Micro-Reserves as a Tool for Biodiversity Conservation in Latvia: Challenges and Opportunities
2440 micro-reserves are established in Latvia, in order to ensure the conservation of the specially protected species and biotopes outside special areas of conservation, as well as in the special areas of conservation, if any of functional zones fails to ensure that. The development of micro-reserve network has caused conflicts between landowners, environmental non-governmental organizations and state authorities. To evaluate a performance of established micro-reserve system, 24 semi-structured interviews with certified experts in the field of protection of species and biotopes in Latvia were conducted. Overall, experts favorably evaluate the efficiency of established micro-reserve network. However, respondents highlighted five key conflict zones of micro-reserve system implementation: lack of scientific and analytical approach in planning of micro-reserve distribution; landowners’ awareness and attitude towards biodiversity conservation; lack of initiative and contribution from state authorities in micro-reserve system development; amount and methods of funding; communication problems between state authorities and private landowners. Subsequently, three possible recommendations to tackle these challenges in Latvia are proposed: development of voluntary strategies next to regulatory mechanisms; investment in monitoring and research on conservation of the specially protected species; reassessment of micro-reserve borders according to contemporary knowledge in biodiversity conservation.
Urinary Schistosomiasis among Pre-School and School Aged Children in Two Peri-Urban Communities in Southwest Nigeria
A cross-sectional study was conducted between March and April, 2016 among pre-school and school-aged children in two peri-urban communities in Osun State, Southwest Nigeria. Urine samples were collected from the pre-school and school-aged children, tested for microhaematuria using reagent strips, processed and examined for Schistosoma haematobium ova. Out of 274 pupils examined, 132 (48.2%) had infection, with no statistically significant difference (P > 0.05) in infection between male (48.6%) and female pupils (47.6%). The prevalence of infection increases significantly with age (P < 0.05), with the peak (93.3%) of infection recorded in pupils aged 15 to 16 years and the lowest infection (10.0%) in pupils aged 3 to 4 years. There was no statistically significant association (P > 0.05) between intensity in male pupils (156.0 ± 34.5/10 ml) and female pupils (141.7 ± 29.5/10 ml). The prevalence of pupils with microhaematuria was 65.0% and it increased significantly with age (P < 0.001). The conclusion drawn from the study is that to reduce the transmission of S. haematobium in endemic communities, health education and provision of potable water are advocated.
Land Use Dynamics of Ikere Forest Reserve, Nigeria Using Geographic Information System
The incessant encroachments into the forest ecosystem by the farmers and local contractors constitute a major threat to the conservation of genetic resources and biodiversity in Nigeria. To propose a viable monitoring system, this study employed Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to assess the changes that occurred for a period of five years (between 2011 and 2016) in Ikere forest reserve. Landsat imagery of the forest reserve was obtained. For the purpose of geo-referencing the acquired satellite imagery, ground-truth coordinates of some benchmark places within the forest reserve was relied on. Supervised classification algorithm, image processing, vectorization and map production were realized using ArcGIS. Various land use systems within the forest ecosystem were digitized into polygons of different types and colours for 2011 and 2016, roads
were represented with lines of different thickness and colours. Of the six land-use delineated, the grassland increased from 26.50 % in 2011 to 45.53% in 2016 of the total land area with a percentage change of 71.81 %. Plantations of Gmelina arborea and Tectona grandis on the other hand reduced from 62.16 % in 2011 to 27.41% in 2016. The farmland and degraded land recorded percentage change of about 176.80 % and 8.70 % respectively from 2011 to 2016. Overall, the rate of deforestation in the study area is on the increase and becoming severe. About 72.59% of the total land area has been converted to non-forestry uses while the remnant 27.41% is occupied by plantations of Gmelina arborea and Tectona grandis. Interestingly, over 55 % of the plantation area in 2011 has changed to grassland, or converted to farmland and degraded land in 2016. The rate of change over time was about 9.79 % annually. Based on the results, rapid actions to prevail on the encroachers to stop deforestation and encouraged re-afforestation in the study area are recommended.
