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Volume 5 Issue 4

Soil health and human well-being: a review

M Jahiruddin

Department of Soil Science, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh-2202, BANGLADESH

doi: 10.5455/faa.127472                                                                      pp: 443 – 452

A range of positive and negative impacts of soil on human health are reviewed in this article. Soil has a variety of positive functions that support human health. It supplies nutrients to the plants and eventually to the human body via food intake. Soil helps purification of water and serves as foundation for buildings. Healthy soils impact carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas reduction, adequate nutrient supply, water retention and efficient biodiversity. Both soil macroorganisms (e.g. earthworms) and microorganisms (e.g. N2 fixing bacteria) perform great role on soil health, and soil health in turn has good linkage with human health. Nevertheless, soils can exert negative impact on human health. Negative health effects occur when foods are grown in soils that have nutrient deficiencies or toxicities and when toxic heavy metals (e.g. Cd, As, Pb, Hg) are transferred from soils into the plants and then into the human food chain. People are also exposed to toxic chemical substances (e.g. soil insecticides), radionuclides (e.g. 137Cs), soil pathogens (e.g. saprophytic fungi) and soil parasites (e.g. hookworms). Inhalation of airborne dusts causes respiratory trouble (e.g. asthma). Many of the complex interactions between soil and human health are yet to be unveiled. For thorough understanding of the soil ecosystem and its relation to safe and nutritious food production and broadly human health, multidisciplinary approach is needed. Contributions of experts from agriculture, medical and social science fields are needed to address the whole soil and human health issues.

Keywords: Soil health, degradation, pollution, nutrition, productivity

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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

doi: 10.5455/faa.22077                                                pp: 453 – 469

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

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Biodiversity of neglected and underutilized fruits of Nepal: a review

Padma Nath Atreya1, Jiban Shrestha2

1Department of Agriculture DoA, Warm Temperate Horticulture Centre WTHC, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development MoALD, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, NEPAL
2Nepal Agricultural Research Council, National Plant Breeding and Genetics Research Centre, Khumaltar, Lalitpur, NEPAL

doi: 10.5455/faa.122860                                                 pp: 470 – 483

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

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Zero-till wheat (Triticum aestivum L.): A Nepalese perspective

Bisheshwor Prasad Pandey1, Narayan Khatri1, Khem Raj Pant1, Mathura Yadav1, Mahendra Marasini1, Govinda Prasad Paudel1, Madhav Bhatta2

1National Wheat Research Program, Bhairahawa, NEPAL
2Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Kathmandu, NEPAL

doi: 10.5455/faa.109442                                                              pp: 484 – 490

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.

Keywords: conventional tillage, rice-wheat system, yield, reduced tillage, resource-conserving technologies

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A mini-review of potential toxicity, efficacy and residues management of actellic-based grain preservatives

Hillary M O Otieno1 and Beryle A Alwenge2

1Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection, University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 29053, Nairobi, KENYA
2Department of Natural Resources, University of Eldoret, P. O. Box 1125-30100, Eldoret, KENYA

doi: 10.5455/faa.3243                                                                 pp: 491 – 499

Actellic Gold and Actellic Super Dusts are the most commonly used pesticide products for grain storage in East Africa. Although no efficacy data is available comparing these two products directly, Actellic Gold and Actellic Super Dusts seems to be similar and within acceptable efficacy ranges. Both the products can give mortality rates above 75% of the targeted pests for at least 4 months of storage. The storage period could be longer under improved storage structures like PICS and metallic silos. However, the widespread use of these two pesticides is causing development of resistance in the region. This would threaten the sustainability and economics of crop production as pests will no longer be controlled. To manage this resistance, researchers should explore alternative pesticides with better efficacy, and safety for rotation. These alternative products should be available at affordable cost to all farmers. Like other pesticides, use of Actellic Gold and Actellic Super Dusts could have health and environmental concerns whenever used improperly. From the research, the active ingredients have relatively low acute oral LD50 values (938–2,690 mg/kg). Although research has proved that at least 80% of these compounds could be excreted from the body in the short term, the long-term bioaccumulation effects are yet to be well understood. To help minimize potential health risks, farmers should always follow the instructions provided on the product labels like wearing goggles, mask, apron, and rubber boots when making the application. Also, home-based processing methods such as sun and air drying of the grains for at least 3 hours, washing, soaking, and boiling could help reduce the concentration of these compounds in the grains and their products.

