbsp; Giberellin and Coconut water. Floral and pomological parameters were compared and averaged over a period of three consecutive years. At fruit maturity, number of fruits/inflorescence/branches was counted and compared to test the effects of the various treatments on fruit retention and enhancing its pomological characteristics. The design was Randomized complete block design. Regression and correlation in Statgraphic 16.0 software package were used to compare the effects of the various treatments on flowering, fruiting and fruit retention. Application of growth regulators significantly enhanced flowering, fruiting and fruit set. The best fruit retention of 76.56 % was obtained by Coconut water which was however, not significantly (P=0.05) different from 72.75% fruit set obtained by Giberellin. Distilled water gave the lowest fruit-set of 21.41 % which was however significantly (P=0.05) different from 66.48% obtained by Urea. There was no significant&nbsp; difference (P=0.05) in some of the pomological attributes measured. Application of Giberellin and Coconut water significantly (P=0.05) enhanced flowering, fruiting and fruitset in African pear.</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> T.C. Njoku H.A. Okorie Copyright (c) 2021-07-19 2021-07-19 19 1 18 30 10.4314/jafs.v19i1.2 Effect of neem fertilizer rates and weed control methods on the growth and yield of soybeans (<i>Glycine max</i> (L.) merrill) in north Central Nigeria <p>Two field experiments were conducted at the Research Farm of the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State during the 2018 and 2019 rainy seasons to determine the effect of neem fertilizer rates and weed control methods on the growth and yields of soybeans. The experimental treatments were made up of four neem fertilizer rates (0, 50, 100 and 150 kg ha<sup>-1</sup>) and six weed control methods (pendimethalin at 1.5 kg a.i ha<sup>-1</sup> followed by one hoe weeding, pendimethalin at 2.0 kg a.i. ha<sup>-1</sup> followed by diuron at 1.5 kg a.i ha<sup>-1</sup>, weeding once at 3 WAS, weeding twice at 3 and 6 WAS, weed free and weedy check. The experiment was a 3 × 3 factorial experiment laid out in a Randomize complete block design replicated three times. TGX 1448 – 2E variety of soybean was used for the study. Result showed that weed control efficiency was better with the use of 150 kg ha<sup>-1</sup> of neem fertilizer, while decrease in weed dry matter was obtained at 50 kg ha<sup>-1</sup>. Increase in number of leaves and leaf area were encouraged with 150 kg ha-1 of neem fertilizer. Weed free treatments recorded the highest grain yield and 100 seed weight of soybean. Pendimethalin at 1.5 or 2.0 kg a.i ha<sup>-1</sup> supplemented with one hoe weeding or diuron at 1.5 kg a.i ha<sup>-1 </sup>respectively can be an alternative for better control of weeds to obtain greater yield of soybean in the study area.</p> Y. Garba Z. Yakubu A.I. Yakubu J. Alhassan M. Gana A.B. Mohammed S. Danjuma Copyright (c) 2021-07-19 2021-07-19 19 1 31 47 10.4314/jafs.v19i1.3 Growth performance, haematological and serum biochemical indices of broiler starter chickens offered dietary supplement of comfrey leaves extract <p>An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of nutritional supplement of comfrey symphytum leaves extract on the performance, haematological and serum biochemical indices of starter broilers. 200g of Comfrey symphytum leaves were squeezed in 1 litre of H<sub>2</sub>O with a juicer to produce Comfrey symphytum extract. The leaves extract was further mixed (diluted) in clean drinking water at the rate of 0ml/l of H<sub>2</sub>O, 25ml/l of H<sub>2</sub>O, 50ml/l of H<sub>2</sub>0 and 75ml/l of H<sub>2</sub>O designated as T<sub>1</sub>, T<sub>3</sub>, T<sub>4</sub> and T<sub>5</sub>. T<sub>2</sub> was given conventional&nbsp; supplement&nbsp; (divertamin). Five groups of 30-day old chicks of Agritech breed were randomly assigned to one of the supplementary Comfrey symphytum leaves extract and the divertamin supplement for 28days. Each was subdivided into three replicates of 10 chicks each. The broiler chicks were fed normal broiler starter ration for all the groups. At the end of the 28days trial, performance indices result showed that mean final weight, mean weight changes, mean daily weight gain, mean daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio were not significantly affected (P&gt;0.05). However, T<sub>4</sub> (50ml per litre of H<sub>2</sub>O) and T<sub>5</sub> (75ml/litre of H<sub>2</sub>O) gave better performance in terms of feed&nbsp; conversion ratio. The cost/kg of weight gain was cheaper at T<sub>4</sub> and T<sub>5</sub>. All the haematological (Haemoglobin, packed cell volume, red blood cell and white blood cell) and serum biochemical indices (total protein, urea, creatinine, cholesterol and liver enzymes) did not show any significant treatment effect (P&gt;0.05). It was concluded that Comfrey symphytum had no deleterious effect on starter broilers and its use as a nutritional supplement could improve performance at 50 - 75ml/l of H<sub>2</sub>O and reduce cost/kg of weight gain.