Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 47

The Features of Formation of Russian Agriculture’s Sectoral Structure

The long-term strategy of the economic development of Russia up to 2030 is based on the concept of sustainable growth. The determining factor of such development is complex changes in the economic system which may be achieved by making progressive changes in its structure. The structural changes determine the character and the direction of economic development, as well as they include all elements of this system without exception, and their regulated character ensures the most rapid aim achievement. This article has discussed the industrial structure of the agriculture in Russia. With the use of the system of indexes, the article has determined the directions, intensity, and speed of structural shifts. The influence of structural changes on agricultural production development has been found out. It is noticed that the changes in the industrial structure are synchronized with the changes in the organisation and economic structure. Efficiency assessment of structural changes allowed to trace the efficiency of structural changes and elaborate the main directions for agricultural policy improvement.

Sunflower Irrigation with Two Different Types of Soil Moisture Sensors

Irrigation is one of the most important cultivation practices for each crop, especially in areas where rainfall is enough to cover the crop water needs. In such areas, the farmers must irrigate in order to achieve high economical results. The precise irrigation scheduling contributes to irrigation water saving and thus a valuable natural resource is protected. Under this point of view, in the experimental field of the Laboratory of Agricultural Hydraulics of the University of Thessaly, a research was conducted during the growing season of 2012 in order to evaluate the growth, seed and oil production of sunflower as well as the water saving, by applying different methods of irrigation scheduling. Three treatments in four replications were organized. These were: a) surface drip irrigation where the irrigation scheduling based on the Penman-Monteith (PM) method (control); b) surface drip irrigation where the irrigation scheduling based on a soil moisture sensor (SMS); and c) surface drip irrigation, where the irrigation scheduling based on a soil potential sensor (WM).

From Industry 4.0 to Agriculture 4.0: A Framework to Manage Product Data in Agri-Food Supply Chain for Voluntary Traceability

Agri-food value chain involves various stakeholders with different roles. All of them abide by national and international rules and leverage marketing strategies to advance their products. Food products and related processing phases carry with it a big mole of data that are often not used to inform final customer. Some data, if fittingly identified and used, can enhance the single company, and/or the all supply chain creates a math between marketing techniques and voluntary traceability strategies. Moreover, as of late, the world has seen buying-models’ modification: customer is careful on wellbeing and food quality. Food citizenship and food democracy was born, leveraging on transparency, sustainability and food information needs. Internet of Things (IoT) and Analytics, some of the innovative technologies of Industry 4.0, have a significant impact on market and will act as a main thrust towards a genuine ‘4.0 change’ for agriculture. But, realizing a traceability system is not simple because of the complexity of agri-food supply chain, a lot of actors involved, different business models, environmental variations impacting products and/or processes, and extraordinary climate changes. In order to give support to the company involved in a traceability path, starting from business model analysis and related business process a Framework to Manage Product Data in Agri-Food Supply Chain for Voluntary Traceability was conceived. Studying each process task and leveraging on modeling techniques lead to individuate information held by different actors during agri-food supply chain. IoT technologies for data collection and Analytics techniques for data processing supply information useful to increase the efficiency intra-company and competitiveness in the market. The whole information recovered can be shown through IT solutions and mobile application to made accessible to the company, the entire supply chain and the consumer with the view to guaranteeing transparency and quality.

Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture in Victoria’s Food Bowl: Optimizing Productivity with the use of Decision-Support Tools

