[These are Peer-reviewed, Revised and Accepted articles, but not yet assigned to an issue]
 Postharvest physiological and biochemical alterations in fruits: A review
Md Alamgir Hossain, Md Masudul Karim, Sadiya Arefin Juthee
Department of Crop Botany, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh-2202, BANGLADESH
Fruits are essential components in human diet. Being a basket of nutrients, fruits contain health promoting and disease preventing vitamins, minerals and bioactive molecules like polyphenols, anthocyanins. Fruits are very perishable in nature and are very prone to microbial spoilage as well as physiological and biochemical deteriorations resulting in a shorter shelf-life with a compromised nutritional quality and huge economic loss as well. Progress in the understanding of postharvest factors commanding ripening and quality which includes tissue differentiation, respiration, transpiration and water loss, catabolic activities, color degradation and aroma biosynthesis have been examined in the current review along with challenges lying ahead. Indeed, a series of physiological events, biochemical pathways and molecular alternations are involved in fruit ripening process. During transformation of an unripe fruit into an edible ripe fruit, the above mentioned systematic changes introduce attractive color, taste, aroma and texture of the unripe fruit. Globally practicing different strategies to reduce the post-harvest losses and to enhance quality; microbial safety and shelf-life of fruits are also highlighted in this review. Finally, this review provides an update on complex physiological process and cellular metabolism during the ripening of fruits, discusses their controlling techniques to promote further improvements in fruit ripening regulation, nutritional quality, microbial safety and storage time or extend self-life.
Keywords: Physiological process, Fruits maturation, Fruits ripening, Senescence, Metabolism
 Adoption level of improved wheat production technology in wheat-superzone, Kailali, Nepal
Udyan Devkota 1, Subodh Raj Pandey 1, Madav Prasad Neupane 2, Arun GC 3
1 Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, Chitwan, NEPAL
2 Department of Agronomy, Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, Chitwan, NEPAL
3 Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Government of Nepal, Kathmandu, NEPAL
The study was conducted to assess the impact of Prime Minister Agriculture Modernization Project (PM-AMP) on the level of adoption of improved wheat production practices among beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of wheat superzone of Kailali district, Nepal in 2019. A total of 80 households, 50 beneficiaries of superzone and 30 non-beneficiaries were selected using simple random sampling technique and interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule. Descriptive statistics, independent sample t-test, chi-square test and multiple linear regression model were used for data analysis using SPSS and MS-Excel. Pearson Chi-square test revealed the significant difference between beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries in access to extension agent and participation in training. Use of recommended variety and top-dressing of nitrogen fertilizer were found to be the most adopted practices while the use of recommended fertilizer dosage, irrigation practices and mechanization were found most ignored. The study showed a significant difference between beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries in the adoption of recommended variety, annual seed replacement, top-dressing of nitrogen fertilizer, recommended irrigation practice and weed management practices. The average adoption index was significantly higher for beneficiaries (0.4760) compared to non-beneficiaries (0.3367). The average wheat yield of the study area was 2.384 tons ha-1 and the average yield of beneficiaries (2.549 tons ha-1) was found to be higher than non-beneficiaries (2.109 tons ha-1). Multiple linear regression revealed that access to extension agent, disease control, adoption of treated seeds, mechanization, top-dressing of nitrogen fertilizer, amount of farmyard manure and urea were the major factors which determined the yield of wheat. Shortage of fertilizers was identified as the major problem. Among beneficiaries of superzone, 4% were reported to be highly satisfied, 54% were satisfied and 42% were dissatisfied with the activities of superzone.
