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) Sat, 12 Aug 2023 01:59:50 +0000 OJS 60 Nutrients composition and functional properties of oil palm syrup, aqueous extract of kola nut and their mixtures <p>In this study, oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) syrup, aqueous extracts of kola nut (<em>Cola </em><em>acuminata</em>) and their mixtures (decoction of <em>C. acuminata</em> in 20 % oil palm syrup solution) were investigated using suitable biochemical procedures. The proximate analysis of oil palm syrup and <em>C. acuminata</em> revealed the values of moisture, crude protein, fat, ash, fibre and nitrogen free extract of oil palm syrup were 29.55 %, 0.50 %, 2.34 %, 2.32 %, 0.00 % and 65.29 % while values for the <em>C. acuminata</em> were 44.70 %, 17.50 %, 2.45 %, 1.91 %, 8.86 % and 24.58 %. Also, the total carbohydrate constituted 66.29 % when determined by anthrone method. The pH and titratable acidity values were within the acidic range. The syrup, <em>C. acuminata</em> and its mixture extracts recorded high reducing power, total phenolic and vitamin C contents. The IC50 values of α-amylase inhibitory activity for aqueous solutions of palm syrup, aqueous extracts of <em>C. acuminata</em> and its mixture extract were 0.51, 4.50 and 12.10 % respectively. The 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity of aqueous solutions of oil palm syrup, aqueous extracts of<em> C. acuminata</em> and its mixture extracts revealed IC50 values of 8.44, 3.29 and 6.60 %. The results of this study suggest that the decoction of <em>C. acuminata</em> in 20 % syrup solution had synergistic effects with respect to in vitro antioxidant properties and alpha amylase inhibitory potential, and further indicates that the studied extracts could elicit potential nutritional and health benefits.</p> V.T. Komolafe, F.O.J. Oboh Copyright (c) 2023 Sat, 12 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Phenotypic variations of three upland rice (<i>Oryza sativa</i> L.) genotypes <p>This study was conducted to assess the phenotypic variations of three rain-fed upland rice genotypes (Faro 59, 64, and 'Art'). The study was conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of Akwa Ibom State University, Oruk Anam L.G.A., in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, from August- November 2021. The three upland rice genotypes were planted in a plot using a randomized complete block design in four replications. Data were analyzed using a one way analysis of variance, and means separation was done using the Fisher's Least Significance Difference. Results showed significant differences in plant height at 10 weeks after planting. Faro 64 and Art had the highest mean heights of 100.15 cm and 'Art' had 97.82 cm, while Faro 59 had the least mean height of 92.95 cm respectively. There were significant differences in primary number of tillers/plant among the three rice cultivars. Faro 59 had the highest mean primary tillers-4 tillers/plant. Similarly, Faro 59 had the highest mean values for other traits in order of: panicle weight-3.34 g; 100 grain weight- 2.90 g; and grain yield-4.2 tons/hectare. The results of this study proved that Faro 59 had a greater advantage over 'Art' and Faro 64 with respect to most phenotypic traits (grain weight, panicle weight and primary tiller numbers/plant), and therefore is recommended for further research in this study area.</p> B. J. Jonah , A. O. Efretuei , P. I. Udounang Copyright (c) 2023 Sat, 12 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Effect of bioregulator on germination and early seedling growth of African star apple (<i>Chrysophyllum albidum</i> G. Don) <p>An experiment was conducted at Imo State University farm, Owerri to evaluate the effect of bioregulator on germination and early seedling growth of African star apple which serves as fruit, food, feed and environmental pollution control against climate change. Completely Randomized Design was used with four treatments and sixteen replicates. Different levels of coconut water served as treatments; 0 cl, 5 cl, 10 cl and 15 cl. They were sown after soaking in the solution for 24 hours in 64 polythene bags each containing 6 kg top soil. Data on germination and early seedling growth parameters were collected. Seedling height, number of leaves and leaf area were also collected 10 weeks after germination. Results showed that the highest germination percentage of 91 %, significantly (P&lt;0.05) different from control was obtained from the solution containing 15 cl coconut water. Highest number of days to 50% germination was 56 days obtained from solution containing 0 cl coconut water and differed significantly (P&lt;0.05) from others. Solution containing 15 cl, 10 cl, and 5 cl coconut water gave the largest mean seedling leaf area of 56.70 cm2, 32.99 cm<sup>2</sup>, and 26.38 cm<sup>2 </sup>respectively significantly (P&lt;0.05) different from control at 10 weeks after planting. 15 cl coconut water gave the best result for germination and seedling growth of African star apple seed and therefore recommended.