A participatory and engaged approach is key in connecting agricultural managers to sustainable agricultural systems to support and optimize production in Victoria’s food bowl. A sustainable intensification (SI) approach is well documented globally, but participation rates amongst Victorian farmers is fragmentary, and key outcomes and implementation strategies are poorly understood. Improvement in decision-support management tools and a greater understanding of the productivity gains available upon implementation of SI is necessary. This paper reviews the current understanding and uptake of SI practices amongst farmers in one of Victoria’s premier food producing regions, the Goulburn Broken; and it spatially analyses the potential for this region to adapt to climate change and optimize food production. A Geographical Information Systems (GIS) approach is taken to develop an interactive decision-support tool that can be accessible to on-ground agricultural managers. The tool encompasses multiple criteria analysis (MCA) that identifies factors during the construction phase of the tool, using expert witnesses and regional knowledge, framed within an Analytical Hierarchy Process. Given the complexities of the interrelations between each of the key outcomes, this participatory approach, in which local realities and factors inform the key outcomes and help to strategies for a particular region, results in a robust strategy for sustainably intensifying production in key food producing regions. The creation of an interactive, locally embedded, decision-support management and education tool can help to close the gap between farmer knowledge and production, increase on-farm adoption of sustainable farming strategies and techniques, and optimize farm productivity.

Soil Moisture Control System: A Product Development Approach

In this work, we propose the concept and geometrical design of a soil moisture control system (SMCS) module by following the product development approach to develop an inexpensive, easy to use and quick to install product targeted towards agriculture practitioners. The module delivers water to the agricultural land efficiently by sensing the soil moisture and activating the delivery valve. We start with identifying the general needs of the potential customer. Then, based on customer needs we establish product specifications and identify important measuring quantities to evaluate our product. Keeping in mind the specifications, we develop various conceptual solutions of the product and select the best solution through concept screening and selection matrices. Then, we develop the product architecture by integrating the systems into the final product. In the end, the geometric design is done using human factors engineering concepts like heuristic analysis, task analysis, and human error reduction analysis. The result of human factors analysis reveals the remedies which should be applied while designing the geometry and software components of the product. We find that to design the best grip in terms of comfort and applied force, for a power-type grip, a grip-diameter of 35 mm is the most ideal.

Topographic Mapping of Farmland by Integration of Multiple Sensors on Board Low-Altitude Unmanned Aerial System

This paper introduced a topographic mapping system with time-saving and simplicity advantages based on integration of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data and Post Processing Kinematic Global Positioning System (PPK GPS) data. This topographic mapping system used a low-altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) as a platform to conduct land survey in a low-cost, efficient, and totally autonomous manner. An experiment in a small-scale sugarcane farmland was conducted in Queensland, Australia. Subsequently, we synchronized LiDAR distance measurements that were corrected by using attitude information from gyroscope with PPK GPS coordinates for generation of precision topographic maps, which could be further utilized for such applications like precise land leveling and drainage management. The results indicated that LiDAR distance measurements and PPK GPS altitude reached good accuracy of less than 0.015 m.

Consumer Market of Agricultural Products and Agricultural Policy in Georgia

The article discusses the consumer market of agricultural products and agricultural policy in Georgia. It is noted that development of the strategic areas of the agricultural sector needs a special support. These strategic areas should create the country's major export potential. It is important to develop strategies to access to the international markets, form extensive marketing network etc., which will become the basis for the promotion and revenue growth of the country. The Georgian agricultural sector, with the right state policy and support, can achieve success and gain access to the world market with competitive agricultural products. The paper discusses the current condition of agriculture, export and import of agricultural products and agricultural policy in Georgia. The conducted research concludes the information that there is an increasing demand on the green goods in the world market. Natural and climatic conditions of Georgia give a serious possibility of implementing it. The research presents an agricultural development strategy in Georgia and the findings and based on them recommendations are proposed.

A Review on Climate Change and Sustainable Agriculture in Southeast Nigeria

Climate change has both negative and positive effects in agricultural production. For agriculture to be sustainable in adverse climate change condition, some natural measures are needed. The issue is to produce more food with available natural resources and reduce the contribution of agriculture to climate change. The study reviewed climate change and sustainable agriculture in southeast Nigeria. Data from the study were from secondary sources. Ten scientific papers were consulted and data for the review were collected from three. The objectives of the paper were as follows: to review the effect of climate change on one major arable crop in southeast Nigeria (yam; Dioscorea rotundata); evident of climate change impact and methods for sustainable agricultural production in adverse weather condition. Some climatic parameter as sunshine, relative humidity and rainfall have negative relationship with yam production and significant at 10% probability. Crop production was predicted to decline by 25% per hectare by 2060 while livestock production has increased the incidence of diseases and pathogens as the major effect to agriculture. Methods for sustainable agriculture and damage of natural resources by climate change were highlighted. Agriculture needs to be transformed as climate changes to enable the sector to be sustainable. There should be a policy in place to facilitate the integration of sustainability in Nigeria agriculture.