Keyword: Actellic products, post-harvest grain loss, pesticide residue limit, Prostephanus truncatus; Sitophilus zeamais and Acanthoscelides obtectus 

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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

Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, Chitwan, NEPAL
Department of Agronomy, Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, Chitwan, NEPAL
Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Government of Nepal, Kathmandu, NEPAL

doi: 10.5455/faa.29145                                                             pp: 500 – 512

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

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Fertilizer recommendation for puddling garlic cultivation: An approach to optimize fertilizer use and enhance sustainable yield and income

Md Nur-E-Alam Siddquie1, Md Jahedul Islam1, Mazharul Anwar1, Yesmin Abida2, Md Sajedur Rahman3 
1On farm Research Division, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Shyampur, Rajshahi, BANGLADESH
2Regional Station, Bangladesh Wheat and Maize Research Institute, Shyampur, Rajshahi, BANGLADESH
3Department of Economics, Rajshahi College, Rajshahi, BANGLADESH

doi: 10.5455/faa.129893                                                           pp: 513 – 520

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

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Spatial appraisal of groundwater quality for drinking purposes: A case study of 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

doi: 10.5455/faa.129984                                                         pp: 521 – 536

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

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Effects of compound fertilizer and canola green manure on nutrient use efficiency, growth and yield of potato tuber (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

doi: 10.5455/faa.110466                                                             pp: 537 – 554

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

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Assessing the trends of soil weed seed bank in conservation agriculture systems

Mohammad Mobarak Hossain 1, Mahfuza Begum 2, Md Moshiur Rahman 2, Abul Hasem 3, Richard W Bell 4, Md Enamul Haque 4 

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

doi: 10.5455/faa.127820                                                              pp: 555 – 567

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

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Genetic diversity in wheat genotypes under early heat stress in Bangladesh

Md Nur-E-Alam Siddquie1, Yesmin Abida2, Md Jahedul Islam1, Mazharul Anwar1, S M Mahbubul Alam2 
1On farm Research Division, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Shyampur, Rajshahi, BANGLADESH
2Regional Station, Bangladesh Wheat and Maize Research Institute, Shyampur, Rajshahi, BANGLADESH

doi: 10.5455/faa.131857                                                              pp: 568 – 575

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

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Effect of Rwanda’s membership of the East African Community (EAC) on export diversification

Alexis Kabayiza 1, Eric Kabayiza 2, François Ndwaniye 3, Fidèle Niyitanga 3

1Department of Rural Development & Agricultural Economics, University of Rwanda, RWANDA
2Director of Quality Assurance Unit, National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), RWANDA
3Department of Agricultural Economics & Rural Development, University of Rwanda, RWANDA

doi: 10.5455/faa.130928                                                         pp: 576 – 583

Rwanda is a member of different regional economic blocs to boost its exports and export diversification. This study analyzed Rwanda’s export diversification, performance after joining the East African Community (EAC). The study used data on Rwanda’s export to the EAC countries from 2001 to 2016 extracted from COMTRADE database. A 4-digit level has been used to assess the increase in the number of products exported and the Herfindahl-Hirshman index (HHI) to measure the share and improvement of the top 5 exports products before and after joining the EAC. Results showed a decreasing in the volume of top 5 Rwandans exported products to EAC after joining the block. However, the observed increase in the export earnings from EAC was fueled by the specialization of selected export products and the introduction of new products lines into the Rwandan export mix. The Herfindahl-Hirshman index below 0.5 indicated that Rwandan exports into EAC are still highly concentrated; though there was a progressive reduction of the diversification index valuing from 0.5 to 0.3 of HHI. Custom union with EAC countries had a positive effect on observed improvement in HHI value since the coefficient of dummy EAC is positive. The Herfindahl’s indices above 0.4 in most cases indicate that Rwanda export earnings from EAC are generated by a small number of products i.e. Rwanda has specialized in the limited number of products. However, membership into EAC reduced export concentration and increased the chances of exporting a wider variety of goods. This would call for an emphasis on policy promoting diversification of exports focusing not only to traditional cash crops tea and coffee but also on non-traditional export crops that are less affected by international market price volatility in order to support and reinforce the membership of Rwanda into EAC and the benefits derived from the membership.

Keywords:  East African Community, Export diversification, Rwanda

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Phenolics content and antioxidant properties of Strobilanthes crispus as affected by different extraction solvents

Zainol Haida, Jaafar Juju Nakasha, Mansor Hakiman

Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, MALAYSIA 

Doi: 10.5455/faa.23908                                                                pp: 584 – 589

Strobilanthes crispus or locally known as Pecah Kaca among Malaysian is a medicinal plant that belongs to the family Acanthaceae. S. crispus is an ethnomedicinal plant with high antioxidant content and is indicated in the treatment of diabetes, cancer, and hypertension. This study was conducted to study the phenolics content and antioxidant properties of S. crispus leaf as affected by different concentrations of extraction solvents. In this study, water and various concentrations (25, 50, 75 and 100%) of methanol and acetone in water were used as extraction solvent of S. crispus dried leaves. The antioxidant properties of S. crispus were measured by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) (free radical scavenging activity and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays. The highest polyphenols and phenolic acids content were recorded in 50% acetone extract with 10.80 and 33.86 mg GAE/g DW, respectively. Meanwhile, the highest total flavonoids content (4.98 mg QE/g DW) was obtained in 100% acetone extract. In the antioxidant analysis, the highest DPPH free radical scavenging activity was exhibited from 75% acetone extract with 24.88 mg TE/g DW and the highest FRAP value was obtained from 25% acetone extract with 47.21 mg TE/g DW. In conclusion, acetone was found to be the most suitable extraction solvent for phenolics content and antioxidant properties of S. crispus leaf in this study.

