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> en-US Copyright is owned by the journal (Dr Gilbert C. Onubuogu) (Dr Nneka M. Chidiebere-Mark) Fri, 05 Mar 2021 09:41:53 +0000 OJS 60 Phenotypic and molecular variability of maize (<i>Zea mays</i> L.) Induced with X-ray <p>Ten genotypes of maize collected from National Center for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB) were induced with X-ray for morphological and molecular assessment. The experimental design was complete randomized design with four replicates. Morphological and molecular statistical analyses of treated genotypes were conducted using SAS and Power Maker Packages, respectively while dendrogram was generated using Jaccards similarity coefficient using Unweighted Paired Group Method and Arithmetic Averages (UPGMA). The study revealed significant difference which is an indication of genetic variation of characters in treated maize. Genotype DTSR-Wco performed best in plant height (62.35 cm), leaf length (62.35 cm), number of leaves (3.15), leaf width (7.55 cm) and dry leaf biomass (0.24 g). X-ray at 90 Kv/mass, 95 Kv/mass and 100 Kv/mass decreased plant heights to 54.25cm, 53.87cm and 54.10cm respectively compared to Control. Heritability estimate was greater than 70% for all characters evaluated. Genotype TZM 1551 at 0 Kv/mass yielded the highest concentration of DNA at 2841.60 ng/ul and the highest genomic DNA concentration was obtained at 95 Kv/mass for TZM 132 with 1.91%. Primer BMC 1755 was most polymorphic with 58.77% in treated maize genotypes. The plant height was strongly correlated with leaf length (r=0.9), leaf width (r=0.76) and number of leaves (r=0.77). Principal component analysis showed close relationship between plant height (-0.03) and leaf length (0.05) compared with leaf width (-0.67) and number of leaves (0.69). Dry shoot biomass (0.05) was closely related to dry root biomass (-0.03) and dry leaf biomass (-0.04).</p> Odunayo Joseph Olawuyi, David Franklin Igata, Akinlolu Olalekan Akanmu, Abeeb Abiodun Azeez Copyright (c) Wed, 24 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Influence of dietary inclusion of phytobiotics on growth performance, carcass and organ weight of broiler chickens <p>This study investigated the dietary inclusion effect of three Phytobiotics: <em>Syzygium aromaticum</em> (Cloves), <em>Piper nigrum</em> (Black pepper) and <em>Tetrapleura tetraptera</em> (Prekese) on performance, carcass traits and organ weight of broile rchickens. Two hundred-day old unsexed broilers were used for the study. The birds were allotted on weight equalization basis to four dietary treatments (T1, T2, T3 and T4) in Completely Randomized Design. Each treatment was replicated five times with 10 birds per replicate. Four experimental diets were formulated for each of starter and finisher phase respectively. Control diet (T1) with no phytogenic inclusion while T2, T3 and T4 were formulated with inclusion of 1% <em>Syzygium aromaticum</em> (Cloves), <em>Piper nigrum</em> (Black pepper) and <em>Tetrapleura tetraptera</em> (Prekese) respectively; and the experiment lasted for 8 weeks (4weeks for each phase). Feed intake, Weight gained and Feed conversion ratio were measured at starter and finisher phases while carcass and organ weight measurements were carried out at the end of finisher phase. Dietary inclusion of phytogenics recorded similar (P&gt;0.05) values of growth performance parameters at starter phase whereas a significant ((P&lt;0.05) effect were observed on weight gain, FCR, Live weight and plucked weight at finisher phase. It was observed that inclusion of cloves had improvement on final weight (FW), weight gain (WG) and FCR with higher (P&lt;0.05) plucked weight.</p> W. A. Olayemi, G. A. Williams, O.P. Olatidoye, E.O. Omofunmilola Copyright (c) Wed, 24 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Varietal response of maize to nitrogen and zinc fertilizer in Minna Southern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria <p>A field experiment was conducted in 2018 and 2019 seasons at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Federal University of Technology, Minna to determine the varietal response of maize to nitrogen and zinc fertilizer in Minna. The treatments included four levels of N: 0, 30, 60 and 90 kg ha-1, three levels of Zn: 0, 2.5 and 5 kg ha-1 and two varieties of maize (Oba Super 2 and Suwan-1-SR). The experimental design was a 4×3×2 factorial design fitted in a randomized complete block design with three replications. The data collected were, plant height, number of leaves, cob weight, cob length, stover yield, grain yield and 1000 grain weight. All data collected were subjected to analysis of variance and the means were separated using Duncan Multiple Range Test. Highest plant height (43.69 and 44.37 cm) were obtained in 60 and 90 kg N ha-1 treatment