rss_2.0Agricultura Tropica et Subtropica FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Agricultura Tropica et Subtropica Tropica et Subtropica Feed differentiation of growth traits in pullet breeds in Southwest Nigeria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The study aimed to characterise three breeds of pullets based on their biometric differentiation and the effects of age on their body linear measurement. The three breeds of pullets under consideration were Noiler (N), FUNAAB Alpha (FUN), and ISA Brown (ISA). This study used two hundred and five pullets raised from a day old. At the 19<sup>th</sup>, 21<sup>st</sup>, and 23<sup>rd</sup> week of rearing, the pullets were weighed individually, and linear body measurements were taken. There was no significantly different effect (<italic>p</italic> &gt; 0.05) between FUNAAB Alpha and Noiler breeds in all the traits considered at week 19, while a significant difference (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05) was observed between ISA Brown and others in all the traits except in breast girth (FUN-11.57 and ISA-10.46) and wing length (N-7.45 and ISA-6.97). The significant effects of breed and age occurred especially on the body weight for all the three ages under consideration (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05). There was a positive relationship between body weight and body measurements in all three breeds of pullets under investigation. The increase in the growth rate of any of the components increased live weight gain. The body weight of pullets could be determined accurately using body measurements such as wing length, wing span, and breast girth.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue, late blight and yield response of potato ( L.) to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi inoculation in West region of Cameroon<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The crop protection system in Cameroon is mainly based on the use of chemical pesticides which can lead to human and environmental health problems. Biological control is a low-cost and eco-friendly alternative control method that could be used to boost the production of quality potatoes. This study aims to test a biological control approach for potato growth, late blight, and yield using arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF) inoculants. To achieve this, a split-plot experimental design consisting of two factors: potato varieties (Pamela and Cipira) and AMF dose (0 g, 20 g, and 40 g per plant) was used. Results showed that the interaction between variety and AMF doses was significant for growth variables for the treatment Cipira × 20 g AMF/plant showing the highest plant height (48.0 cm) at the 4<sup>th</sup> week after sowing (WAS). In addition, the combination of variety and AMF doses significantly reduced late blight incidence and severity, with the best result exhibited by Pamela variety × 40 g AMF/plant (53% and 10%, respectively). The treatments also showed a significant effect on root colonization, with Pamela × 40 g AMF/plant exhibiting the highest arbuscular content in the root system (93%). In terms of yield, the interaction between variety and AMF doses had a significant effect on tuber yields, with a yield of 50 and 55 t/ha recorded for Pamela at 20 g of AMF/plant and 40 g of AMF/plant, respectively. These results show that farm management practices based on AMF inoculations could efficiently increase potato productivity in the Western Highlands of Cameroon.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of the decision to use healthcare facilities among farming households on labour productivity in Ogun State, Nigeria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Productivity of agricultural labour is central to the improvement of livelihoods of rural population. This study used an instrumental variable approach to examine the impact of healthcare facilities use on household labour productivity using distance to healthcare facilities as an instrument. A multistage sampling procedure was used in selecting 200 households comprising 96 users and 104 non-users of healthcare facilities. The result revealed that the agricultural productivity of users of healthcare facilities was ₦652.34 (USD 1.65) per man-day higher than non-users. The result further showed that age (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.1), sex (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05), contact with health extension worker (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.01), incapacitation due to illness (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05) and distance to healthcare facilities (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.01) significantly influenced the decision to use healthcare facilities while membership of cooperative society (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05), area cultivated and use of health care facilities (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.1) significantly influenced labour productivity. The study concluded that increased distance to healthcare facilities reduces its utilisation while being member of cooperative society and utilisation of healthcare facilities increases labour productivity. This study recommended that health extension workers need to intensify their efforts in educating the households on the need to use healthcare facilities when they are sick; this is expected to improve the healthy time of the households which will invariably increase their productivity.