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Author: AGU, EKENE CLETUS

Title:  Effect of Dietary Inclusion of Ginger Meal (Zingiber Officinale) on Broiler Performance,Serum Lipid Profile   and Carcass Quality.

Affiliation: Animal Science Technology Department
 School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology
 Federal University of Technology, Owerri Imo State

Date: March, 2016

ABSTRACT

This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary inclusion of ginger meal (Zingiber officinale) on broiler performance, serum lipid profile and carcass quality. One hundred and eighty (180) day old broiler chicks (Cobb strain) were used, and divided randomly into 4 treatment groups, comprising 45 birds each and further subdivided into 3 replicates (15 birds/replicate). Each group was fed one of 4 formulated diets containing ginger meal at levels of 0%, 0.2%, 0.4% and 0.6%, at starter and finisher stages, for 8 weeks in a completely randomized design. At the termination of the experiment, 20 birds (5 birds per treatment) were selected, sacrificed and used for analyses of serum lipid profile, haematological constitution and post mortem microbial load on the meat. Results showed no significant (P > 0.05) effects of dietary ginger meal inclusion on live-weight, daily weight gain, daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio. Cholesterol, triglycerides and low density lipoprotein (LDL) were not significantly affected (P > 0.05) while high density lipoprotein (HDL) was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the 0.4% ginger meal dietary treatment group. No significant effect (P > 0.05) was found on the ether extract of broiler meat associated with ginger meal inclusion in the diet. The haemoglobin, packed cell volume, mean cell haemoglobin, total white blood cell and neutrophil were significantly increased (P < 0.05), but the lymphocyte was significantly reduced. Where the red blood cell, mean cell volume, mean cell haemoglobin concentration and platelet were not significantly affected (P > 0.05) by the dietary ginger meal inclusion. Heavy bacteria growth of Salmonella species were observed in the broiler meat left after 10 hours of slaughter in all groups, including the control. Significant difference on organ proportion was observed only in the neck at 0.4% ginger meal level (P < 0.05). The 0.4% ginger meal treated group was significantly higher in dressing percentage (P < 0.05). Meat juiciness, flavour and hedonic score were not affected by ginger meal dietary treatment; however, meat tenderness was significantly higher at 0.4% and 0.6% ginger meal levels (P < 0.05) when compared to the control. Dietary inclusion of ginger meal in broiler diets within the levels reported in this study had positive effects on lipoprotein level and organoleptic quality of meat. It is therefore concluded and recommended that the dietary inclusion of ginger meal at 0.4% or 0.6% levels in broiler diets should be encouraged and adopted by poultry producers since it significantly increased broilers‘ serum high density lipoprotein (HDL) level, dressing percentage, carcass weight and meat tenderness. 

Author: ONYERIKA, ANTHONY IKECHUKWU

Title:  Perceived Effects of Land Degradation on Agricultural Production among Farmers in  Imo State, Nigeria.

Affiliation: Agricultural Extension Department
 School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology
 Federal University of Technology, Owerri Imo State

Date: August, 2016

ABSTRACT
Land degradation has remained one of the most serious problems currently affecting agricultural production in Imo State. This study analyzed perceived effects of land degradation on agricultural production among farmers in Imo State, Nigeria. Data were collected using structured and validated questionnaire from 240 randomly selected farmers. Data were analyze using both descriptive and inferential statistical tools such as mean, frequency distribution tables, percentages, Ordinary Least Square (OLS) multiple regression model and analysis of variance (ANOVA) test. The results showed that most of the farmers (87.50%) were aware of land degradation in the area through town criers. The results also showed that the major perceived causes of land degradation in Imo State were erosion/runoff (

Author: ONYEOMA, URUCHUKWU MARY

Title:  Economics of Cocoyam Farming by Cropping Systems in Onitsha Agricultural Zone in  Anambra State, Nigeria

Affiliation: Agricultural Economics Department
School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology
Federal University of Technology, Owerri Imo State

Date: May, 2016

ABSTRACT
This study evaluated the economics of cocoyam farming by cropping systems in Onitsha  Agricultural zone Anambra State. The specific objectives were to identify the socio-economic characteristics of cocoyam producers , estimate the average quantity of cocoyam produced from the different cropping systems in the study area, estimate net return of cocoyam production  under different cropping systems, determine the factors  that influence  cocoyam output in the different cropping systems, determine the socio-economic factors  that influence  net returns from cocoyam production  and assess constraints faced by cocoyam producers in the study area. The hypotheses of the study stated that there is no significant relationship between age, gender, educational level, household size, farming experience, and farm size of cocoyam farmers and net returns from cocoyam production. Primary data were collected using a set of structured questionnaire from 142 farmers who were selected from the agricultural zones using multistage sampling technique. Data were analysed with descriptive statistical tools (mean, frequency distribution,  and percentage),  multiple regression, net returns and output per hectare model. The field results showed that majority of cocoyam farmers in  the study area were aged, experienced and relatively educated. Again, the field results showed that cocoyam sole cropping system  recorded the highest output (5t/ha) of cocoyam, while cocoyam/maize, cocoyam/cassava, cropping systems recorded 4.4t/ha and 4t/ha  respectively. From the field results, cocoyam sole  cropping systems recorded the highest net return of about N741,225, relative to cocoyam/maize, cocoyam/cassava cropping systems which recorded N642,725, N508,225  respectively. The results of multiple regression  showed that factors that influenced the output of cocoyam positively were farm size, labour input, quantity of cocoyam setts and quantity of fertilizer. while cost of implements,  negatively influenced output. However the hypothesis tested  showed  that age, educational level, household size, farming experience, and farm size of cocoyam farmers significantly influence  net returns from cocoyam production in the area  except of gender . The major perceived constraints recorded were labour scarcity and high cost of input. It was concluded  that the output of cocoyam is influenced  by cropping systems practised as there may be competition for light, nutrients, and water depending on the cropping system practiced and also that cocoyam enterprise is  profitable. Therefore, it was recommended that Programmes should be constantly organized so as to keep cocoyam farmers abreast with improved technologies in production. Through these programmes, the result of agricultural research involving  maintenance  of soil fertility under effective crop combination that will result in optimum crop output per unit area of land  will easily be  transferred to the farmers. 