Quantifying the Impacts of Elevated CO2 and N Fertilization on Wood Density in Loblolly Pine
It is accepted that atmospheric CO2 concentration will increase in the future. For the past 30 years, researchers have used FACE (Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment) facilities to study the development of terrestrial ecosystems under elevated CO2 (eCO2). Forest responses to eCO2 are likely to impact timber industries with potential feedbacks towards the atmosphere. The main objectives of this study were to examine whether eCO2 alone or in combination with N-fertilization alter wood properties and to identify changes in wood anatomy related to water transport. Wood disks were sampled at breast height from mature loblolly pine trees (Pinus taeda L.) harvested at the Duke FACE site (NC, USA). By measuring ring width and intra-ring changes in density (X-ray densitometry) and tracheid size (lumen and cell wall thickness) from pith to bark, the following hypotheses were tested: 1) eCO2 and N-fertilization interact positively to increase significantly above-ground primary productivity; 2) eCO2 and N-fertilization lead to a decrease in density; 3) eCO2 and N-fertilization increase lumen diameter and decrease cell wall thickness, thus affecting water transport capacity. Our results revealed a boost in earlywood tracheid production induced by eCO2 lasting a few years. The following decrease seemed to be buffered by N-fertilization. X-ray profiles did not show a marked decrease in wood density under eCO2 or N-fertilization, although there were changes in cell anatomical properties such as a reduction in cell-wall thickness and an increase in lumen diameter. If such effects of eCO2 are confirmed, forest management strategies for example N-fertilization should be redesigned.
Combination Urea and KCl with Powder Coal Sub-Bituminous to Increase Nutrient Content of Ultisols in Limau Manis Padang West Sumatra
Coal as an alternative source of humic material that has the potential of 973.92 million tons (sub-bituminous amounted to 673.70 million tons) in West Sumatera. The purpose of this research was to study combination Urea and KCl with powder coal Sub-bituminous to increase nutrient content of Ultisols In Limau Manis Padang West Sumatera. The experiment was designed in Completely Randomized Design with 3 replications, those were T1) 0.5% (50g plot-1) of powder coal Sub-bituminous; T2) T1 and 125% (7.03g plot-1 ) of Urea recommendation; T3) T1 and 125% (5.85g plot-1) of KCl recommendation; T4) 1.0% (100g plot-1) of powder coal Sub-bituminous; T5) T4 and 125% (7.03g plot-1 ) of Urea recommendation; T6) T4 and 125% (5.85g plot-1) of KCl recommendation; T7) 1.5% (150g plot-1) of powder coal Sub-bituminous; T8) T7 and 125% (7.03g plot-1 ) of Urea recommendation; T9) T7 and 125% (5.85g plot-1) of KCl recommendation. The results showed that application 1.5% of powder coal Sub-bituminous and 125% of Urea recommendation could increase nutrient content of Ultisols such as pH by 0.33 unit, Organic – C by 2.03%, total – N by 0.31%, Available P by 14.16 ppm and CEC by 19.38 me 100g-1 after 2 weeks of incubation process.
Indoor and Outdoor Forest Farming for Year-Round Food and Medicine Production, Carbon Sequestration, Soil-Building, and Climate Change Mitigation
The objective at Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute has been to put in practice a sustainable way of life while growing food, medicine, and providing education. This has been done by applying methods of farming such as agroforestry, forest farming, and perennial polycultures. These methods have been found to be regenerative to the environment through carbon sequestration, soil-building, climate change mitigation, and the provision of food security. After 30 years of implementing carbon farming methods, the results are agro-diversity, self-sustaining systems, and a consistent provision of food and medicine. These results are exhibited through polyculture plantings in an outdoor forest garden spanning roughly an acre containing about 200 varieties of fruits, nuts, nitrogen-fixing trees, and medicinal herbs, and two indoor forest garden greenhouses (one Mediterranean and one Tropical) containing about 50 varieties of tropical fruits, beans, herbaceous plants and more. While the climate zone outside the greenhouse is 6, the tropical forest garden greenhouse retains an indoor climate zone of 11 with near-net-zero energy consumption through the use of a climate battery, allowing the greenhouse to serve as a year-round food producer. The effort to source food from the forest gardens is minimal compared to annual crop production. The findings at Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute conclude that agroecological methods are not only beneficial but necessary in order to revive and regenerate the environment and food security.