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue influencing choice of healthcare facilities utilisation by rural households in Ogun State, Nigeria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Understanding the choice of healthcare facility utilisation is essential to the provision of need-based healthcare services to the population. This study was carried out to estimate factors influencing the choice of healthcare facilities utilised by rural households. A multistage sampling procedure was used to select 240 rural households comprising 1440 persons. Data were collected with the use of a structured questionnaire and analysed with descriptive techniques and a multivariate probit (MVP) model. The MVP result showed that households supplement public healthcare facilities with private clinics, support traditional medical treatment with self-medication, and replace self-medication with public healthcare facilities and private clinics. Similarly, age, gender, household size, cost of drugs, distance to public healthcare facilities, travelling cost, contact with community health workers, total income, awareness of public health facilities, quality of health facilities, and terrain of health facilities influence the choice of healthcare facilities utilised. The study concluded that increased total income, contact with community health extension workers, awareness of health facilities, and perceived quality of services rendered positively influence the choice of healthcare facilities sorted after while the increase in the cost of drugs, distance to health facilities, travelling cost and difficult terrain of health facilities negatively impact the choice of healthcare facilities utilised. The study recommended that public healthcare facilities should be located within the reach of the people and equipped with essential drugs at a reduced cost. Households should also engage in activities that will increase their income so that they can use better healthcare facilities.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of biopesticides extracted with a homemade solvent on stored maize protection<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Synthetic chemicals continue to play an important role in reducing storage losses attributable to insect pest activities. However, the adverse effects associated with some patented chemicals make synthetic pesticides less attractive and have given the drive to search for alternative methods of pest control. This study evaluated the effects of a traditional gin, akpeteshie crude extracts made of four timber species, neem (<italic>Azadirachta indica</italic>), mahogany (<italic>Khaya senegalensis</italic>), teak (<italic>Tectona grandis</italic>) and cedrela (<italic>Cedrela odorata</italic>) on the maize weevil <italic>Sitophilus zeamais</italic> on stored maize grains in the laboratory. Home-made extracts of the test tree plants at concentrations of 0.5, 1.0 and 2% were tested as grain protectants or as insect poisons. All tested extracts in their respective concentrations performed well in the reduction of live insects during maize storage as compared to a non-extract treatment. The mode of action of all the extracts was generally concentration and time-dependent. On average neem extract was the most effective followed by mahogany, teak, and cedrela in that order. Neem and mahogany extracts performed well in reducing grain damage at a concentration of 2% and at 0.5% concentration of cedrela extract respectively. All extracts reduced progeny emergence and acted both as a repellent or a toxicant. The extracts performed better as compared to the untreated control in the viability of maize seeds leading to germination, and subsequent seedling emergence. The relatively low weight loss of the stored grains treated with these crude extracts during the 90-day experimental period at a maximum concentration of 2% is predictive that they can be adopted as safe and alternative grain protectants against weevils in store. The unknown phytochemicals in these akpeteshie hardwood extracts may be responsible for the insecticidal properties against the weevils. For some concentrations of the extracts, germination was inconsistent which led to the suspicion of allelopathy.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of replacing soybean meal with shrimp waste meal in the diets of growing turkeys on nutrient digestibility and metabolisable energy<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Soybean meal (SBM), one of the main protein sources in turkey production is becoming expensive. Shrimp waste meal (SWM), a by-product of the shrimp industry is a good prospect as a cheaper alternative. It was hypothesised that Nigerian indigenous turkeys (NIT) should be able to digest and utilise SWM better than British United Turkeys (BUT) because of their hardy nature. A 56-day study was carried out to determine metabolisable energy and apparent nutrient digestibility of growing turkeys fed diets containing SWM. Four diets were formulated such that SBM in the control diet (diet 1) was substituted by SWM at 150, 300 and 450 g/kg (protein for protein) in diets 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Eighty (80) four-weeks-old male sex BUT and 80 NIT were allotted on weight equalisation into four dietary treatments replicated four times with five turkeys per replicate in a 2 × 4 factorial arrangement. The total faecal collection method was used for determining apparent and true nutrient digestibility and metabolisable