Keywords: Strobilanthes crispus; phenolic; flavonoid; antioxidant

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Performance evaluation of single-cross maize hybrids for flowering and yield traits

Susmita Kafle 1, Nav Raj Adhikari 1, Subarna Sharma 1, Jiban Shrestha 2

1 Tribhuvan University, Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Kritipur, Kathmandu, NEPAL
2 Nepal Agricultural Research Council, National Plant Breeding and Genetics Research Centre, Khumaltar, Lalitpur, NEPAL

doi: 10.5455/faa.130574                                                               pp: 590 – 597

The present experiment was conducted at Bharatpur-15, Fulbari, Chitwan, Nepal from 1st Dec 2017 to 9th May 2018 to evaluate the performance of eight single cross maize hybrids. The single cross maize hybrids were Shresta, Bioseed 9782, Rajkumar, Ganga kaveri, Rampur hybrid-6, RML-86/RML-96, Rampur hybrid-4 and RML-95/RML-96 and were evaluated in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Data were recorded on flowering traits, yield attributes and grain yield. The results revealed that the lowest days to tasseling and days to anthesis were found in Shrestha and these traits were highest in Rampur hybrid-6. The hybrid Bioseed9782 produced the highest cob length (21.33cm) and cob diameter (17.67cm). The hybrid Bioseed 9782 produced the highest grain yield (15.96) followed by Gangakaveri (14.26 t ha-1) and Shresta (12.12 t ha-1). The hybrid Bioseed 9782 produced the highest standard heterosis (64.81%) followed by Gangakaveri (47.16%) and Shresta (25.14%). The finding of this experiment suggested that maize hybrids Bioseed 9782, Gangakaveri and Shresta can be commercially grown for higher grain production in Chitwan and similar agro-climatic regions.

Keywords: Flowering, maize, heterosis, single cross hybrid, yield

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Improving quality and prolonging shelf life of guava (Psidium guajava L.) by organic and inorganic compounds and plant extracts

Ibrahim Eldesouki Arafat, Ahmed El-Sayed Dapour, Mohamed Abdelrohman Dafea

Agriculture Research Center, Giza, EGYPT

doi: 10.5455/faa.20030                                                               pp: 598 – 603

Shelf life of a fruit is an important consideration for its storage and marketing. Post-harvest losses of guava represent a massive loss and decreased our guava production every year. The current study was carried out in the Baramoon Experimental Farm of the Horticulture Research Institute, Dakahlia Governorate, Egypt, to evaluate the effect of pre- and postharvest treatments to extend the marketability and shelf life of guava fruits.  A total of 56 trees primarily selected and seven treatments such as T1 = Spray pre-harvest with water and dipping postharvest into water (control), T2= Spray pre-harvest with CaCl2 at 1% and dipping postharvest into CaCl2 at 1%, T3= Spray pre-harvest with citric acid at 1% and dipping postharvest into citric acid at 1%, T4= Spray pre-harvest with rosemary oil 4.0% and dipping postharvest into rosemary oil 4.0%, T5= Spray pre-harvest with moringa oil 4.0% and dipping postharvest into moringa oil 4%,T6= Spray pre-harvest with coconut oil 4.0% and dipping postharvest into coconut oil 4% and T7= Spray pre-harvest with extract of peppermint 4% and dipping postharvest into extract of peppermint 4%. From each group, random samples of 20 light yellow color stage fruits were taken and immersed in the same solution, separately each for 2 minutes, and stored at ambient conditions for 9 days. Quality attributes of fruits were analyzed before and after 9 days storage. The obtained results indicated that there were significant differences among the treatments. Treatments medicinal and ornamental plant extracts or oils solutions resulted in extending the shelf life of guava for 9 days by minimized the loss in physical and chemical quality attributes. Amongthe treatments pre-harvest spraying with moringa oil 4% and postharvest dipping into the same solution performed best in terms of loss of fruit weight 14.0%,  fruit firmness 1.30 kg/cm2, increases of TSS content 0.10 °Brix, decrease  ascorbic acid content 1.67 mg/100g and increases of acidity 1.0%.

Keyword: Guava; medicinal and ornamental plant extracts; shelf life

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