, carbon farming
, carbon sequestration
, climate battery
, food security
, forest farming
, forest garden
, perennial polycultures
Optimization of Cacao Fermentation in Davao Philippines Using Sustainable Method
An optimized cacao fermentation technique was developed for the cacao farmers of Davao City Philippines. Cacao samples with weights ranging from 150-250 kilograms were collected from various cacao farms in Davao City and Zamboanga City Philippines. Different fermentation techniques were used starting with design of the sweat box, prefermentation conditionings, number of days for fermentation and number of turns. As the beans are being fermented, its temperature was regularly monitored using a digital thermometer. The resultant cacao beans were assessed using physical and chemical means. For the physical assessment, the bean cut test, bean count tests, and sensory test were used. Quantification of theobromine, caffeine, and antioxidants in the form of equivalent quercetin was used for chemical assessment. Both the theobromine and caffeine were analyzed using HPLC method while the antioxidant was analyzed spectrometrically. To come up with the best fermentation procedure, the different assessment were given priority coefficients wherein the physical tests – taste test, cut, and bean count tests were given priority over the results of the chemical test. The result of the study was an optimized fermentation protocol that is readily adaptable and transferable to any cacao cooperatives or groups in Mindanao or even Philippines as a whole.
Renewable Energy and Hydrogen On-Site Generation for Drip Irrigation and Agricultural Machinery
The energy used in agriculture is a source of global emissions of greenhouse gases. The two main types of this energy are electricity for pumping and diesel for agricultural machinery. In order to reduce these emissions, the European project LIFE REWIND addresses the supply of this demand from renewable sources. First of all, comprehensive data on energy demand and available renewable resources have been obtained in several case studies. Secondly, a set of simulations and optimizations have been performed, in search of the best configuration and sizing, both from an economic and emission reduction point of view. For this purpose, it was used software based on genetic algorithms. Thirdly, a prototype has been designed and installed, that it is being used for the validation in a real case. Finally, throughout a year of operation, various technical and economic parameters are being measured for further analysis. The prototype is not connected to the utility grid, avoiding the cost and environmental impact of a grid extension. The system includes three kinds of photovoltaic fields. One is located on a fixed structure on the terrain. Another one is floating on an irrigation raft. The last one is mounted on a two axis solar tracker. Each has its own solar inverter. The total amount of nominal power is 44 kW. A lead acid battery with 120 kWh of capacity carries out the energy storage. Three isolated inverters support a three phase, 400 V 50 Hz micro-grid, the same characteristics of the utility grid. An advanced control subsystem has been constructed, using free hardware and software. The electricity produced feeds a set of seven pumps used for purification, elevation and pressurization of water in a drip irrigation system located in a vineyard. Since the irrigation season does not include the whole year, as well as a small oversize of the generator, there is an amount of surplus energy. With this surplus, a hydrolyser produces on site hydrogen by electrolysis of water. An off-road vehicle with fuel cell feeds on that hydrogen and carries people in the vineyard. The only emission of the process is high purity water. On the one hand, the results show the technical and economic feasibility of stand-alone renewable energy systems to feed seasonal pumping. In this way, the economic costs, the environmental impacts and the landscape impacts of grid extensions are avoided. The use of diesel gensets and their associated emissions are also avoided. On the other hand, it is shown that it is possible to replace diesel in agricultural machinery, substituting it for electricity or hydrogen of 100% renewable origin and produced on the farm itself, without any external energy input. In addition, it is expected to obtain positive effects on the rural economy and employment, which will be quantified through interviews.