energy values. The experiment was arranged in a completely randomised design and data collected were analysed using ANOVA with SAS package. At the starter phase, NIT recorded (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05) higher values for dry matter (DM), Ether extract (EE), nitrogen-free extract (NFE), Apparent metabolisable energy corrected for nitrogen (AMEn) but lower true metabolisable energy corrected for nitrogen (TMEn). Turkeys fed SWM recorded higher (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05) AMEn. At the grower phase, turkeys fed 300 g/kg SWM recorded higher (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05) values for CF and ash. Ash and CP digestibility values were higher (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05) in BUT ditto for TMEn. It was concluded that NIT could handle SWM better than BUT, however, only at the starter phase at 300 g/kg substitution for SBM.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue characteristics and microbial counts of silage as influenced by seeds and ensiling period<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The fermentation characteristics and microbial counts of <italic>Megathyrsus maximus</italic> ensiled at varying inclusions of <italic>Moringa oleifera</italic> seeds at different ensiling periods were investigated. Factorial experiment consisting of 3 varying proportions of grass and seeds (100:0, 75:25, and 50:50) and 4 ensiling duration (30, 60, 90, and 120 days) was carried out. The pH was significantly highest (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05) with the highest inclusion of seeds while pH decreased with increased ensiling duration. Colour and odour changed as the level of seed inclusion increased in the silage while the moisture content (9.10) was significantly higher (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05) at 30 days of ensiling. Ammonia nitrogen was highest at the highest level of seed inclusion while lactic acid was highest at 60 days of ensiling. Crude protein and tannin contents of the silage increased (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05) following the increased seed inclusion while there was a reduction as the ensiling duration increased. The total anaerobic bacteria count, total lactobacilli count, and total yeast count of the silage decreased following the increased inclusion of seeds in the silage. As the ensiling duration increased, a reduction in all the silage microbial counts was observed. Inclusion of 25 % of the seeds to 75 % of the grass for silage with ensiling up to 120 days supported improved fermentation characteristics, microbial and crude protein contents as well as a reduction in tannin content which implies that there will not be a detrimental effect on animals that feed on the silage.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of social media on youth involvement in livestock production in Oyo State, Nigeria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Youths are the highest consumers of ICT and they are currently using Social Media (SM) to stir interest, ask questions, and solve constraints in agricultural enterprises. Youths’ participation in livestock enterprises through social media is increasing because they are not capital-intensive and can be practiced in their residences. Hence, the effects of SM on youth involvement in livestock production (LP) were investigated. A multistage sampling procedure was used to select 150 respondents, and a questionnaire was used for data collection and analysis using percentages, mean, standard deviation Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC), and t-test at <italic>p</italic> ≤ 0.05.</p> <p>Findings revealed that respondents had 1–5 years of experience (47.3 %), were efficient in computer literacy (53.3 %), and involved in LP before SM utilisation (6.7 %). Websites (<italic>X¯</italic> = 1.83), YouTube (<italic>X¯</italic> = 1.69) and WhatsApp (<italic>X¯</italic> = 1.65) were the most available SM platforms. Many respondents (88.9 %) were operating on a low scale of LP, while a few (11.1 %) were on a medium scale before SM utilisation. The deployment of SM increased respondents with a medium scale of LP (from 11.1 % to 53.3 %) and decreased respondents with a low scale of LP (from 88.9 % to 30.0 %), while 10.7 % of respondents were characterised by a large scale of LP. Power supply (<italic>X¯</italic> = 2.51) and cost of data (<italic>X¯</italic> = 2.43) were the major challenges to the use of SM for LP. A significant relationship (r = 0.531, p = 0.025) existed between the use of SM and the level of LP. Significant differences existed between the level of LP before (0.804 ± 1.021) and after the use (1.340 ± 1.000) of SM. Hence, SM boosted youths’ involvement in agriculture, raised LP, and consequently decreased unemployment rates. Solar energy, cheap data, and favourable financial schemes for young farmers should be made available.