application respectively in year 2018 at 3 Week After Sowing (WAS), these heights were significantly different from that of control (0 kg N ha-1). Zinc (Zn) fertilization has no significant effect on maize height at all growth stage of maize in year 2018. Application of Zn produced significantly taller plants than those without Zn application at 3 and 9 WAS in 2019. The treatment 60 kg N ha-1 had significantly higher yield (27873.7 kg ha-1) than others but similar to 90 kg N ha-1 (2512.4 kg ha-1). Application of 60 kg N ha-1 increased with 12 % than the 0 kg N ha-1 on maize yield in 2019. There was response to Zn fertilization on stover and grain yields. The interaction effects were significant on stover yield. The nitrogen rate of 60 kg N ha-1 and the zinc rate of 2.5 kg were optimum for maize grain yield in Minna, both Oba Super 2 and Suwan-1-SR performed better in the study.</p> S.G. Afolabi, B.S. Ewulo, O.P Aiyelari, A.J. Adeyemo Copyright (c) Wed, 24 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Effect of nodumax inoculant on morpho-physiological parameters, nutrient content and yield of soybean (<i>Glycine max.</i> L) <p>The field study was carried out at the Teaching and Research Farm of Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine of Imo State University, Owerri, to investigate the effect of Nodumax inoculants on Morpho-Pysiological parameters, Nutrient content and yield of Soybean (<em>Glycine max</em>). The experimental design was Randomized Complete Block Design with five treatments and four replications. Treatments consist of Gum Arabic Slurry, Honey Slurry, Powdered milk Slurry, Sugar Slurry ( as adhesive agents) and control. The results obtained indicated that Nodumax inoculation, with adhesive agents especially Gum Arabic improved the Morpho- Physiological parameters such as plant heights, leaf area, leaf area index, leaf area ratio, Relative Growth Rate (RGR) and Net Assimilation Rate (NAR) and shoot dry weight compare to the control. Inoculation increased soybean grain yield across the various adhesive agents ranging from 909.45kg/ha for non-inoculated control to 1002.99kg/ha for inoculated using Gum Arabic, as sticker agent. Proximate composition of inoculated seeds was significantly (P&lt;0.05) improved compare to the control. However, it was observed that Nodumax inoculation correspond to increase in soybean growth characteristics which subsequently increased the yield and improved the nutritional status of soybean. This study has shown that the type of adhesive for coating of seed during rhizobium inoculation could impact positive change in growth parameters, Nutritional status and yield of soybean.</p> H.C. Ogbuehi Copyright (c) Wed, 24 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Effects of synthetic agricultural chemicals on health: Views of smallholder farmers in the Ho West district <p>The use of agro-chemicals especially insecticides and herbicides has become a very common agricultural practice among smallholder farmers in Ghana including the Ho West District of the Volta Region. The worrying issue is the inappropriate application of these chemicals. This study explored smallholder farmers’ knowledge of the adverse effects of the application of agrochemicals on crops, animals and human health. This was a qualitative study and data were collected using focus groups of smallholder farmers from the Ho West District. The groups were purposively selected with the aim of capturing farmers who are knowledgeable in the use of agro-chemicals. Five group interviews consisting of six (6) to twelve (12) farmers in each group were organised. The findings suggested that although, many of the farmers are aware of the harmful effects of the chemicals on crops, animal, humans and the environment, they do not wear personal protective equipment during application. Overwhelming majority of the interviewees do not use safety clothing such as gloves, nose-covering, hand-washing and eye protection gadgets. Seventy percent of the farmers reported that they never had any training regarding the use of these chemicals, and that radio advertisements are the main source of their information regarding usage. Encouragingly, all of them admitted that they are ready and willing to avail themselves to learn and acquire skills needed for effective application of these chemicals. As agro-chemicals have become indispensable in modern day farming, it is imperative for government and other stakeholders to provide training opportunities for farmers on proper handling of the chemicals so that lives and the environment are protected.