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> A.C. Esiegwu T.K.O. Obih Copyright (c) 2021-07-19 2021-07-19 19 1 48 62 10.4314/jafs.v19i1.4 Effect of accelerated ripening agent on nutrient and antinutrient composition of banana <p>Food safety especially of fruits is important for a healthy and sustainable food system. Though accelerated ripening of fruits is common in Nigeria, its effect on nutritional quality of fruits remains underexplored. This study was conducted to investigate the changes in the nutrient and antinutrient composition of banana ripened with Calcium carbide (CaC<sub>2</sub>). In this study, mature bunches of freshly harvested green bananas were grouped separately and allowed to ripen naturally and artificially (with CaC<sub>2)</sub>. At the end of the ripening stage, the nutritional parameters (proximate, minerals, vitamins) and antinutritional parameters were determined using relevant analytical methods, and the results obtained were compared across groups. The results showed that the proximate composition of the artificially ripened samples increase in ash (1.49), fat (0.76), and moisture (69.86) while carbohydrate (23.92) and protein (1.88) contents declined. Similarly, Na, K, Ca, Mg, P, Fe and Zn (mg/100 g) contents were higher in calcium carbide ripened than naturally ripened sample. Naturally ripened samples contained the higher amount of Vitamins C (28.87 mg/100 g), niacin (0.89 mg/100 g), pantothenic acid (0.27 mg/100 g) and pyridoxine (0.29mg/100 g). The β-carotene (127 mcg/100 g), Vitamin E (2.9 mg/100 g) and Vitamin K (0.31 mg/100 g) increased significantly in the artificially ripened samples, when compared to the naturally ripened samples. The use of calcium carbide as a ripening agent increases moisture and phlobatannin content, and loss in protein, carbohydrate, fibre, niacin, pantothenic acid, and pyridoxine composition of Cavendish banana.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> O. Ariyo B. Balogun E.A. Solademi Copyright (c) 2021-07-19 2021-07-19 19 1 63 77 10.4314/jafs.v19i1.5 Economics of palm oil production in Nsukka Local Government Area, Enugu State, Nigeria <p>With the increasing technological advancement and adoption in palm production, this study examined the economic viability of palm oil&nbsp; production in Nsukka Local Government Area (LGA) of Enugu state. Specifically, the study determined the socioeconomic characteristics of palm oil producers, different production techniques adopted, costs and return and the constraints that mitigate palm oil production of the farmers. Primary data were collected with the aid of a well-structured questionnaire from 50 palm oil producers selected randomly from the population. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and gross margin model. In addition to the use of traditional production techniques, producers were identified to be using machine for their production (modern technique) and a combination of both. The gross margin analysis showed that the enterprise is viable and profitable. The study identified inaccessibility of palm fruits, high cost of harvesting, unavailability of human labour, and long duration of processing as the major constraints to palm oil production. The study recommended among others that producers need to form groups in other to be able to purchase modern machines as this will help in their production and also improve the rural infrastructures as it will help to reduce the transportation and the high cost of production challenges faced by farmers especially palm oil farmers/producers in Nsukka LGA of Enugu State.