</p> T.C. Njoku Copyright (c) 2023 Sat, 12 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Analysis of the profitability of poultry egg production in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria <p>The study analyses the profitability of poultry egg production in Etim Ekpo Local Area of Akwa Ibom State. Primary data were collected from 75 poultry egg producers selected through a multi-stage sampling technique, using a structured questionnaire. Percentage, frequency and budgetary analysis were used to analyze the data. The findings revealed that majority of poultry egg producers were male representing about 71% of the poultry egg producers, and the mean age was 41 years. The study revealed that, the poultry egg producers in the study area had one form of education or the other which significantly contributed to increase in poultry egg production in the study area.About 83% of the poultry egg producers were married, while the average household size was 4 persons per family. Only 27% of the poultry egg producers accepted that, they belong to Cooperative Society and about 69% had an average income that stood at ₦70,800 per month. With respect to the profitability of poultry egg production, the result indicated that for every ₦1 invested in the poultry egg production business, there is a return of ₦2. The result from budgetary analysis revealed that there is a significant relationship between input and output in poultry eggs production business; more so poultry egg production is a profitable investment. The following recommendations were made: reduction in input cost through subsidy on poultry equipment and credit facilities, and better management practices and encouragement of farm records keeping for profit evaluation.</p> H. B. Inyang, S. E. Esheya, M. I. Udoh Copyright (c) 2023 Sat, 12 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Effects of rice husk biochar charred at different time on soil chemical properties, rice growth and yield <p>Sustainable rice production in Sub-Saharan Africa especially in Nigeria faces serious constraints due to soil infertility. Recycling of rice residues through biochar production and applying it to the soil could be a possible approach to address the soil fertility constraints facing rice production. A pot experiment was conducted at Imo State University to investigate the effect of rice husk biochar on some selected soil chemical properties, growth and yield of rice. Four treatments evaluated in the pot experiment include rice husk biochar charred at 250oC for 60, 90 and 120 minutes together with control (no amendment). The treatments were replicated three times and laid out in completely randomized design (CRD). The soils in the pots were both treated with basal dose NPK (15:15:15) at 200kgha<sup>-1</sup> while biochar was applied at the rate of 10tha-1 to the amendment soils. Application of biochar in this experiment appreciably increased the soil pH, available phosphorus, OC, TN, exchangeable cations, CEC and available silicon in biochar treated pots compare to control pots. The degree of soil improvement was proportional to the charring time. The rice husk charred for 120 minutes (RHB120) showed the highest effect on most of the soil chemical properties evaluated. Biochar amendment was found not to have much influence on the rice agronomical parameters except grain weight in which the highest value was found in soil treated with RHB120 (12.5gpot<sup>-1</sup>). Therefore, converting rice husk to biochar and applying it to the soil can improve soil fertility status and yield of rice in Nigeria. Keywords: Rice Husk Biochar, Soil Chemical Properties, Rice Growth, Rice Yield&nbsp;</p> I. M. Nwawuike , A. C. Nkwogu Copyright (c) 2023 Sat, 12 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Food safety knowledge and practices among university students in the northern region of Ghana <p>Food safety knowledge and practices are necessary for eliminating food borne diseases, however, there is a scarcity of information on food safety knowledge and practices among young adults in the Northern Region of Ghana. This research was therefore aimed at assessing the food safety knowledge and practices of university students in the Northern region of Ghana and to determine if any relationship exists between their food safety knowledge and practices and their socio-demographic and academic characteristics A cross-sectional study was carried out where data was collected from 397 randomly selected students of the University for Development Studies and Tamale Technical University using a questionnaire. Data was analyzed using SPSS V20. Results showed that 54.4% had good level of food safety knowledge, 38.5% had moderate level of food safety knowledge and 7.1% had poor levels of food safety knowledge. Similarly, students also showed 46.3%, 39.3% and 14.4% levels of good, moderate and poor food safety practices, respectively. The department and level of study significantly influenced (P &lt; 0.05) the food safety knowledge of participants, however no demographic characteristics influenced (P &gt; 0.05) the food safety practices of the participants. The findings from this study suggest the need for increased effort on how to guide students to translate their food safety knowledge into practice. Innovative and creative approaches should be applied to food safety education to increase practice since the students showed good food safety knowledge than food safety practice.