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of improved groundnut varieties adoption on income, food security and nutrition of farming households in Katsina State, Nigeria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Previous empirical studies on improved groundnut varieties in Nigeria have not focused on the impact of the adoption of improved groundnut varieties on monetary returns, food security, and the nutrition of farming households. It is therefore important to provide evidence to justify the expenditure on improved groundnut varieties development in Nigeria. Using observational data from 100 randomly sampled groundnut farmers, this study determined the impact of improved groundnut varieties (IGV) adoption on farming households’ income, food security, and nutrition in a rural area of Northwestern Nigeria. The Propensity Score Matching Technique was used for data analysis. The majority of the respondents (75%) are adopters of IGV. The likelihood of adoption increases with extension contact, labour, and the level of commercialization. Adopters of IGV had an increase of ₦ 48171.7 ($133.1) and 14.96 in Gross margin/hectare and dietary diversity increased by 14.96, respectively. There was also an improvement in the food security status of the adopters. The study concluded that adopting improved technologies can enhance farming households’ welfare. It was therefore recommended that farmers be encouraged to adopt IGV to increase the returns from groundnut production and household food security and nutrition status.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue variability of yield and yield-related traits among 27 drought-tolerant maize genotypes<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Maize is a valuable crop with high genetic variability, and understanding this variability is essential for improving crop productivity and resilience to environmental stressors. This study evaluated the genetic variability and heritability of yield and yield-related traits among 27 drought-tolerant maize genotypes in a humid climate region of Southwestern Nigeria. The experiments followed rigorous agronomic, soil, and climatic requirements for maize cultivation. Our findings revealed significant genetic variability among the traits of the maize genotypes, particularly in the number of ears per plant, which had the highest genetic advancement as a percentage of the mean (68.25 % and 67.83 %) under both well-watered and drought conditions, respectively. This suggests that breeding programs targeting this trait could significantly improve maize productivity and resilience to drought stress. Additionally, most of the agronomic traits targeted were highly heritable with heritability values ranging from 0.76 to 0.99 under both environments where the genotypes were evaluated, thus indicating that selective breeding for these traits could lead to consistent improvements in maize yields over time. Overall, this study highlights the importance of evaluating yield-related traits’ genetic variability and heritability in maize breeding programs. Findings suggest that targeting the number of ears per plant in drought-tolerant maize genotypes as revealed in the study could be an effective approach for improving crop productivity and resilience in regions with variable moisture regimes.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue attributes and antioxidant activities of meat of broiler chickens administered aqueous<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The ban on antibiotics across the globe necessitated the need for an alternative in the production and management of animal health, and this made herbal medicines like <italic>Lagenaria breviflora</italic> validated to be an alternative. Two hundred and eight (208) day‑old Cobb 500 chickens were randomly assigned to four (4) treatment groups of <italic>Lagenaria breviflora:</italic> control (0g), 50, 100, and 150 grams per litre, with fifty‑two (52) birds each, having thirteen (13) birds per four (4) replicates. The meat was excised from the breast region of slaughtered birds on the 49<sup>th</sup> day of the experiment and evaluated for meat technological quality, oxidative stability, and sensorial profile. The data generated were evaluated using the One‑way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The highest water absorption capacity (WAC) (61.50%) and water holding capacity (WHC) (51.09%) were observed in groups 150 g Lb and 100 g Lb, respectively. Administration of 50 g and 150 g aqueous extract of <italic>Lagenaria breviflora</italic> affected <italic>(p</italic> &lt; 0.05) the intrinsic a* (redness) meat colour but had no significant effect <italic>(p</italic> &gt; 0.05) on its L* (lightness) and b* (yellowness). The data showed that administration of <italic>Lagenaria breviflora</italic> had no effect <italic>(p</italic> &gt; 0.05) on the sensory profile of the breast meat. Glutathione peroxidase (1.85U/L) <italic>(p</italic> &lt; 0.05) was highest and similar in the control and 150 g Lb group. In conclusion, to ensure improved meat quality and oxidative stability of meat from broiler chickens, the administration of aqueous <italic>Lagenaria breviflora</italic> at 150 g per litre of water is recommended.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of locust bean () pulp as a natural egg quality enhancer in laying hens<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study was carried out to improve commercial egg production using parkia pulp which is usually washed off during the processing of parkia seed into spice. A total of 54 Hyline brown Agrited brand pullets were randomly allotted to 3 treatments, 6 birds per replicate. Parkia pulp was included in the birds’ drink (0%, 1%, and 2% parkia pulp) from 08:00 h to 10:00 h followed by clean cool water daily from day 147 to day 245 (early egg production phase). At day 420 to 448 (late egg production phase) conventional multivitamins, 1% and 2% parkia pulp were included in drinking water for 3 days in a week 08:00 h to 17:00 h. Data on the growth of birds, egg production, and egg internal and