Impact of Long Term Application of Municipal Solid Waste on Physicochemical and Microbial Parameters and Heavy Metal Distribution in Soils in Accordance to Its Agricultural Uses

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), being a rich source of organic materials, can be used for agricultural applications as an important source of nutrients for soil and plants. This is also an alternative beneficial management practice for MSW generated in developing countries. In the present study, MSW treated soil samples from last four to six years at farmer’s field in Rohtak and Gurgaon states (Haryana, India) were collected. The samples were analyzed for all-important agricultural parameters and compared with the control untreated soil samples. The treated soil at farmer’s field showed increase in total N by 48 to 68%, P by 45.7 to 51.3%, and K by 60 to 67% compared to untreated soil samples. Application of sewage sludge at different sites led to increase in microbial biomass C by 60 to 68% compared to untreated soil. There was significant increase in total Cu, Cr, Ni, Fe, Pb, and Zn in all sewage sludge amended soil samples; however, concentration of all the metals were still below the current permitted (EU) limits. To study the adverse effect of heavy metals accumulation on various soil microbial activities, the sewage sludge samples (from wastewater treatment plant at Gurgaon) were artificially contaminated with heavy metal concentration above the EU limits. They were then applied to soil samples with different rates (0.5 to 4.0%) and incubated for 90 days under laboratory conditions. The samples were drawn at different intervals and analyzed for various parameters like pH, EC, total N, P, K, microbial biomass C, carbon mineralization, and diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) exactable heavy metals. The results were compared to the uncontaminated sewage sludge. The increasing level of sewage sludge from 0.5 to 4% led to build of organic C and total N, P and K content at the early stages of incubation. But, organic C was decreased after 90 days because of decomposition of organic matter. Biomass production was significantly increased in both contaminated and uncontaminated sewage soil samples, but also led to slight increases in metal accumulation and their bioavailability in soil. The maximum metal concentrations were found in treatment with 4% of contaminated sewage sludge amendment.

Effect of Entomopathogenic Fungi on the Food Consumption of Acrididae Species

This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of Aspergillus species on acridid populations which are major agricultural pests of rice, sugarcane, wheat, maize and fodder crops in Pakistan. Three and replicates i.e. Aspergillus flavus, A. fumigatus and A. niger, excluding the control, were held under laboratory conditions. It was observed that consumption faecal production of acridids was significantly reduced after the pathogenic application of Aspergillus. In the control replicate, the mortality ratio for stage (N4-N6) was maximum on day 2nd i.e. [F10.7 = 18.33, P < 0.05] followed by [F4.20 = 07.85, P < 0.05] and [F3.77 = 06.11, P < 0.05] on 4th and 3rd day, respectively. Similarly, it was a minimum i.e. [F0.48 = 84.65, P < 0.05] on the 1st day. It was also noted that faecal production of Acridid nymphs was not significantly affected when treated with conidial concentration in H2O formulation; however, it was significantly reduced after the contamination with conidial concentration in oil. The high morality of acridids after contamination of Aspergillus supports their use as bio-control agent for reducing pest population. The present study recommends that exploration and screening must be conducted to provide additional pathogens for evaluation as potential biological control against grasshoppers and locusts.