Keywords: Adoption index, Beneficiaries, Cultivation technology, Nepal, Non-beneficiaries, Wheat
 Zero – till wheat (Triticum aestivum L.): a review in perspective of Nepal
Bisheshwor Prasad Pandey 1, Narayan Khatri 1, Khem Raj Pant 1, Mathura Yadav 1, Mahendra Marasini 1, Govinda Prasad Paudel 1, Madhav Bhatta 2
1 National Wheat Research Program, Bhairahawa, NEPAL
2 Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, NEPAL
Agriculture is the main occupation in Nepal and around 60.4% Nepalese are actively engaged in the agricultural sector. Wheat is the third most important cereal crop after rice and maize in terms of area and production, in Nepal. Currently, less than 2 % area of the total wheat cultivation, is under zero – till wheat. Zero tillage (ZT) is a vital component of resource conserving technologies (RCTs) that are implementing to produce crops with lower inputs resulting in higher profit. ZT of wheat after rice generates significant benefits at the farm level, both in terms of significant yield gains (6–10%, particularly due to more timely planting of wheat) and cost savings (5–10%, particularly tillage savings) as compared to conventional tillage (CT). The paper reviews the prospects of ZT wheat technology in Nepal, based on the published information. ZT is the most widely used technology of wheat in Nepal, among other resource – conserving technologies. ZT wheat yielded 3.44 t ha-1 whereas CT wheat yielded 3.22 t ha-1. The total cost incurred under ZT wheat is NRs. 39,431/- whereas NRs. 48,300/- is of CT. The benefit: cost ratio was found 2.38 in ZT compared to 1.81 in CT which was 31.5 % more over the CT method of wheat cultivation. Hence, ZT technology in Nepal is cost – effective technology facilitating 15 days earlier sowing of wheat with higher yield and needs to be promoted on a large scale.
Key words: conventional tillage, rice-wheat system, yield, reduced tillage, resource-conserving technologies
 Fertilizer recommendation for puddling Garlic cultivation: An approach to optimize fertilizer use and enhance sustainable yield and income
Md. Nur-E-Alam Siddquie
On farm Research Division, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Shyampur, Rajshahi, BANGLADESH
The experiment was implemented in the farmers’ field of Shibpur, Puthia, Rajshahi during three consecutive years at rabi season (October-March) of 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 to find out a suitable combination of different fertilizers for puddling garlic production. The experiment was laid out with six dispersed replications and four fertilizer doses viz. T1=Soil test based (STB) fertilizer dose for high yield goal, T2=20% higher NPK than STB, T3=40% higher NPK than STB supplemented with 5-ton ha-1 cowdung and T4=Farmers dose. Three tones per hectare of rice straw was used as mulch with all the fertilize doses. Garlic variety BARI Rasun – 2 was used as test crop. Among the treatments, the highest average yield was obtained from T3= 40 % higher NPK than STB (9.57 t ha-1) which was similar to T4= Farmers practice (9.52 t ha-1). Nutrient addition was very much unbalanced in T4. Maximum gross return (574200 Tk ha-1), net return (328465Tk ha-1) and BCR (2.34) were found in T3 treatment. The treatment T3 produced the lowest break-even price (25.68 Tk kg-1) and the highest sustainability index (85.5%). Considering all these facts, the treatment T3 (40% higher NPK than STB =220-18-84-34-2.5-3 kg ha-1 NPKSZnB, respectively) may be recommended for puddling garlic cultivation in High Ganges River Floodplain Agro-ecological zone (AEZ-11) in Bangladesh.
Keywords: Garlic, puddling, fertilizer, yield, net return, sustainability
 Spatial appraisal of groundwater quality for drinking purposes: A case study of a union in Kalihati upazila, Bangladesh
Nusrat Jahan 1, Md. Badiuzzaman Khan 1, Muhammad Aslam Ali 1, Md. Touhidul Islam 2, Md. Sifat Siddik 2
1Department of Environmental Science, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh 2202, BANGLADESH
2Department of Irrigation and Water Management, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh 2202, BANGLADESH
With the aim of improving public health interventions, this study was conducted to ensure sustainable groundwater quality by adopting Geographical Information System (GIS) and Water Quality Index (WQI) for drinking purposes in Paikara Union, Kalihati Upazila of Bangladesh. Fifteen groundwater samples were randomly collected from different hand tubewells in April 2019 and analyzed for pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), total hardness (TH), major cations and anions. Almost all physicochemical parameters fell within the acceptable limit of national and international standards, though a few samples exceeded the standard limit considering As3+, Fe3+ and concentrations. The spatial distribution of the quality parameters across the study area was depicted employing ArcGIS 10.5 software; therein it was revealed that slightly acidic water is dominant in the central and southern parts. Overall, TH–total cation, Cl–NO3, total anion–NO3 and total anion–Cl show a very strong correlation, and contrarily, the pairs of pH, EC, TDS are poorly correlated with most of the variables and no remarkable relationship is found between pH and TH. Furthermore, WQI of the samples ranged from 20.42 to 143.36, with 73.7, 24.1, and 2.2% of the entire study area falling under excellent, good, and poor quality categories for drinking purposes, respectively. From the results, it can be inferred that the groundwater of the study area is suitable for drinking purposes but awareness-raising on chemical contents in the water at the household level is recommended.