</p> K.F. Egbadzor, E.K. Sakyi Copyright (c) Wed, 24 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Adoption of biosecurity for disease prevention and control by poultry farmers in Imo State, Nigeria <p>The study assessed the adoption of biosecurity for disease prevention and control by poultry farmers in Imo State. The objectives of study were to: ascertain the socio - economic characteristics of poultry farmers in Imo State; identify sources of informationon biosecurity measures adopted by poultry farmers for disease prevention and control in Imo State; ascertain biosecurity measures adopted by poultry farmers for disease prevention and control in Imo State; determine factors influencing adoption of biosecurity practices. A research survey of 60 owners and managers of poultry farms was used. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select samples for the study and data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics (Logit regression). The study revealed that most of the poultry farmers in the study area were male and married and that these farmers were still intheiractiveandproductiveageand most of them were educated. Majority of the poultry farmers in the study area were micro and small scale farmers and have considerable experience in poultry production and are members of farmers’ groups with profit motive as their farming enterprise objective. Majority of the poultry farmers had training in livestock management and most of the respondents did not receive any extension visit for the past two years up to the date of data collection and that the practice of biosecurity in the study area is high. Farmers association, veterinary officers, Internet and researchers are the significant sources of information on biosecurity to the poultry farmers in the study area. Age, cooperative membership, experience in poultry farming, training, farm size, education and access to credit significantly influenced the adoption of biosecurity practices in the study area. Any increase in the level of these variables would increase the level of adoption of biosecurity practices for disease prevention and control in the study area. Based on the findings of the this study, it is recommended that aggressive sensitization of the poultry farmers through seminars, workshops and conferences by relevant authorities on the advantages of adoption of biosecurity measures in their farms and encouraging fellow farmers to do so.</p> C. M Tasie, G. I. Wilcox, A. E. Kalio Copyright (c) Wed, 24 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Analysis of net farm income and non-farm income of broiler farmers across different scale of production in Imo State, Nigeria <p>This study analyzed net farm income and non-farm income of broiler farmers across different scale of production in Imo State, Nigeria. Capital accumulation for reinvestment and expansion remains a challenge among broiler farmers in the study area. A multi-stage sampling technique was adopted, and a total of 9 LGAs were purposively selected from the 3 zones (Orlu, Owerri and Okigwe zone). Stratified random sampling was used in selecting 26 small-scale and 9 medium-scale farmers from Owerri Agricultural zone for the study. In Orlu, 15 small-scale, 15 medium-scale and 6 large-scale of broiler farmers were selected, while 15 small-scale, 11 medium-scale and 3 large-scale broiler farmers were selected from Okigwe Zone. This gave a total of 113 broiler farmers selected from the chosen LGA's in the state. Out of 113 broiler farmers selected only a total of 100 responses were found useful for the study. Descriptive statistics, profitability ratio and net income model tools were employed for analyses in this study. The profitability result revealed that the large-scale broiler production has the highest return on naira used with 174% followed by medium-scale production with 47% return on naira used and the least was small-scale production with 33% return on naira expended. The result reveals that broiler farming in the study area is profitable and has the ability to offset its own cost, and still generate substantial return on naira used from every additional N1 spent no matter the scale of operation. The study also shows that net farm income of broiler farmers (N7,690,429.50 for small-scale, N 17,615,997.00 for medium-scale and N 142,674,200.00 for large-scale) is significantly greater than their non-farm income irrespective of scale of<br>operation. In an attempt to raise the net-income of broiler farmers vis-a-vis more capital to scale-up broiler production, small and medium-scale operators are encouraged to diversify their productions with other livestock enterprises like layer production enterprise, turkey production enterprise and goat production enterprise.