Conservation Agriculture Practice in Bangladesh: Farmers’ Socioeconomic Status and Soil Environment Perspective

The study was conducted to assess the impact of conservation agriculture practice on farmers’ socioeconomic condition and soil environmental quality in Bangladesh. A total of 450 (i.e., 50 focal, 150 proximal and 250 control) farmers from five districts were selected for this study. Descriptive statistics like sum, averages, percentages, etc. were calculated to evaluate the socioeconomic data. Using Enyedi’s crop productivity index, it was found that the crop productivity of focal, proximal and control farmers was increased by 0.9, 1.2 and 1.3 percent, respectively. The result of DID (Difference-in-difference) analysis indicated that the impact of conservation agriculture practice on farmers’ average annual income was significant. Multidimensional poverty index (MPI) indicates that poverty in terms of deprivation of health, education and living standards was decreased; and a remarkable improvement in farmers’ socioeconomic status was found after adopting conservation agriculture practice. Most of the focal and proximal farmers stated about increased soil environmental condition where majority of control farmers stated about constant environmental condition in this regard. The Probit model reveals that minimum tillage operation, permanent organic soil cover, and application of compost and vermicompost were found significant factors affecting soil environmental quality under conservation agriculture. Input support, motivation, training programmes and extension services are recommended to implement in order to raise the awareness and enrich the knowledge of the farmers on conservation agriculture practice.

21st Century Biotechnological Research and Development Advancements for Industrial Development in India

Biotechnology is a discipline which explains the use of living organisms and systems to construct a product, or we can define it as an application or technology developed to use biological systems and organisms processes for a specific use. Particularly, it includes cells and its components use for new technologies and inventions. The tools developed can be further used in diverse fields such as agriculture, industry, research and hospitals etc. The 21st century has seen a drastic development and advancement in biotechnology in India. Significant increase in Government of India’s outlays for biotechnology over the past decade has been observed. A sectoral break up of biotechnology-based companies in India shows that most of the companies are agriculture-based companies having interests ranging from tissue culture to biopesticides. Major attention has been given by the companies in health related activities and in environmental biotechnology. The biopharmaceutical, which comprises of vaccines, diagnostic, and recombinant products is the most reliable and largest segment of the Indian Biotech industry. India has developed its vaccine markets and supplies them to various countries. Then there are the bio-services, which mainly comprise of contract researches and manufacturing services. India has made noticeable developments in the field of bio industries including manufacturing of enzymes, biofuels and biopolymers. Biotechnology is also playing a crucial and significant role in the field of agriculture. Traditional methods have been replaced by new technologies that mainly focus on GM crops, marker assisted technologies and the use of biotechnological tools to improve the quality of fertilizers and soil. It may only be a small contributor but has shown to have huge potential for growth. Bioinformatics is a computational method which helps to store, manage, arrange and design tools to interpret the extensive data gathered through experimental trials, making it important in the design of drugs.

Vulnerability of Indian Agriculture to Climate Change: A Study of the Himalayan Region State
Climate variability and changes are the emerging challenges for Indian agriculture with the growing population to ensure national food security. A study was conducted to assess the Climatic Change effects in medium to low altitude areas of the Himalayan region causing changes in land use and cereal crop productivity with the various climatic parameters. The rainfall and temperature changes from 1951 to 2013 were studied at four locations of varying altitudes, namely Hardwar, Rudra Prayag, Uttar Kashi and Tehri Garwal. It was observed that there is noticeable increment in temperature on all the four locations. It was surprisingly observed that the mean rainfall intensity of 30 minutes duration has increased at the rate of 0.1 mm/hours since 2000. The study shows that the combined effect of increasing temperature, rainfall, runoff and urbanization at the mid-Himalayan region is causing an increase in various climatic disasters and changes in agriculture patterns. A noticeable change in cropping patterns, crop productivity and land use change was observed. Appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies are necessary to ensure that sustainable and climate-resilient agriculture. Appropriate information is necessary for farmers, as well as planners and decision makers for developing, disseminating and adopting climate-smart technologies.
Agriculture in the Dominican Republic: Competitiveness in a New Trade Regime and Lessons for Cuba

Agriculture remains a sensitive issue during multilateral trade negotiations within the World Trade Organization (WTO). Similar problems arise at the bilateral level, as in the case of trade talks between the United States and the Dominican Republic. The study explores the determinant of agricultural industry competitiveness in the 21st century, particularly in the case of U.S. and Dominican agriculture in each other’s market. Complementing existing scholarship on industry competitiveness, the study argues that trade rules that are established under preferential access programs and trade agreements play a significant role in shaping an industry’s ability to compete. The final analysis is used to offer recommendations to the same sector in Cuba. Cuba currently relies heavily on U.S. food imports and is experiencing the gradual opening of trade with the United States.