Keywords: Groundwater, Drinking, Spatial distribution, Water quality index
 Biodiversity of neglected and underutilized fruits of Nepal: a review
Padma Nath Atreya 1, Jiban Shrestha 2
1 Department of Agriculture DoA, Warm Temperate Horticulture Centre WTHC, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development MoALD, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, NEPAL
2 Nepal Agricultural Research Council, National Plant Breeding and Genetics Research Centre, Khumaltar, Lalitpur, NEPAL
Varied climatic conditions, topography and different agro-ecological zones of Nepal are directly associated with the biodiversity of neglected and underutilized fruits. Those fruits play an important role in food, nutrition as well as the economic security of poor people in rural areas. This review has been conducted to assess the diversity of underutilized fruits. This study showed that there were 91 neglected and underutilized fruits from 35 families existed in the country, out of this the highest number of species comes under Rosaceae (19), followed by Rutaceae (12), Moraceae (10), Anacardiaceae (5) while rest families have less than three species. Introduction of high yielding exotic commercial varieties, changing food habit, mono-cropping trends and climate change are major causes of their gradual declination in Nepal. They have multidimensional uses, many formerly neglected commodities have now become globally significant due to consumer awareness. All Governmental, non-governmental and private organizations should be involved in fruit research with collaboration. Research and extension organizations should give emphasis to neglected and underutilized fruit species for diversification, food and nutrition security. This paper provides current status, importance and potential of neglected and underutilized fruits. This review also addresses the prospects of long-term conservation of neglected and underutilized fruit species in Nepal.
Keywords: Biodiversity, food security, neglected and underutilized fruits
 Effects of compound fertilizer and canola green manure on nutrient use efficiency, growth and potato tuber yields (Solanum tuberosum L.) in Nakuru, Kenya
Norbert Iraboneye, Nancy W Mungai, Miriam K Charimbu
Egerton University, Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, P.O. Box: 536-20115, Nakuru, KENYA
Unbalanced fertilization is a problem affecting potato production in Kenya, where continuous use of nitrogen-phosphorus fertilizer (diammonium phosphate: DAP) has led to depletion of other macro and micronutrients. Hence, the need to assess alternative soil amendments including use of multi-nutrients compound fertilizer and canola green manure in potato production. Field and pot experiments were conducted in Nakuru during the period from August-December 2019 using two potato varieties (Shangi and Kenya Karibu) in randomized complete block design (RCBD) in split plot arrangement replicated three times (variety as main plot and combination of fertilizer and canola green manure as main plot). Two canola green manure levels (with and without), four levels of fertilizer (NPK + Ca + Mg + micronutrients) at 0 (F1), 250 (F2), 575 (F3), 900 (F4) kg ha-1 and recommended fertilizer rate (DAP at 500kg ha-1 + Calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN300 kg ha-1), (F5) as a positive control were used. Pot experiment was carried out at Egerton university farm in a completely randomized design (CRD) with three replicates. Four levels of canola green manure (100, 75, 50 and 0 g kg-1 soil) and five levels of fertilizer (NPK + Ca + Mg + micronutrients) as used in the field experiment were used. The results indicated that fertilizer F4 increased potato tuber dry weight and plant height by 5.0 and 5.0%, respectively over the normal recommended F5 under field experiments. F4 also increased nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) uptake by 13, 26 and 3%, respectively under field experiment compared to F5. Generally, canola green manure did not show a significant effect on plant height and yield, though F4 with green manure exhibited an increase of 7 and 38% on plant height and tuber dry weight, respectively. The study recommends the use of F4 (900 kg ha-1 of NPK + Ca + Mg + micronutrients) for potato production in Kenya and further recommends additional research to assess compound fertilizers over more seasons with monitoring and evaluation of their effect on soil physical and chemical properties and their economic feasibility.