external quality were measured and analysed using ANOVA at <italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05. The weight of birds in the early egg production phase was directly proportional to the quantity of parkia pulp included in the parkia pulp drink. The number of eggs produced per bird (64.85) was significantly higher from the birds on 1% parkia pulp drink, whereas from the egg quality indicators, egg weight (65.03 g), length (56.15 mm), shell weight (8.06 g), and albumen weight (41.75 g) were all significantly higher at 2% inclusion level of parkia pulp drink in the early stage of egg production. In the late phase there was no significant difference among the treatments in the internal and external egg qualities but the weight of birds on parkia drink was high at <italic>p</italic> ≤ 0.05. The results of our study show that parkia pulp inclusion in commercial laying hen drink enhances the quality and quantity of egg production.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue’ propensity to use reality television shows for information on climate-smart agriculture strategies in southwestern Nigeria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Reality Television Show (RTS), an emerging variant of entertainment education, is renowned for its popularity among audiences all over the world, making it a great medium for conveying targeted educational messages to specific audiences. However, it is yet to be exploited for disseminating agriculture-related concepts such as Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA). Therefore, this study examined farmers’ propensity to use RTS for information on CSA strategies in southwestern Nigeria. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select 121 farmers for this study. Using an interview schedule, data were collected on farmers’ socio-economic characteristics, sources of information on climate change and CSA, awareness of RTS, perceived constraints, and the propensity of its use for information on climate-smart agriculture strategies. Data were analysed using descriptive (frequencies, percentages, means) and inferential (PPMC) statistics at <italic>p</italic> = 0.05. Farmers were mostly male (55.4%), smallholders (1.6 ± 1.3 ha), and aged 44.9 ± 12.7 years. While most of the farmers (66.0%) used television as a source of information, none of them (0.0%) were aware of any Nigerian RTS used to promote agriculture. The most severe perceived constraints to the use of RTS were poor network reception eception (<italic>x</italic> ̄= 161.2), unstable power supply (<italic>x</italic> ̄= 160.3), lack of sponsorship (<italic>x</italic> ̄= 156.2), sustainability of the show (<italic>x</italic> ̄= 154.6) and language barrier (<italic>x</italic> ̄= 147.1). The majority of the farmers (69.4%) had a high propensity to use RTS for information on CSA. Farmers’ perceived constraints (r = −0.196) significantly correlated with their propensity to use RTS for information on CSA. Agricultural development communicators should focus on using this Entertainment-Education (EE) format in promoting climate-smart agriculture.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue, serum biochemical and hormonal profile in West African Dwarf goats during pregnancy<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The haematological attributes during pregnancy assumed new importance when it was realised that pregnancy is a form of physiological stress and hormones appear to be involved in the process of pregnancy and parturition. Hence, an experiment aimed at assessing and determining the haematological, biochemical and hormonal profile during pregnancy was conducted for five (5) months using twelve (12) artificially inseminated female West African Dwarf goats aged 2 – 4 years with live weights ranging from 15 to 26 kg. Does were raised semi‑intensively throughout the duration of the experiment. Blood was collected once a month for haematological, biochemical and hormonal analysis. Data obtained were analysed by the method of least squares analysis of variance (SAS, 2003) using a general linear model appropriate for a completely randomised design. The gestation period had a highly significant (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.001) effect on red blood cell (RBC) and white blood cell (WBC) counts. Cholesterol and glucose were significantly (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.001) affected by the gestation period, similar to the cortisol and progesterone profile (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.001).</p> <p>It can be concluded from this study that RBC counts were highest in the 4<sup>th</sup> week, WBC counts in the 8<sup>th</sup> week, cholesterol in the 12<sup>th</sup> week, glucose in the 8<sup>th</sup> week, progesterone and cortisol concentrations in the 20<sup>th</sup> week of gestation, respectively, in the West African Dwarf goats which reflect the physiological demands of pregnancy, foetal growth, and development. These changes can be used as a tool for monitoring foetal health and proper handling of pregnant does.