Author: WASINI, DOBIE ALLEN

Title:  Economics of Freshwater Fish Farming and Livelihood Sustainability
         among Freshwater Fish Farmers in Bayelsa State, Nigeria

Affiliation: Agricultural Economics Department
               School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology
               Federal University of Technology, Owerri Imo State

Date:       April, 2016

ABSTRACT
This study analyzed the economics of freshwater fish farming and livelihood sustainability among freshwater fish farmers in Bayelsa State. A multistage sampling technique was used to select fifteen fish farmers, from the list of registered freshwater fish farmers in each of the Local Government Areas selected. Structured questionnaire was used for data collection on the socio-economic characteristics of the fish farmers, their fish farming practices, costs and returns of fish farming as well as the factors that determined the output of the enterprise. Data on livelihood sustainability were also collected. Descriptive statistics, the net farm income model, indices and the multiple regression model were the analytical tools used. Findings from the study showed that 95% of the fish farmers were men. Most of them were married (91.66%), with a mean age of 54 years. The mean household size was 9 persons.  Most of them are literates having spent an average of 12.8 years at formal school. All (100%) the fish farmers had other income sources. The mean years of experience was 6-10 years. Consumption and sale is the major reason the fish farmers went into fish farming. All of them (100%) practiced the semiintensive level of management. The major nature of enclosure in the study area is concrete and earthen ponds. Majority (91.67%) of the fish farmers practiced the monoculture system of stocking. The catfish species was the major fish species cultured in Bayelsa State. Generally most of the fish farmers operated fairly large scale enterprises. The average net farm income of the fish farmers was positive (N 887,725.39). The multiple regression analysis indicated that cost of fingerlings, cost of feeding, size of fish farm and level of education  were the factors that significantly affected the net return of the fish farmers at the 5% level of significance. Freshwater fish farming was found to be sustainable on the average, given the sustainability scores (environmental, social, institutional and economic) generated from the study. The major challenges faced by the fish farmers were high cost of fish feeds (100%), no good patronage from customers (100%), no good fish markets (100%) and the unavailability of training/research centers (100%). It was found that freshwater fish farming was a profitable business; there is therefore need for the creation of awareness and orientation about the profitability of the fishery enterprise and its overall importance in food security, livelihood sustainability and economic development. 

Author: OKERE, NKEIRUKA ANITA OBIANUJU

Title:  PROFIT AND RISK MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES IN
 SELECTED AGRIBUSINESSES IN IMO STATE, NIGERIA

Affiliation: Agricultural Economics Department
School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology
Federal University of Technology, Owerri Imo State

Date: April, 2016

ABSTRACT

This study was designed to analyze profit and risk management strategies in selected agribusinesses in Imo, Nigeria. The methods of proportionate sampling, followed by random sampling techniques were adopted in selecting the Local Government Areas and the sample size. Data were collected with the use of questionnaire administered on 168 agribusiness entrepreneurs (87 food crops and 81 livestock entrepreneurs). The data collected were analyzed using frequency distribution, percentages, mean, variance, the ordinary least square multiple regression model and z-statistic. Results obtained indicate that the mean age of the agribusiness entrepreneurs was 47 years for food crops and 45 years for livestock, education was 9 years for food crops and 10 years for livestock and agribusiness experience was 19 years for food crops and 12 years for livestock. The net income generated by food crops and livestock entrepreneurs was ₦152195 and ₦256955 per year respectively. Production, market, financial and human risks were found to be serious risks in the study area. The major risk management strategies identified were disease control (47.4% for food crops and 66.7% for livestock agribusinesses) followed by enterprise diversification (23% food crops and 18.5% livestock). The mean variance or risk level was 23345 for food crops and 53671 for livestock agribusinesses.  Results of the regression analyses showed that variables such as age, sex, household size, education, experience and farm size were significant factors influencing profit of the food crops and livestock agribusinesses. Also variables such as age, marital status, household size, education, experience and income were significant factors influencing risk level of food crops and livestock agribusinesses. The hypothesis that there is no positive relationship between the socio-economic characteristics of agribusiness entrepreneurs and the profit of the selected agribusinesses tested was rejected with respect to variables with positive coefficients, and accepted with respect to variables with negative coefficients. The hypotheses that there is no significant difference between the level of profit of food crops and livestock agribusinesses, and there is no significant difference between the risk levels of food crops and livestock agribusinesses tested were significant at 5% level which led to rejection of null hypotheses. It was concluded that both food crops and livestock agribusinesses were profitable but risky ventures and that the agribusinesses require entrepreneurs proper understanding of the risk management strategies to adopt so as to improve profit. Therefore it was recommended that government should review the system of land ownership in the State, create awareness campaign group to sensitize the citizens on the need to engage in agribusiness, provides incentives and suitable market for the agricultural products and also encourage agribusiness entrepreneurs to be educated so as to enable them adopt proper risk management strategies so that agribusiness returns can be closer to expectations.