Limestone Briquette Production and Characterization

Modern agriculture requires productivity, efficiency and quality. Therefore, there is need for agricultural limestone implementation that provides adequate amounts of calcium and magnesium carbonates in order to correct soil acidity. During the limestone process, fine particles (with average size under 400#) are generated. These particles do not have economic value in agricultural and metallurgical sectors due their size. When limestone is used for agriculture purposes, these fine particles can be easily transported by wind generated air pollution. Therefore, briquetting, a mineral processing technique, was used to mitigate this problem resulting in an agglomerated product suitable for agriculture use. Briquetting uses compressive pressure to agglomerate fine particles. It can be aided by agglutination agents, allowing adjustments in shape, size and mechanical parameters of the mass. Briquettes can generate extra profits for mineral industry, presenting as a distinct product for agriculture, and can reduce the environmental liabilities of the fine particles storage or disposition. The produced limestone briquettes were subjected to shatter and water action resistance tests. The results show that after six minutes completely submerged in water, the briquettes where fully diluted, a highly favorable result considering its use for soil acidity correction.

Assessing the Actual Status and Farmer’s Attitude towards Agroforestry in Chiniot, Pakistan
In Pakistan, major demands of fuel wood and timber wood are fulfilled by agroforestry. However, the information regarding economic significance of agroforestry and its productivity in Pakistan is still insufficient and unreliable. Survey of field conditions to examine the agroforestry status at local level helps us to know the future trends and to formulate the policies for sustainable wood supply. The objectives of this research were to examine the actual status and potential of agroforestry and to point out the barriers that are faced by farmers in the adoption of agroforestry. Research was carried out in Chiniot district, Pakistan because it is the famous city for furniture industry that is largely dependent on farm trees. A detailed survey of district Chiniot was carried out from 150 randomly selected farmer respondents using multi-objective oriented and pre-tested questionnaire. It was found that linear tree planting method was more adopted (45%) as compared to linear + interplanting (42%) and/or compact planting (12.6%). Chi-square values at P-value <0.5 showed that age (11.35) and education (17.09) were two more important factors in the quick adoption of agroforestry as compared to land holdings (P-value of 0.7). The major reason of agroforestry adoption was to obtain income, fodder and fuelwood. The most dominant species in farmlands was shisham (Dalbergia sissoo) but since last five years, mostly farmers were growing Sufeida (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), kikar (Acacia nilotica) and popular (Populus deltoides) on their fields due to “Shisham die-back” problem. It was found that agro-forestry can be increased by providing good quality planting material to farmers and improving wood markets.
Analysis of Factors Used by Farmers to Manage Risk: A Case Study on Italian Farms
The study analyses the strategies Italian farmers use to cope with the risks that face their production. We specifically explore the potential and the limitations of the economic tools for climatic risk management in agriculture of the Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020, that foresees contributions for economic tools for risk management, in relation to farms’ needs, exposure and vulnerability of agricultural areas to climatic risk. We consider at the farm level approaches to hedge risks in terms of the use of technical tools (agricultural practices, pesticides, fertilizers, irrigation) and economic/financial instruments (insurances, etc.). We develop cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses as well as analyses of correlation that underline the main differences between the way farms adapt their structure and management towards risk. The results show a preference for technical tools, despite the presence of important public aids on economic tools such as insurances. Therefore, there is a strong need for a more effective and integrated risk management policy scheme. Synergies between economic tools and risk reduction actions of a more technical, structural and management nature (production diversification, irrigation infrastructures, technological and management innovations and formation-information-consultancy, etc.) are emphasized.
Development of Bicomponent Fibre to Combat Insects
Crop yields have not increased as dramatically as the demand for food. One method to counteract this is to use pesticides to keep away predators, e.g. several forms of insecticide are available to fight insects. These insecticides and pesticides are both controversial as their application and their residue in the food product can also harm humans. In this study an alternative method to combat insects is studied. A physical insect-killing effect of SiO2 particles is used. The particles are applied on fibres to avoid erosion in the fields, which would occur when applied separately. The development of such SiO2 functionalized PP fibres is shown.
Using Genetic Algorithms to Outline Crop Rotations and a Cropping-System Model
The idea of cropping-system is a method used by farmers. It is an environmentally-friendly method, protecting the natural resources (soil, water, air, nutritive substances) and increase the production at the same time, taking into account some crop particularities. The combination of this powerful method with the concepts of genetic algorithms results into a possibility of generating sequences of crops in order to form a rotation. The usage of this type of algorithms has been efficient in solving problems related to optimization and their polynomial complexity allows them to be used at solving more difficult and various problems. In our case, the optimization consists in finding the most profitable rotation of cultures. One of the expected results is to optimize the usage of the resources, in order to minimize the costs and maximize the profit. In order to achieve these goals, a genetic algorithm was designed. This algorithm ensures the finding of several optimized solutions of cropping-systems possibilities which have the highest profit and, thus, which minimize the costs. The algorithm uses genetic-based methods (mutation, crossover) and structures (genes, chromosomes). A cropping-system possibility will be considered a chromosome and a crop within the rotation is a gene within a chromosome. Results about the efficiency of this method will be presented in a special section. The implementation of this method would bring benefits into the activity of the farmers by giving them hints and helping them to use the resources efficiently.
Assessment of Investment Programs in Agriculture in Georgia