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue time, hydraulic conductivity, and sorptivity – experimental and numerical determination<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Determination of actual soil sorptivity becomes one of the research preferences in the field of soil management and flash-flood protection. This Note presents an innovative approach to soil sorptivity determination. A single ring infiltration method, along with a simulation of rainfall of constant intensity, was used to measure ponding time <italic>t</italic><sub>p</sub>. Hydraulic conductivity <italic>K</italic> was approximated from the analysis of the time series of the process of vertical non-steady cumulative infiltration appearing after the ponding time. Based on Philip's infiltration theory, a simple equation was derived in order to calculate sorptivity <italic>S</italic> from ponding time, rainfall intensity, and saturated hydraulic conductivity. Numerically determined results of <italic>S</italic> show to closely correspond with theoretical values published in the literature. To the best of our knowledge, this process of numerical determination of <italic>K</italic> and <italic>S</italic> has not been published so far. Moreover, unlike the traditional methods, e.g. single or double-ring in filtration experiments, this method provides more precise and representative values of <italic>S</italic>, verified by ponding time, as the results refer to the original soil sorptivity, not the sorptivity determined after the ponding time (meaning sorptivity of the fully saturated environment) which tends to reach zero. Our assumption was definitely confirmed by field experimental determination of ponding time and selected soil hydrology characteristics.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of poverty among rural farming households in Maiha Local Government Area, Adamawa State, Nigeria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Poverty is a critical factor affecting subsistence of farmers in Nigeria, especially in rural areas. The study examined determinants of poverty among rural farming households in Adamawa State, Nigeria. Specifically, the research objectives were to: describe the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents, determine the poverty status of the respondents, and examine the determinants of poverty among the respondents. Primary data used for the studies were generated from 255 respondents, who were selected using a multi-stage random sampling technique. The analytical tools used were descriptive, Foster-Greer-Thorbecke (FGT), and Logit regression models. The findings of the study revealed that the majority (90.98 %) of rural farming household heads were men, married (90.20 %) with a mean age of 38.42 years, educated (76.48 %), with a mean farm size of 2.65 ha and mean household size of 5 people. The majority (85.88 %) of the respondents had no access to credit. The study further revealed that respondents’ distributions by poverty status were 0.42, 0.23, and 0.16 for poverty incidence (Po), poverty depth (P1), and poverty severity (P2), respectively. The result of the Logit regression model revealed that sex, formal education, primary occupation, access to credit, total income, and annual remittances had a positive influence on poverty status, while age, marital status, and household size had a negative influence on poverty status among farming households and were statistically significant at various levels. Hence the study recommends need for the farming households to have access to credit schemes. This could increase the off-farm activities that could generate more income for the household and thereby reduce their poverty.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue assessment of soil degradation potentials of commodity crops grown in Nigeria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Comparative assessment of land degradation potential of commodity crops grown in Jaba Local Government Areas of Kaduna State, Nigeria was investigated to provide evidence for crop-specific land management practices in the area. Soil samples collected from plots of four (maize, ginger, mango, and oil palm) main crops grown within three (Ungwan Rana; Kurmin Kwara, and Kyari) communities were analysed for relevant physico-chemical variables using standard laboratory procedures. The preliminary results of laboratory analyses showed that soils, where annual crops were grown had a higher content of sand particles, higher bulk density, pH<sub>(water)</sub>, mineralization (lower carbon content), and gravimetric water content when compared to soils where permanent crops were found growing. Soils, where tree crops were growing, had a higher silt, clay, and organic matter content. Results from the erodibility factor (k) estimation indicated that ginger production in Kurmin Kwara had the greatest impact of all three sites and crops investigated with an annual soil loss of 12 kg/ha/annum. Mango production in Ugwan Rana resulted in the least impact with an estimated loss of 9 kg/ha/annum of soil to erosion. Evidence of two-way analysis of variance of land degradation (erodibility) data at a 95% confidence level in SPSS version 21 indicated that the impacts resulting from the cultivation of different crops in various communities are not significantly different from one another. Therefore, soil conservation measures such as mulching, composting, land fallowing, and cover cropping would be helpful in eliminating the emerging land degradation owing to the cultivation of commodity crops in the study area.