</p> M Lawal , F Adzitey , JA Ayamdoo , Y Damba , RD Zakaria Copyright (c) 2023 Sat, 12 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Production and quality evaluation of snacks from blends of groundnut cake and pigeon pea flour <p>This study evaluated the nutritional characteristics of snacks produced from blends of groundnut cake and pigeon pea flour. Wholesome groundnut seeds and pigeon pea seeds were purchased and processed into cake and flour respectively. Five blends of groundnut cake and pigeon pea flour were formulated and designated with codes as follows: 90% groundnut cake: 10% pigeon pea flour (202), 80% groundnut cake: 20% pigeon pea flour (303), 70% groundnut cake: 30% pigeon pea flour (404), 60% groundnut cake: 40% pigeon pea flour (505), 50% groundnut cake: 50% pigeon pea flour (606) and 100% groundnut cake (101) which served as the control and the functional properties were analyzed. Snacks were produced from the blends and the proximate, mineral and sensory characteristics were evaluated. The functional properties results ranged from 0.68 g/ml to 0.88g/ml for bulk density, 1.81g/g to 2.51g/g for water absorption capacity, 0.80g/g to 0.95g/g for oil absorption capacity, 21.48% to 27.25% for foam capacity, 77.31% to 91.32% for foam stability, 38.53 to 50.22 for swelling index. Proximate composition and energy value of the flakes indicated significant (p&lt;0.05) differences. Mineral composition of the samples showed significant (p&lt;0.05) differences in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc with values ranging from 90.15 mg/100g to 114.72 mg/100g), 143.11 mg/100g to 151.86mg/100g, 304.65 mg/100g to 337.03mg/100g, 113.46 mg/100g to 133.81 mg/100g, 4.11 mg/100g to 5.03mg/100g and 2.21 mg/100g to 2.82mg/100g respectively. Sensory acceptability results showed that the sample with 80% groundnut cake and 20% pigeon pea flour (303) was the most preferred among the test samples. This has revealed the potential of production of nutrient-rich snacks from blends of groundnut cake and pigeon pea flour thereby creating varieties and increased application of pigeon pea.</p> D. C. Arukwe, V. C. Ezeocha, S. P. Obiasogu Copyright (c) 2023 Sat, 12 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Physicochemical and sensory attributes of some selected varieties of white yam (<i>Dioscorea rotundata</i>) <p>The physicochemical and sensory properties of five varieties of Dioscorea rotundata were investigated for their potential end uses. The water absorption capacity, water binding capacity, swelling power, solubility index, pH, and pasting properties of flour processed from the yam tubers were determined. Also, the sensory attributes of pounded yam produced from the tubers were evaluated. In terms of colour, Gbongi had the highest whiteness value (82.27). Lasinrin had the highest moisture content (39.47 %) and swelling capacity (6.11g/g), Efuru had the highest water absorption capacity (132.50%) and pH (6.75). Gbongi had the highest solubility index (13.82%). Awana had the highest peak viscosity (293.70RVU) holding strength viscosity (279.20RVU) and peak time (7.00min). Lasinrin had the highest breakdown viscosity (140.25RVU) setback viscosity (295.00RVU) and pasting temperature (82.55oC) while Efuru had the highest final viscosity (437.83RVU). All the varieties had good ratings for the pounded yam sensory attributes (stretchability, stickiness, mouldability, smoothness, colour, hardness). All the varieties were acceptable regarding the general acceptability of the pounded yam. The qualities of yam cultivars suggested their appropriateness as an alternative for other flour-based pastes<br>typically consumed by Nigerians.</p> F.O. Afolabi , A.I. Lawal , A.O. Adegbite Copyright (c) 2023 Sat, 12 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Financial performance of soybean farmers in Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria <p>Soybeans is versatile in usage but the yield is low. To sustain and improve its production, its financial performance, given the resource-poor status of rural farmers, is greatly important. Credit access is sine qua non in this direction. Hence, the study assessed credit access and financial performance of soybeans farmers in Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria. Stratified sampling technique was used to select 119 farmers who either had or did not have credit access. This reflects a quasi-experimental design where the treatment and control groups comprised farmers with and without credit access, respectively. Primary data were obtained with structured questionnaire and analysed with frequency distribution and financial ratios such as gross margin, operating ratio and return on investment. Independent samples ttest was used to ensure that any observed difference was due to error of randomization. Findings show that majority of the farmers lacked credit access (60.50%). The mean gross margin per hectare was significantly (p &lt; 0.01) higher for the treatment group (N264,753.90 ± 12,597.15) than the control group (N152,412.60 ± 4,773.53). The mean return on investment per hectare was also significantly (p &lt; 0.01) higher for the treatment group (3.06 ± 0.29) than the control group (2.13 ± 0.10). Therefore, soybean production was adjudged to be profitable and significantly influenced by credit access. It was recommended that financial institutions and the export promotion council should make credit available to soybeans farmers.