The paper presents the analysis of the current situation of agricultural development in Georgia. The investment environment that supports development of the agricultural sector is evaluated and the key priorities are identified. The analysis of the projects already implemented with state and EU support, as well as those that are being currently implemented is presented. The policy and the programs supporting development of agricultural sector are analyzed. Based on an analysis of the evaluations of experts and the primary accounting documents, the outcomes of investment programs, their advantages and disadvantages, are studied. Through identifying investment programs in the agricultural sector of Georgia, corresponding conclusions are made, based on which some recommendations are developed.

The Impact of Water Reservoirs on Biodiversity and Food Security and the Creation of Adaptation Mechanisms
Problems of food security and the preservation of reserved zones in the region of Central Asia under the conditions of the climate change induced by the placement and construction of large reservoirs are considered. The criteria for the optimum placement and construction of reservoirs that entail the minimum impact on the environment are established. The need for the accounting of climatic parameters is shown by the calculation of the water quantity required for the irrigation of agricultural lands.
Land-Use Suitability Analysis for Merauke Agriculture Estates

Merauke district in Papua, Indonesia has a strategic position and natural potential for the development of agricultural industry. The development of agriculture in this region is being accelerated as part of Indonesian Government’s declaration announcing Merauke as one of future national food barns. Therefore, land-use suitability analysis for Merauke need to be performed. As a result, the mapping for future agriculture-based industries can be done optimally. In this research, a case study is carried out in Semangga sub district. The objective of this study is to determine the suitability of Merauke land for some food crops. A modified agro-ecological zoning is applied to reach the objective. In this research, land cover based on satellite imagery is combined with soil, water and climate survey results to come up with preliminary zoning. Considering the special characteristics of Merauke community, the agricultural zoning maps resulted based on those inputs will be combined with socio-economic information and culture to determine the final zoning map for agricultural industry in Merauke. Examples of culture are customary rights of local residents and the rights of local people and their own local food patterns. This paper presents the results of first year of the two-year research project funded by The Indonesian Government through MP3EI schema. It shares the findings of land cover studies, the distribution of soil physical and chemical parameters, as well as suitability analysis of Semangga sub-district for five different food plants.

Incidence of Acinetobacter in Fresh Carrot (Daucus carota subsp. sativus)
The research aims to investigate the occurrence of multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter, in carrot and estimate the role of carrot in its transmission in a rapidly growing urban population. Thus, 50 carrot samples were collected from Jakara wastewater irrigation farms and are analyzed on MacConkey agar and screened by Microbact 24E (Oxoid) and susceptibility of isolates is tested against 10 commonly used antibiotics. Acinetobacter baumannii and A. lwoffii were isolated in 22.00% and 16% of samples respectively. Resistance to ceporex and penicillin of 36.36% and 27.27% in A. baumannii, and sensitivity to ofloxacin, pefloxacin, gentimycin and co-trimoxazole were observed. However, for A. lwoffii apart from 37.50% resistance to ceporex, it was also resistant to all other drugs tested. There were similarities in the resistances shown by A. baumannii and A. lwoffii to fluoroquinolones and β- lactame drug families in addition to between sulfonamide and animoglycoside demonstrated by A. lwoffii. Significant correlation in similarities were observed at P < 0.05 to CPX to NA (46.2%), and SXT to AU (52.6%) A. baumannii and A. lwoffii respectively and high multi drug resistance (MDR) of 27.27% and 62.50% by A. baumannii and A. lwoffii respectively. The occurrence of multidrug-resistance pathogen in carrot is a serious challenge to public health care, especially in a rapidly growing urban population where subsistence agriculture contributes greatly to urban livelihood and source of vegetables.
The Common Agricultural Policy in a Czech Context
The largest share of policy and money within the European Union goes to agriculture. The Union’s Common Agricultural Policy has undergone several transformations in the last five decades, with the main change taking place in the 1990s. This change influenced agriculture in the Czech Republic, inasmuch as the fledgling republic was preparing to join the European Union and adopt its policies. In the 1990s, Czech agriculture passed from a centrally planned economy to a market economy and subsequently adopted the terms of the Common Agricultural Policy. The Czech Republic is also characterized by a significant diversification of landscape sphere. Agricultural entrepreneurs in the Czech Republic are still not accustomed to the possibility of grants from the European Union. They focus rather on national or regional subsidies. Only half of all agricultural entrepreneurs in the Czech Republic use European subsidies. This article focuses on the introduction of the Common Agricultural Policy to the Czech Republic and its subsequent influence on Czech agriculture. It is demonstrated through the implementation rate of the CAP in the EU Member States and a closer focus on Czech integration.
Agricultural Mechanisation for Transformation
This paper concludes that, for economic development, and to ensure survival, Kenya and similar countries must industrialize their economy and mechanize their agriculture using modern large scale methods.
Biogas from Cover Crops and Field Residues: Effects on Soil, Water, Climate and Ecological Footprint

Cover or catch crops have beneficial effects for soil, water, erosion, etc. If harvested, they also provide feedstock for biogas without competition for arable land in regions, where only one main crop can be produced per year. On average gross energy yields of approx. 1300 m³ methane (CH4) ha-1 can be expected from 4.5 tonnes (t) of cover crop dry matter (DM) in Austria. Considering the total energy invested from cultivation to compression for biofuel use a net energy yield of about 1000 m³ CH4 ha-1 is remaining. With the straw of grain maize or Corn Cob Mix (CCM) similar energy yields can be achieved. In comparison to catch crops remaining on the field as green manure or to complete fallow between main crops the effects on soil, water and climate can be improved if cover crops are harvested without soil compaction and digestate is returned to the field in an amount equivalent to cover crop removal. In this way, the risk of nitrate leaching can be reduced approx. by 25% in comparison to full fallow. The risk of nitrous oxide emissions may be reduced up to 50% by contrast with cover crops serving as green manure. The effects on humus content and erosion are similar or better than those of cover crops used as green manure when the same amount of biomass was produced. With higher biomass production the positive effects increase even if cover crops are harvested and the only digestate is brought back to the fields. The ecological footprint of arable farming can be reduced by approx. 50% considering the substitution of natural gas with CH4 produced from cover crops.