Fungi Associated with Decline of Kikar (Acacia nilotica) and Red River Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) in Faisalabad
During this research, a survey of forest growing areas of Faisalabad was conducted to study the symptoms, spectrum, incidence and severity of A. nilotica and E. camaldulensis decline. Objective of the current research was to investigate specific fungal pathogens involved in decline of A. nilotica and E. camaldulensis. For this purpose, infected roots, bark, neck portion, stem, branches, leaves and infected soils were collected to identify associated fungi. Potato dextrose agar (PDA) and Czepak dox agar media were used for isolations. Identification of isolated fungi was done microscopically and different fungi were identified. During survey of urban locations of Faisalabad, disease incidence on Kikar and Eucalyptus was recorded as 3.9-7.9% and 2.6-7.1% respectively. While survey of Agroforest zones of Faisalabad revealed decline incidence on kikar 7.5% from Sargodha road while on Satiana and Jhang road it was not planted. In eucalyptus trees 4%, 8% and 0% disease incidence were observed on Jhang road, Sargodha road and Satiana road respectively. The maximum fungus isolated from the kikar tree was Drechslera australiensis (5.00%) from the stem part. Aspergillus flavus also gave the maximum value of (3.05%) from the bark. Alternaria alternata gave the maximum value of (2.05 %) from leaves. Rhizopus and Mucor spp. were recorded minimum as compared to the Drechslera, Alternaria and Aspergillus. The maximum fungus isolated from the Eucalyptus tree was Armillaria luteobubalina (5.00%) from the stem part. The other fungi isolated were Macrophamina phaseolina and A. niger.
Willingness of Spanish Wineries to Implement Renewable Energies in Their Vineyards and Wineries, as Well as the Limitations They Perceive for Their Implementation
Climate change, depletion of non-renewable resources in the current energies, pollution from them, the greater ecological awareness of the population, are factors that suggest the change of energy sources in business. The agri-food industry is a growth sector, concerned about product innovation, process and with a clear awareness of what climate change may mean for it. This sector is supposed to have a high receptivity to the implementation of clean energy, as this favors not only the environment but also the essence of its business. This work, through surveys, aims to know the willingness of Spanish wineries to implement renewable energies in their vineyards, as well as the limitations they perceive for their implementation. This questionnaire allows the characterization of the sector in terms of its geographical typologies, their activity levels, their perception of environmental issues, the degree of implementation of measures to mitigate climate change and improve energy efficiency, and its uses and energy consumption. The analysis of data proves that the penetration of renewable energies is still at low levels, being the most used energies, solar thermal, photovoltaic and biomass. The initial investment seems to be at the origin of the lack of implantation of this type of energy in the wineries, and not so much the costs of operations and maintenance. The environmental management of the wineries is still at an embryonic stage within the company's organization chart, because these services are either outsourced or, if technicians are available, they are not exclusively dedicated to these tasks. However, there is a strong environmental awareness, as evidenced by the number of climate change mitigation and energy efficiency measures already adopted. The gap between high awareness and low achievement is probably due to the lack of knowledge about how to do it or the perception of a high cost.
Physiological and Biochemical Assisted Screening of Wheat Varieties under Partial Rhizosphere Drying
Environmental stresses are one of the major reasons for poor crop yield across the globe. Among the various environmental stresses, drought stress is the most damaging one, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. Wheat is the major staple food of many countries of the world, which is badly affected by drought stress. In order to fulfill the dietary needs of increasing population with depleting water resources there is a need to adopt technologies which result in sufficient crop yield with less water consumption. One of them is partial root zone drying. Keeping in view these conditions, a wire house experiment was conducted at agronomic research area of University College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, The Islamia University Bahawalpur during 2015, to screen out the different wheat varieties for partial root zone drying (PRD). Five approved local wheat varieties (V1= Galaxy-2013, V2= Punjab-2011, V3 = Faisalabad-2008, V4 = Lasani-2008 and V5 = V.8200) and two irrigation levels (I1= control irrigation and I2 = PRD irrigation) with completely randomized design having four replications were used in the experiment. Among the varieties, Galaxy-2013 performed the best and attained maximum plant height, leaf area, stomatal conductance, photosynthesis, total sugars, proline contents and antioxidant enzymes activities and minimum values of growth and physiological parameters were recorded in variety V.8200. For irrigation levels, higher values of growth, physiological and water related parameters were recorded in control treatment (I1) except leaf water potential, osmotic potential, total sugars and proline contents. However, enzyme activities were higher under PRD treatment for all varieties. It was concluded that Galaxy-2013 is the most compatible and V.8200 is the most susceptible variety for PRD, respectively and more quality traits and enzymatic activities were recorded under PRD irrigation as compared to control treatment.