&nbsp;</p> E. C. Ogbanje Copyright (c) 2023 Sat, 12 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Physiochemical and sensorial characteristics of biscuits from flour blends of germinated wheat and pigeon pea <p>The physiochemical and sensory characteristics of biscuits made from flour blends of germinated wheat and germinated pigeon pea were studied. The wheat and pigeon pea grains were germinated and processed into flours. Six blends were obtained with different proportions of germinated wheat and germinated pigeon pea flours designated as GWGP1 (90% germinated wheat flour and 10% germinated pigeon pea flour), GWGP2 (80% germinated wheat flour and 20% germinated pigeon pea flour), GWGP3 (70% germinated wheat flour and 30% germinated pigeon pea flour), GWGP4 (60% germinated wheat flour and 40% germinated pigeon pea flour), GWGP4 (50% germinated wheat flour and 50% germinated pigeon pea flour) and GWGP0 (100% germinated wheat flour which served as control). Functional properties of the processed flour samples were analyzed. The biscuits produced were analyzed for proximate, physical and sensory properties. The functional properties of the flour blends showed significant (p&lt;0.05) differences. The proximate composition mean values portrayed increased moisture, fat, ash, fibre, protein and decrease in carbohydrate contents as the supplementation of the flours of wheat with pigeon pea increased. The physical attributes mean values showed significant differences (p&lt;0.05) in weight, thickness, diameter, spread ratio and breaking strength. The sensory evaluation mean score ranged from 5.45 to 6.75 appearance, 5.15 to 7.15 taste, 5.00 to 6.30 texture, 5.35 to 6.85 aroma and 5.16 to 7.30 general acceptability. Acceptable biscuits with improved nutritive values can be produced from flour blends of germinated wheat and germinated pigeon pea, hence should be encouraged in the food industry.&nbsp;</p> D. C. Arukwe, V. C. Ezeocha, C. D. Osi Copyright (c) 2023 Sat, 12 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Gender gap in land rights and access to agricultural production in Okigwe Agricultural Zone, Imo state, Nigeria <p>Land is a vital resource for agricultural productivity and economic growth. Inequalities in access and rights to land by male and female farmers could hamper agricultural productivity. The study assessed the gender gap in land rights and access to agricultural production in Okigwe Agricultural Zone of Imo state, Nigeria. The study identified the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers in the study area; determined the farmer's access to land; ascertained the land rights of the farmers; determined the socio-economic factors influencing access to land in the study area. It was hypothesized that there were no significant differences in the access to land by male and female farmers. Ninety-six (96) male and female farmers were sampled, and data were collected using a structured questionnaire. Data collected were analyzed using frequency, percentages, Ordinary Least Square Regression and t-test. Results showed that the mean farm size of male and female farmers was 0.2842 hectares and 0.1842 hectares. All male farmers had the right to land, while a few female farmers had the right to land. The result showed that age, income and education significantly affect male and female farmers’ access to land and that there were significant gender gaps in access to land. The study recommended the provision of agricultural credits to enable farmers to acquire land for agricultural production.</p> N. M. Chidiebere-Mark, C. P. Nwaebo Copyright (c) 2023 Mon, 21 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Anti-bacterial activity of various blends of aqueous and ethanol Extracts of garlic and bitter cola <p>Diameter of inhibitory zone on Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Streptococcus pyogenes were determined by evaluating Ethanol and water extract of bitter kola (Garcinia kola) and garlic (Allium sativum) at concentrations of sample A: (BC 100:0 G), B: (BC 80:20 G), C: (BC 60:40 G), D: (BC 40:60), E: (BC 20:80 G), F: (BC 0:100 G) and all concentrations were treated with 150ml ethanol and water extracts. For this experiment, the bitter kola and garlic were dried and milled and biotic extraction was done at different concentrations or ratios .The results showed that the diameter of inhibition for E.coli and Staphylococcus aureus on ethanol extracts values ranged from (8.20mm -19.22mm) and (8.22mm – 20.16mm) respectively with sample D (40g of Bitter kola + 60g of garlic) has the highest diameter of inhibition with a value of 1.92mm for E.coli and 2.07mm for staphylococcus aureus making it a good antimicrobial agent. While for Streptococcus aureus, the extracted ethanol solvent of sample C (60g of bitter kola + 40g of garlic) has the higher diameter of inhibition value of 1.15mm. Water extract values of diameter of Inhibitory zone were generally lower than the ethanol extract values for all organisms listed. This implies that water extract exhibited lower capacity of microbial inhibition to E.coli, streptococcus and staphylococcus aureus under the condition of study.</p> V.C Wabali, J Adebola Copyright (c) 2023 Thu, 07 Sep 2023 00:00:00 +0000