</p> Chinedum J. Chiemela Ikenna C. Ukwuaba Ocheje E. Ugbede Justina Ibe Chris N. Onyekwe Copyright (c) 2021-07-19 2021-07-19 19 1 78 88 10.4314/jafs.v19i1.6 Incidence, depth and severity of food insecurity among farming households in Sokoto State, Nigeria <p>The paper examined the incidence, depth and severity of food insecurity among farming household in Sokoto, Nigeria. Data was collected&nbsp; with aid of questionnaire from a total of 440 farming households comprising of (220 beneficiaries and 220 non-beneficiaries of BOA) were randomly selected using four multistage sampling techniques. The data generated was analysed using FGT index. The result for the&nbsp; incidences of food insecurity as indicated by head count ratio shows that 39.55% and 48.18% of food insecure farming households&nbsp; beneficiary and nonbeneficiary respectively were not able to meet their recommended daily allowance (RDAs) which is 2,250 kcal valued at N278.40/person equivalent to 0.87 USD. The coefficient of food insecurity depth (gap) shows that 19% of beneficiary and 44% of non-beneficiary food insecure farming households are below the recommended daily calorie requirement. The severity of food insecurity shows that 3.6% of beneficiaries’ food insecure farming households are most food insecure in the study area as compared with 19% non-beneficiaries’ food insecure farming households. High incidence, depth and severity of food insecurity among non-beneficiary food insecure farming households, indicated that BOA has impacted on beneficiary farming households by increasing their food security status. Therefore, this study recommends financial policies that ensure financial support to farming households most especially non-beneficiary in the study area.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> M.S.M Jabo N.A. Abubakar E.O. Okebiorun Copyright (c) 2021-07-19 2021-07-19 19 1 89 109 10.4314/jafs.v19i1.7 Cross-compatibility of cultivated cowpea varieties and their wild relatives: Implications for crop improvement <p>Hybridization programmes that potentially exploit the variability existing in the wild germplasm of Vigna unguiculata L. Walpers could be of great potential for the future of plant breeding. Bearing this in mind, four cultivated cowpea varieties (Achi shuru, Ife Brown, Kanannado and Zebra bean) were crossed to two of their wild relatives: subsp. dekindtiana var. pubescens and subsp. unguiculata var. spontanea to ascertain the cross compatibility, reproductive potential and possible heterosis in the F1 generations. Results showed that the cultivated varieties hybridized relatively well with their wild relatives showing pod set range of 42.9% to 52.3% in crosses with subsp. dekindtiana var. pubescens and 40.0% to 52.0% in crosses with subsp. unguiculata var. spontanea. The F1 hybrid plants showed high heterosis in plant height, number of leaves per plant, number of flowers per plant, number of pods per plant and percentage pod set. They also produced viable seeds for F2 generations. These results are indications of a good reproductive potential of the hybrids thus making the wild relatives, good sources of important gene pool for the improvement of the cultivated populations.<br><br></p> D.J. Nwosu C. Nwadike Copyright (c) 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 19 1 110 119 10.4314/jafs.v19i1.8 Gender differential in leafy vegetable production in Lagelu Local Government Area of Oyo State, Nigeria <p>There exists gender imbalance in resource access and utilization in agricultural enterprises which predisposes women to frustration and&nbsp; marginalization. This study examined gender differences in leafy vegetable production in Lagelu Local Government Area of Oyo State, Nigeria.Primary data were collected from 120 male and female leafy vegetable farmers with the aid of structured questionnaire using multi-stage sampling technique. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. The findings revealed that half (50.0%)&nbsp; of the male farmers had post-primary school education while less than one-third (31.0%) of the female farmers had post-primary school education.More than half (65.4%) and52.4% of the male and female farmers, respectively, had no contact with extension agents. More than half (66.7%) and majority (73.8%) of the male and female farmers, respectively financed their farm enterprise with their personal savings.It was found that labour utilization by male farmers differs significantly from the use of labour by female farmers (t=3.79, P≤0.001), while there was no significant difference in farm income among the male and female leafy vegetable farmers.It was concluded that leafy vegetable farmers differ in the modalities of their production on gender basis even though they acquire fairly the same income from the enterprise. This study recommends that the government should assist the farmers with credit of low interest rate and credit institution too should be encouraged to do so. Government should revitalize extension services and regular training of the farmers by the extension agents is crucial for farmers’ productivity.