Antioxidant Capacity of Different Broccoli Cultivars at Various Harvesting Dates
Broccoli is considered as being a rich source of AOX like flavonoids, polyphenols, anthocyanins etc. and of major interest especially in the organic sector. However, AOX is environment dependent and often varies between cultivars. Aim of the study was to investigate the impact of cultivar and harvest date on AOX in broccoli. Activity of the AOX was determined using a Photochem®-Analyzer and a kit of reagent solutions for analysis. Results of the study showed that the lipid (ACL) and water-soluble antioxidant potential (AWC) of broccoli heads varied significantly between the four harvesting dates, but not among the different cultivars. The highest concentration of ACL was measured in broccoli heads harvested in September 2011, followed by heads harvested at the beginning of July in 2012. ACW was highest in heads harvested in October 2011. Lowest concentrations of ACW were measured in heads harvested in June 2012. Overall, the study indicated that the harvest date and thus growing conditions seem to be of high importance for final antioxidant capacity of broccoli.
A Survey on Ambient Intelligence in Agricultural Technology
Despite the advances made in various new technologies, application of these technologies for agriculture still remains a formidable task, as it involves integration of diverse domains for monitoring the different process involved in agricultural management. Advances in ambient intelligence technology represents one of the most powerful technology for increasing the yield of agricultural crops and to mitigate the impact of water scarcity, climatic change and methods for managing pests, weeds and diseases. This paper proposes a GPS-assisted, machine to machine solutions that combine information collected by multiple sensors for the automated management of paddy crops. To maintain the economic viability of paddy cultivation, the various techniques used in agriculture are discussed and a novel system which uses ambient intelligence technique is proposed in this paper. The ambient intelligence based agricultural system gives a great scope.
Detection of Transgenes in Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) by Using Biotechnology/Molecular Biological Techniques

Agriculture is the backbone of economy of Pakistan and cotton is the major agricultural export and supreme source of raw fiber for our textile industry. To combat severe problems of insect and weed, combination of three genes namely Cry1Ac, Cry2A and EPSPS genes was transferred in locally cultivated cotton variety MNH-786 with the use of Agrobacterium mediated genetic transformation. The present study focused on the molecular screening of transgenic cotton plants at T3 generation in order to confirm integration and expression of all three genes (Cry1Ac, Cry2A and EPSP synthase) into the cotton genome. Initially, glyphosate spray assay was used for screening of transgenic cotton plants containing EPSP synthase gene at T3 generation. Transgenic cotton plants which were healthy and showed no damage on leaves were selected after 07 days of spray. For molecular analysis of transgenic cotton plants in the laboratory, the genomic DNA of these transgenic cotton plants were isolated and subjected to amplification of the three genes. Thus, seventeen out of twenty (Cry1Ac gene), ten out of twenty (Cry2A gene) and all twenty (EPSP synthase gene) were produced positive amplification. On the base of PCR amplification, ten transgenic plant samples were subjected to protein expression analysis through ELISA. The results showed that eight out of ten plants were actively expressing the three transgenes. Real-time PCR was also done to quantify the mRNA expression levels of Cry1Ac and EPSP synthase gene. Finally, eight plants were confirmed for the presence and active expression of all three genes at T3 generation.

Design and Development of an Efficient and Cost-Effective Microcontroller-Based Irrigation Control System to Enhance Food Security

The development of the agricultural sector in Ghana has been reliant on the use of irrigation systems to ensure food security. However, the manual operation of these systems has not facilitated their maximum efficiency due to human limitations. This paper seeks to address this problem by designing and implementing an efficient, cost effective automated system which monitors and controls the water flow of irrigation through communication with an authorized operator via text messages. The automatic control component of the system is timer based with an Atmega32 microcontroller and a real time clock from the SM5100B cellular module. For monitoring purposes, the system sends periodic notification of the system on the performance of duty via SMS to the authorized person(s). Moreover, the GSM based Irrigation Monitoring and Control System saves time and labour and reduces cost of operating irrigation systems by saving electricity usage and conserving water. Field tests conducted have proven its operational efficiency and ease of assessment of farm irrigation equipment due to its costeffectiveness and data logging capabilities.

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