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue evaluation of growth performance and nutritional values of hybrid and cultivars in Southern Highlands, Tanzania<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Improved cultivars (cvs.) of <italic>Brachiaria</italic> hybrid and <italic>Pennisetum purpureum</italic> forages have been studied extensively in research settings but still there is a paucity of information about their on-farm performance. This study was therefore set to evaluate the on-farm performance of <italic>Brachiaria</italic> hybrid cvs. Cayman and Cobra, and <italic>Pennisetum purpureum</italic> cvs. ILRI 16835 and Ouma in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. A total of 30 smallholder dairy farmers who cultivated these improved forage grasses were involved in this study. A 2 m × 2 m sub-plot was marked in established pasture plots and a standardised cut at a 5–7 cm stubble height was done at the beginning of this study. The forage growth performance was conducted from April–July, 2021 (dry period) in two phases of 6 weeks each. These cultivars were evaluated for their above-ground growth performance and nutritional values at the end of each phase. Plant height, leaf length, leaf widths, and number of tillers per plant among cultivars varied significantly (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05) while above-ground forage biomass did not vary among cultivars (<italic>p</italic> &gt; 0.05). Crude protein values did not vary significantly among cultivars (<italic>p</italic> &gt; 0.05), they were 131–141 g kg<sup>−1</sup> dry matter (DM). These values were not able to meet the nutritional requirements of the lactating dairy cow. <italic>Brachiaria</italic> hybrid cv. Cayman had the lowest (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05) neutral detergent fibre (NDF, 539 g kg<sup>−1</sup> DM) compared to other cultivars (545–571 g kg<sup>−1</sup> DM), hence high digestibility. It was concluded that Cayman was the best cultivar for forage production in the Southern Highlands, Tanzania due to its low NDF content. However, lower biomass warrants mixing of Cayman with other feeds to meet the daily requirements of a lactating dairy cow.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue evaluation of different avian species eggs from Minna, Niger State Nigeria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The proximate composition and mineral contents of eggs from quail (<italic>Coturnix japonica)</italic> turkey (<italic>Meleagris gallopavo)</italic> commercial chicken (<italic>Gallus domesticus</italic>), local chicken (<italic>Gallus domesticus</italic>) guinea fowl, (<italic>Numida meleagris</italic>) and duck (<italic>Cairina moschata</italic>) obtained in Minna, Nigeria were studied. Standard laboratory procedures were used in determining the nutrients and mineral compositions of the egg samples. The local chicken eggs had significantly higher crude fat (11.73 ± 0.18%), ash (1.38 ± 0.01%), zinc (3.23 ± 0.11 mg/100 g), and manganese (0.44 ± 0.01 mg/100 g) contents, it also showed the lowest phosphorus (120.00 ± 3.50 mg/100 g, iron (19.70 ± 0.60 mg/100 g) and vitamin A concentration (1.62 ± 0.59 × 10<sup>3</sup> μg/L). Quail egg had the highest (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05) vitamin A (4.16 ± 0.16 × 10<sup>3</sup> μg/L) and protein (13.49 ± 0.33%) contents. The moisture content was significantly higher in guinea fowl eggs (80.28 ± 0.41%) than in others. The outcome of this study indicated that some eggs which are seemingly underutilised may provide an enormous supply of nutrients needed for adequate human nutrition and health. Hence, if properly exploited they may substantially improve the quality of diet.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue utilisation of skill set: assessing ex-agripreneurial trainees of agricultural school programme in Osun State, Nigeria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Charitable organisations complement government efforts in training young Nigerians in sustainable agricultural practices. A potent means of assessing the effectiveness of this training outlet/effort is the assessment of the sustained utilisation of the skill set acquired by its ex-agripreneurial trainees. A multistage sampling procedure was used to capture sample subjects. The last five sets of ex-trainees were purposively and proportionately sampled, this gave a sample size of 97. Both quantitative and qualitative data were elicited from the sample subjects. The majority (74.2 %) of the ex-trainees were male, middle-aged (38 years), made a net average monthly income of ₦ 46,618, and had an appreciable length of experience (11 years) as agripreneurs. The results of this study were as follows: training on the skill set received by the ex-agripreneural trainees was effective (75.3 %). Inadequate finance (<italic>x̅</italic>= 3.0), economic instability (<italic>x̅</italic>= 2.40) and poor state of infrastructure (<italic>x̅</italic> = 2.23) were prominent among constraints associated with sustained utilisation of the skill set acquired. Enthusiasm about my enterprise (<italic>x̅</italic>= 1.72) was the attribute of an agripreneur possessed most. Sustained utilisation of skill set was high (61.9 %). A significant relationship was established between household size (<italic>r</italic> = 0,456), net average monthly income (<italic>r</italic> = 0.537), years of experience as an agripreneur (<italic>r</italic> = 0.509), perceived effectiveness of training received (<italic>r</italic> = 0.380), attributes of an entrepreneur possessed (<italic>r</italic> = 0.380), and sustained utilisation of skill set acquired. The study recommends that the training modules/templates are sustained and adapted by other training outlets/efforts owing to their effectiveness and the sustainability potentials it confers.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue