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Summary

Food and nutritional (in)security remain an important matter of concern, especially in developing countries. Despite the efforts to enhance food security among smallholder soybean households, the proportion of the undernourished population in Butere Sub-County still remains high for unknown reasons. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to examine the determinants of food security among smallholder soybean households in Butere Sub-County, Kenya. The study adopted the exploratory research design. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select a sample of 201 respondents. Cross-sectional data were gathered through face-to-face interviews using pretested semi-structured questionnaires and analyzed using ordered logistic regression model. Household Food Insecurity Access Scale was used to measure and categorize the soybean household food (in)security status. The results revealed that the household food (in)security status differed across soybean households and was greatly influenced by an interplay of socio-economic, market, and institutional factors. Age of the household head negatively influenced food security, whereas the level of soybean commercialization, education, livestock units, network density, extension visits, and credit access were positively associated with household food security. The study recommends policy interventions that seek to ensure intensive literacy development, frequent extension and training, improved access to credit, and reinvestment in productive assets or inputs for increased production, commercialization and food security. Strengthening of social ties and increased allocation to safety net programs for the aged, vulnerable, and resource-poor households are also recommended.

Summary

The common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) has been the subject of a number of studies and has been described by many authors as a legume with low nitrogen fixing potential compared to other legume species. The first objective of this study is to assess the development and growth of P. vulgaris L. var. Djedida and its yield at different developmental stages (vegetative, flowering and fruiting), in the presence and absence of nitrogen fertilizer (Urea 46) in an arid climate and in a soil containing high level of CaCO3 and assimilable phosphorus. The second objective is to carry out a survey on nodulation, number of spores and mycorrhizal infection under these conditions. The results showed that the nitrogen fertilizer amendment is mainly significant (p< 0.0001) for various morphological parameters. Indeed, great improvement was observed on the majority of the morphological parameters with considerable percentages. However, no significant effect was reported for the roots length. In addition, a negligible number of nodules were obtained in the plot without fertilization and no significant effect on the number of spores was recorded. Furthermore, the effect of fertilization on the arbuscular intensity (a%, A%) and on mycorrhizal colonization (M%, m%) of the roots was found to be significant. The soil in the arid region of Biskra showed significant mycorrhizogenic potential, although the conditions in this region were not very favorable for their development, which could constitute an effective biological resource to improve the tolerance of host plants to biotic and abiotic constraints.

Summary

The study assessed coping strategies adopted during economic recession by male and female members of rural households in Osun State, Nigeria. The study specifically examined the perceived causes of economic recession, investigated the perceived effects and identified the coping strategies adopted by the male and female members of the rural households during economic recession and their level of adoption. A multistage procedure was used to select 120 respondents from 6 local Government Areas of the State. An interview schedule was used to collect data from the respondents. The collected data were analysed using appropriate descriptive and inferential statistics such as frequency counts, percentages, means and independent T-test analysis. The mean ages of the male and female respondents were 45.2 ± 14.1 years and 37 ± 12.6 years respectively. The majority of the males (78.3%) and females (80%) were married with the mean household size of 7 ± 3 people for the male and 6 ± 2 for the female respondents. The cause of economic recession mostly perceived by the male and female respondents was poor economic planning (mean=3.87, 3.77), while prioritizing spending (mean=2.80, 2.52) was the most adopted strategy by both males and females. No significant difference was found in the effects of economic recession on the male and female respondents (t = -0.19; p >0.05) and likewise no significant difference was found in their economic recession coping strategies (t=0.115; p ≥ 0.05). The study concluded that there was no significant difference in the economic recession coping strategies between the male and female members of rural households in the study area.

Summary

The study assessed the gender involvement of sedentary Fulani in dairy farming practices in Osun State, Nigeria. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select 256 respondents from 12 Local Government Areas (LGAs) inhabited by the sedentary Fulani in the study area. Interview schedules were used for quantitative data collection. Data were analyzed and interpreted using descriptive statistics such as frequency counts, percentages, means and standard deviations while one-way ANOVA was used to draw inferences on the hypothesis. The results showed that the mean age of the male and female respondents was 34.05 ± 12.49 years and 33.33 ± 13.14 years respectively. The majority of the male (85.9 %) and female (89.8 %) respondents had no formal education. The mean herd size of male and female respondents was 20 ± 2 and 5 ± 2 heads of cattle respectively. All of the male respondents indicated that fencing, grazing and milking were male gender roles, while all female respondents indicated that cleaning of pens, sales of milk/milk products and processing of milk were female gender roles. The study showed that 42.7% of the male and10.2% of the female respondents had high level of involvement in dairy farming activities, while 24.7% of the male and 44.2% of the female respondents had low level of involvement. Further results revealed that there were significant differences (F = 312.80) between the male and female respondents in their involvement in dairy farming practice. The study concluded that there is gender gap in male and female involvement in dairy farming practices.

Summary

The purpose of this study is to examine socioeconomic factors influencing the participation of households in the Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) programme and estimate the programme’s impact on the poverty status of rural households in Edo and Ondo States, Nigeria. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select three hundred and twenty respondents across CBNRM participating and non-participating households. Data were collected according to socioeconomic criteria such as the expenditure on food and non-food items and the CBNRM participation status of the respondents surveyed. The endogenous switching regression model was used as an analytical tool. The following factors were found to exert significant influence on the participation of households in the CBNRM programme: year of schooling (p<0.05), membership in associations (p<0.05), value of disposable assets (p<0.1) and value of household’s food expenditure (p<0.05). A coefficient of correlation of 0.1625, obtained for the CBNRM participants, indicates that the CBNRM participants have higher per capita consumption expenditure than a random household by N1,369.17. The present study unequivocally demonstrated that participation in the CBNRM programme increased the per capita expenditure of the households considered, positively affecting their poverty status and emphasising the importance of education, household food expenditure, disposable assets and membership in association as determining factors for the CBNRM programme participation.

Summary

The production of cheese as a value-added product occupies a prominent place in the food system of economically developed countries and is an important revenue generator for all participants in the production chain. The absence or insufficient application of the marketing concept reduces the possibility of efficient and effective utilization of available resources and hinders obtaining a competitive position of cheese producers in the market. The extent of marketing concept implementation in the business of cheese-producing agricultural holdings is a significant factor for their differentiation, development and growth. Empirical research was carried out using the survey method by creating a questionnaire for 78 holdings engaged in cheese production in the territory of the Republic of Serbia. The Serbian cheese producers considered were surveyed about their business structure, production operations and strategic plans for the future. The objective of the research was to identify the place and role of the marketing concept in the business practice of registered agricultural holdings for cheese production in the Republic of Serbia. A lack of their awareness of the importance of marketing in business was found to be associated with a lack of their knowledge about the basic elements, essence and purpose of the marketing concept. Therefore, a major challenge for the agricultural sector is to encourage farmers to develop marketing skills. To be successful in the market, farmers need to have a better understanding of markets. It is necessary to educate small cheese producers about the importance of marketing in order to obtain a better market position and increase their profitability.

Summary

Retama sphaerocarpa shrubs form populations that can be an important forage resource during the dry season when pasture shortages are common in certain arid and semi-arid Mediterranean basin regions. The leaves of R. sphaerocarpa were analyzed for dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF) and acid detergent lignin (ADL) contents. Leaves were also analyzed for the concentration of macro- (P, K, Ca and Mg) and microelements (Mn, Zn, Fe, and Na). According to the contents of CP, NDF, ADF and ADL in the leaves examined, this species could strike an appropriate balance between available feed ingredients for daily nutritional needs of animals. The contents of Ca, K, Na, P, Fe, Mg, and Zn in Retama sphaerocarpa shrubs were found to be high, compared to a number of other forage shrub species. Conversely, the rate of natural regeneration of this shrub in situ was estimated at 2-5%. R. sphaerocarpa seeds are affected by seed coat dormancy that prevents seed germination under natural conditions. The seed germination was assessed at a laboratory after the chemical scarification of seeds by concentrated sulphuric acid in the duration range of 0 min and 240 min. The principal component analysis of data related to the germination ability and seedling emergence showed that the best pretreatment was 120 min immersion in sulphuric acid at 25°C (± 2°C), resulting in 86% of the final germination percentage (FGP) and 14.6 cm of the seedling length (SL). According to the results obtained, this species could be considered a ruminant feed of great nutritive value when drought decreases grazing herbaceous biomass yields. These results should encourage farmers and foresters to integrate R. sphaerocarpa into their planting programs.

Summary

The purpose of this paper is to determine the reference ranges for hematological, biochemical and endocrinological parameters in the blood of the commercial F1 Landrace x Yorkshire and Yorkshire x Landrace piglets aged 1 and 21 days. A total of 72 animals were enrolled in this study. The following reference ranges were determined for the blood parameters considered (day 1 vs. day 21): WBC 10.0-12.4 vs. 11.5-13.7 × 109/L; RBC 3.72-4.06 vs. 5.25-5.73 × 1012/L; HGB 71.4-79.0 vs. 100-110 g/L; HCT 24.4-26.5 vs. 35.7-39.1 %; MCV 64.4-66.0 vs. 72.7-74.8 fL; MCH 20.9-21.7 vs. 24.7-25.6 pg; MCHC 321-329 vs. 367-378 g/L; AST 78.5-98.9 vs. 51.8-66 U/L; ALT 72.5-84.5 vs. 65.9-76.5 U/L; CHOL 2.41-2.71 vs. 3.81-4.27 mmol/L; TGC 1.55-1.93 vs. 1.85-2.25 mmol/L; GLU 5.58-6.24 vs. 5.97-6.67 mmol/L; TPROT 55.2-59.4 vs. 65-69.9 g/L; ALB 13.4-15.1 vs. 27.8-30.9 g/L, GLOB 41.3-44.8 vs. 35.3-40.9 g/L; UREA mmol/L; TBIL 36.6-44.5 vs. 29.4-40.8 μmol/L; ALFAAMYLASE 897-998 vs. 851-949 U/L; LIPASE 74.1-79.7 vs. 88.3-98.1 U/L; CORT 140-196 vs. 41.4-63.8 ng/mL; INSUL 4.04-5.68 vs. 1.71-2.41 μU/L. The RBC, HGB, HCT, MCV, MCH, and MCHC values recorded were found to be higher in the piglets aged 21 days than those in the piglets aged 1 day. The total leukocyte count did not differ between the experimental groups. Lower AST, ALT, globulin, cortisol and insulin values were detected in the piglets aged 21 days than those in the piglets aged 1 day. However, the values of triglycerides, cholesterol, total protein, albumin and lipase were found to be higher in the piglets aged 21 days than those in the piglets aged 1 day. The glucose, alpha amylase and total bilirubin (TBIL) values did not differ significantly between the experimental groups. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test conducted shows that there are significant differences in the frequency distribution of most of the blood parameters tested in the pigs aged 1 and 21 days, which confirms that a separate reference interval must be determined and applied to the respective piglet ages considered. The establishment of reference values for different age categories can facilitate the assessment of health status and productive performance of farm piglets.

Summary

A total of seventeen olive ecotypes were identified in the oasis region of Degache (Tozeur, Tunisia). The following physicochemical parameters of their oils were studied: acidity, refraction index, polyphenol, chlorophyll and carotene contents, oleic, palmitic and linoleic acid levels and the UV absorbance (K232 and K270). The acidity, K232 and K270 parameter values were used to classify most of the olive oils considered as ‘extra virgin’. The highest carotene, chlorophyll and polyphenol contents of the olive oils examined were found to be 13.60 ppm, 9.10 ppm and 796 ppm, respectively. The oleic acid level of the olive oils considered ranged between 47% and 73%, whereas the palimtic acid level ranged between 11.8% and 23%, and the linoleic acid level ranged between 8.8% and 22.5%. Therefore, the fatty acid composition of the most olive oils considered was in keeping with the IOC norms. The Pearson correlation coefficients obtained were found to be negatively significant for the oleic, palmitic and linoleic acid levels recorded. The cluster and principal component analyses performed revealed the importance of fatty acids and polyphenol contents in the clustering of olive ecotypes. The selection of olive ecotypes according to oil quality is possible, requiring further studies focusing especially on their agronomic characters.