</p> K.O. Olanrewaju O.K. Akintunde I.B. Adeoye O.A. Bamiwuye Copyright (c) 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 19 1 120 133 10.4314/jafs.v19i1.9 Profitability of on and off-season plantain marketing in Nsukka Local Government Area, Enugu State, Nigeria <p>The study analysed the profitability of plantain marketing during on and off season in Nsukka local government area of Enugu state, Nigeria. Samples of 60 respondents were randomly selected from four communities within Nsukka Local Government Area to describe the socioeconomic characteristics of plantain marketers, identity the marketing channel of distribution performed, estimate the profitability of plantain marketing in and off season, identify the problems hindering plantain marketing. Data were analysed using, descriptive statistics and cost and return. The result showed that 70% of the respondents were female, within the age bracket of 40-50 years, implying that female of this age range is likely to be more energetic and willing to take risks involved in plantain marketing. Majority of them were married (86.7%) and (60%) have post primary education. Majority (51.7%) of the respondents claim that between January to March is the on-season period with gross margin of N17, 239 while (53.3%) believe off- season is from July-September with gross margin of N23, 775. This shows that it is more profitable to market plantain off- season. Major constraints include seasonality of product, lack of finance, pest and diseases attack, product breakages, lack of market information, price fluctuation and poor access road while cost of transportation, deterioration of product and high market fees are seen as minor constraints. Based on the findings of the study the following&nbsp; recommendations were made; Storage facilities for plantain should be made available to ensure all year-round production, availability and accessibility of the product.<br><br></p> C.J. Chiemela K.N. Nwangwu R.C. Nzennwa S.N. Chiemela J.C. Ibe B.U. Asogwa Copyright (c) 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 19 1 134 140 10.4314/jafs.v19i1.10 Forecasting cotton lint exports in Nigeria using the autoregressive integrated moving average model <p>Nigeria was a major global exporter of cotton lint to international market during the colonial and post-colonial era till late 70s when the&nbsp; country fully embraced oil exports to the detriment of the non-oil sector, cotton lint exports inclusive. However, Nigeria is gradually emphasizing agricultural exports again to earn huge foreign exchange, the oil sector having left the country in economic crises. This study utilized time series model particularly, Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) to make forecasting of cotton lint exports in Nigeria by using 46 yearly observations (1970-2015). The model went through series of investigative and diagnostic tests in order to observe the usefulness of the model. The fitting of the selected ARIMA (2,1,2) model to the time series data, means fitting ARIMA (2,1,2) model of one first order difference. Smaller RMSE, MAE as well as Theil Inequality coefficient are actually preferred and justified that ARIMA (2,1,2) model was justified as adequate for the forecasting of cotton lint exports in Nigeria with AIC value of 20.96771, SIC value of 21.04881, MAPE value of 6751.231, RMSE of 93303.67 and R2 of 0.330951. A thirty-year period ahead of cotton lint exports is predicted. The observations signify a rising trend in exports hence; it will be available especially in the future for foreign trade in the next thirty years. The outcome from the study is valuable for trade organisations and investors in assessing the precariousness of the market structure.<br><br></p> A.S. Akenbor P.I. Nwandu Copyright (c) 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 19 1 150 162 10.4314/jafs.v19i1.11 Effects of banditry on income and livelihoods of yam marketers in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, Nigeria <p>The study was on effects of banditry on income and livelihoods of yam marketers in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, Nigeria. Banditry is one the major confronting production and marketing of yam in Shiroro Local Government of Niger State. The activities on banditry over the years have paralysed economic activities since majority of the populace derived their livelihood from farming. The menace posed by banditry has affected rural populace income livelihood thereby making them sojourning in the neighbouring Local Government Area. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 197 of yam marketers. Data were collected using structured&nbsp; questionnaire and interview scheduled. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics (percentages, frequency, count and mean), multiple regression and livelihoods status index. The results revealed that majority of respondents were male with long year of experience in yam marketing. The coefficient of low participation on weekly contribution (Adashi) (1.9823.93) was negatively significant at 10% level of probability. Also, 84.8% of the respondents in the study area were of very low livelihood status. Displacement of yam marketers from their native markets to nearby markets (x̅=2.42) and rising of the price of yam stead (x̅=2.20) were the major constraints faced by yam&nbsp; marketers. It was recommended that yam marketers should diversify into other income generating activities in order to improve their livelihood status and government should collaborate with village heads for provision of security for yam marketers.<br><br></p> U. Mohammed I.S. Umar R.S. Olaleye J.J. Pelemo B.S. Ahmad U. Mohammed A. Umar Copyright (c) 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 19 1 163 178 10.4314/jafs.v19i1.12 Compound farming under a changing climate: Evidence from Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State <p>The study assessed effects of climate change on compound farming in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers state, A two-stage&nbsp; sampling techniques was used to select 120 respondents for the study. Data for the study was collected with the aid of questionnaire complemented with interview schedule and analysed using descriptive statistics namely percentages, frequency and mean. The result of the study showed that females (57%) engaged in compound farming more than their male counterparts with an average age of 48years and household size of mainly 2 to 5 persons. Majority of the compound farmers had no formal education (44%). Crop production (81%) was the major farming activity engaged in by the compound farmers with cassava (80%) as the major crop cultivated. Result showed that the compound farmers perceive climate change to be increase in atmospheric temperature (Mean=3.5), increase in rainfall (Mean=3.4) and fluctuation in rainfall pattern (Mean=3.2). The major effects of climate change on compound farming in the study area include reduction in crop yield (95%), decrease in overall family income (95%), unpredictable planting time/season (100%), increase weed infestation (100%) and unusual crop pest and disease infestation (97%). More Extension coverage and provision of improved seedlings will help strengthen farmers capacity to overcome the effects of the change in climate. Formation of farmers association will immensely contribute in building the capacity of compound farmers in climate change hence overcome the effects more effectively.</p> E.U. Obasi C.C. Ifeanyi-Obi C.C. Wigwe Copyright (c) 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 19 1 179 188 10.4314/jafs.v19i1.13 Determinants of farmers’ adoption of agroforestry technology in Ibarapa Area of Oyo State, Nigeria <p>This study examined the various forms of agroforestry technologies adopted by the farmers as well as assessed the factors influencing the adoption of agroforestry technologies among farmers in the study area. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select the respondents from the study area. Both descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages as well as inferential statistics such as Logistic Regression model were used in the study. From the study, it was discovered that adopters of agroforestry technology accounts for 42.47%, while non-adopters accounted for 57.53% of the sampled respondents. The result further shows the different forms of&nbsp; agroforestry practices adopted by the farmers in the study area which includes boundary planting, multipurpose trees/shrubs, wind breaks and live fencing. The result of the analysis of the factors that influence the adoption of agroforestry technologies among farmers from the logistic regression analysis revealed that access to extension services, age, education, farming experience, farm size and gender were positive and significant factors in determining the adoption of agroforestry technologies among the farmers.<br><br></p> F. Awe T.O. Oguntoye B.T. Olatunji Copyright (c) 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 19 1 189 200 10.4314/jafs.v19i1.14