</p> C. N. Anyaegbu, U. C. Ibekwe, M.A.C.A. Odii, N.C Ehirim, C Chikezie, S.E Ogbonna, V.C Chukwurah Copyright (c) Wed, 24 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Analysis of profitability and operational efficiencies of fresh tomato marketing: empirical evidence from Oyo State Nigeria <p>Although marketing is considered a very important aspect of agricultural production, it has been a neglected aspect of agricultural development plans and this has led to a situation where marketers of fresh tomatoes are not able to track their level of profitability and which invariably makes it difficult to attract prospective investor to the business. This study examines empirically profitability and operational efficiencies of fresh tomato marketing in South Western Nigeria. The study employed primary data using structured questionnaires to collect information from 100 randomly selected fresh tomato marketers in the study area. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics; gross margin and marketing efficiency analytical techniques. The result of the analysis revealed that for every ₦100 invested in fresh tomato trading in the study area, wholesalers, retailers and wholesalers/retailerrealized profit of ₦28.00, ₦18.00 and ₦ 258.00 respectively while the average operational efficiencies of wholesalers, retailers and wholesalers/retailer are 60.85%, 74.00% and 80.50% respectively. These positive and size of profits obtained for each fresh tomato marketing institutions is an indication that these institutions were able to recover their operating expenses; hence, marketing fresh tomato in the study area is<br>profitable and efficient.</p> O.O. Olugbire, F.J. Aremu, D.O. Oke, R.I Kolade Copyright (c) Wed, 24 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Value chain mapping and actors’ value added share in the catfish value chain in Imo State, Nigeria <p>The study assessed the value chain mapping and actors value added share in the catfish value chain in Imo State, Nigeria. Multi-stage sampling technique was employed in the selection of 217 catfish value chain actors comprising 37 input suppliers, 50 producers, 50 processors, 50 marketers and 30 consumers for the study. Data were analyzed using value chain map, net income, value added share models and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The results indicated that primary actors are inputs suppliers, producers, processors, marketers and consumers while research, finance and legislation activities were carried out by support actors. The total value added in the catfish value chain system was N2,944.5/kg with value added share of 0.41%, 15.54%, 24.83% and 59.22% for input suppliers, producers, processors and marketers respectively and they were statistically significantly difference at 5% with marketers having the highest value added share as they occupy a pivotal position to harness the preference, place, price and product information from the final consumers who are at the epicentre of the value chain system. It was therefore recommended that actors at every node should ensure their efforts should be done in a manner that will attract better value by considering the final consumers' preference of catfish products.</p> M. O Igwenagu, D. O. Ohajianya, I. U. O Nwaiwu, A. O Gbolagun, N. C Ehirim Copyright (c) Wed, 24 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Proximate and micronutrient compositions of four different cultivars of aubergine (<i>Solanum melongena</i>) <p>Aubergine or Garden egg is a vegetable commonly chewed as such and served as kolanut within the southeast part of Nigeria. The aim of the study is to determine the proximate and micronutrient compositions of four different cultivars of aubergine (<em>Solanum melongena</em>). Four cultivars of aubergine, namely <em>Solanum anguivi</em> - A, <em>Solanum aethiopicum</em> (gilo group) - B, <em>Solanum macrocarpon</em> - C, and <em>Solanum aethiopicum</em> (kumba group) - D, were purchased from the Eke-ukwu market in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. Proximate compositions were determined using the standard AOAC methods. Mineral determination was carried out by using methods incorporating wet digestion while Vitamins were determined by using specific methods appropriate for each vitamin. The proximate analysis results of the samples showed that moisture content ranged from 80.29% for sample C to 90.63% for sample B; fat ranged from 1.40 (sample A) to 4.00 (sample C); Ash: 0.52 - 0.76 (C - A); Protein: 3.94 - 8.31 (A - C); Crude fibre: 2.02 - 2.86 (C - A); Carbohydrate: 0.47 - 4.86 (B - C). The micro-nutrient compositions showed that vitamin A ranged from 475.18i.u. (sample B) to 528.06i.u. (sample A); Vitamin C: 908.6 - 2929.65 mg/100g (A - C); Calcium: 97.95 - 586.02ppm (D - A); Magnesium: 80.63 - 106.31ppm (B - A); Iron: 10.14 - 14.97ppm (C - A). The four cultivars of aubergine contained fair amounts of macronutrients in addition to the substantial amounts of micronutrients. In all, <em>Solanum anguivi</em> cultivar was the richest of the four in nutrient compositions, and, therefore, the most preferred.</p> D. C. Ebiringa Copyright (c) Wed, 24 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0000