Key words: Potato nutrition, Diammonium phosphate, Multi-nutrients fertilizer
 Assessing the trends of soil weed seed bank in long-term trials of conservation agriculture at four locations of Bangladesh
Mohammad Mobarak Hossain 1, Mahfuza Begum 2, Md Moshiur Rahman 2, Abul Hasem 3, Richard W Bell 4, Md Enamul Haque 4
1 Rice Breeding Platform (Breeding for Favorable Environment), International Rice Research Institute, Dhaka 1213, BANGLADESH
2Department of Agronomy, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh 2202, BANGLADESH
3Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Industry and Economic Development, 75 York Road, Northam 6401 WA; AUSTRALIA
4School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, South St, Murdoch WA 6150, AUSTRALIA
This net-house experiment was conducted at the Department of Agronomy, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh, during January-December 2016. Soil samplings were done at 0-15 cm soil depth from four locations viz., Mymensingh, Durgapur, Godagari, and Baliakandi areas of Bangladesh after the end of conservation agriculture (CA) trials in each site. At Mymensingh, CA, tests were conducted at the soil science field laboratory during 2012-2015. Here T. aman (summer) rice, wheat, and mungbean were grown using conventional tillage (CT), and strip tillage (ST) retained with 20 and 40% residues of the previous crop. At Durgapur and Godagari, on-farm CT and ST were practiced kept 20 and 50% residues of the earlier crop during 2010-2015. At Durgapur, the cropping pattern was T. aman rice-mustard-boro (winter) rice and jute-lentil-mungbean while at Godagari, the cropping pattern was T. aman rice-wheat-mungbean and jute-chickpea-mungbean. At Baliakandi, T. aman rice, wheat, and jute were grown on-farm during 2012-2015 following CT, ST, bed planting (BP), and Zero tillage (ZT) retained 20 and 50% residues. Collected five soil samples from each plot of each site that is a total of 290 soil samples from four trial sites were bulked and placed in individual trays following a completely randomized design with four replications. The headcount of weed was continued during the entire time of experimentation. The experimental data revealed that, in terms of weed species composition and weed density, the smallest size weed seed bank was found in long-term ST, followed by CT, BP, and ZT. On the other hand, smaller sized weed seed bank composition was found in 40 or 50% crop residues than 20% residues. The higher number of perennials weeds than annual weeds was recorded in ST, BP, and ZT, but the reverse was in CT. Based on the results, it could be concluded that ST with the retention of 40-50% residues of previous crops facilitate lesser weeds but favors perennial weeds compared to conventional tillage. Weed reduction in strip tillage is even higher than BP and ZT.
Keywords: Weed seed bank, conservation agriculture, strip tillage, bed planting, zero tillage, crop residues
 Genetic diversity in wheat genotypes under early heat stress in Bangladesh
Md. Nur-E-Alam Siddquie
On farm Research Division, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Shyampur, Rajshahi, BANGLADESH
Twenty-four wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes/lines were assessed in alpha lattice design with three replications during winter season of 2014-15 at the Regional Wheat Research Centre (RWRC), Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Rajshahi. The main aim of this experiment was to find out the degree of genetic diversity for characters related to early heat tolerance in wheat. Five different clusters were formed among the genotypes. The number of genotypes in cluster I and V were same i.e. three and they formed the smallest cluster. The cluster III was the largest containing eight entries followed by the cluster IV that contained six genotypes and cluster II also had four members. The inter-cluster distances ranged from 3.4496 to 6.8221 and principal component analysis scores also showed that the genotypes had a wide range of genetic diversity. The maximum inter-cluster distance was observed between the clusters IV and V (6.8221) after that clusters I and IV (5.8935) and clusters III and V (5.2913) respectively. The maximum inter-cluster distance value showed that the genotypes under cluster IV were far diverged from the cluster V. Also, the genotypes under the cluster pair I and IV and cluster pair III and IV were far diverged. The genotypes were genetically closed in between cluster III and IV (3.4018), cluster I and V (3.4496), cluster I and II (3.6163) and cluster II and IV (4.1373) due to their minimum inter-cluster diversity. However, the highest spike length, spikelets spike-1 and grain yield were found in cluster I may show high heterosis for grain yield. The characters; short growing period, dwarf stature and bold grain were aggregated in cluster IV may show higher heterosis for dwarf stature and earliness. Canonical variate analysis (CVA) revealed that The traits 1000-grain weight and spike length had the highest contribution towards the divergence due to their positive values in both vectors. Based on these results, the genotypes under cluster I, cluster V and cluster IV might be taken for selecting suitable parents or crossing combinations for future early heat tolerance wheat breeding program.
Key words: Wheat, divergence, cluster, genotype, heat, heterosis.