Characterization and Optimization of Culture Conditions for Sulphur Oxidizing Bacteria After Isolation from Rhizospheric Mustard Soil, Decomposing Sites and Pit House
Sulphur-oxidizing bacteria (SOB) have marked their significant role in perspectives of maintaining healthy environment as researchers from all over the world tested and apply these in waste water treatment plants, bioleaching of heavy metals, deterioration of bridge structures, concrete and for bioremediation purposes etc. Also, these SOB are well adapted to all kinds of environment ranging from normal soil, water habitats to extremism natural sources like geothermal areas, volcanic eruptions, black shale and acid rock drainage (ARD). SOB have been isolating from low pH environment of anthropogenic origin like acid mine drainage (AMD) and bioleaching heaps, hence these can work efficiently under different environmental condition. Besides having many application in the field of environment science, they may prove very beneficial in area of agriculture as sulphur is fourth major macronutrients required for growth of plants. Sulphur is needed by pulses and oilseed crops more in amount than the cereal grains. Due to continuous use of land for overproduction of more demanding sulphur utilizing crops and without application of sulphur fertilizers, its concentration is decreasing day by day, and thus sulphur deficiency is becoming a great problem as it affects the crop productivity and quality both. Sulphur is generally found in soils in many unavailable forms like elemental Sulphur thiosulphate which can be taken up by bacteria and converted into simpler forms usable by plants by undergoing series of transformations. So keeping in view, the importance of sulphur for various soil types, for oilseed crops and role of microorganisms in making them available to plants, we made an effort to isolate, optimize and characterize SOB. Three potential strains of bacteria were isolated namely SSF7, SSA21 and SSS6 showing sulphate production of concentration i.e. 2.268, 3.102 and 2.785mM respectively. Also, these were optimized for various culture conditions like Carbon, Nitrogen source, pH, temperature and incubation time and characterization was also done.
Assessment of Al/Fe Humus, pH, and P Retention to Differentiate Andisols under Different Cultivation, Karanganyar, Central Java, Indonesia
The unique characteristics of Andisol differentiate them from other soils. These characteristics become a guideline in determining management and usage with regards to agriculture. Especially in the tropical area, Andisols may have fast mineral alteration due to intensive water movement in the soils. Four soil chemical tests were conducted for evaluating soils in the study area. Al/Fe humus, allophane, pH, and P retention were used to differentiate Andisols under different practices. Non-cultivation practice (e.g. natural forest) and cultivation practices (e.g. horticulture systems and intensive farming systems) are compared in this study. We applied Blackmore method for P retention analysis. The aims of this study are: (i) to analyze the specific behavior of Al/Fe humus, pH, and allophane towards P retention in order (ii) to evaluate the effect of cultivation practices on their behavior changes among Andisols, and (iii) to gain the sustainable agriculture through proposing an appropriate soil managements in the study area. 5 observation sites were selected, and 75 soil sampling were analyzed in this study. The results show that the cultivation decreases P retention in all sampling sites. There is a declining from ±90% to ±50% of P retention in the natural forest where shifts into cultivated land. The average of P retention under 15 years of cultivation down into 63%, whereas, the average of P retention more than 15 years of cultivation down into 54%. Many factors affect the retention of P in the soil such as: (1) type and amount of clay, (2) allophone and/or imogolit, (3) Al/Fe humus, (4) soil pH, (5) type and amount of organic material, (6) Exchangeable bases (Ca, Mg, Na, K), (7) forms and solubility of Al/Fe. To achieve the sustainable agriculture in the study area, conventional agriculture practices should be preserved and intensive fertilizing practices should be applied in order to increase the soil pH, to maintain the organic matter of andisols, to maintain microba activities, and to release Al/Fe humus complex, and thus increase available P in the soils.
Enhancing Food Security through Cabbage Production by Local Fammers in Nkokobe Municipality
Subsistence farmers practice farming for survival while commercial farmers produce to feed themselves and larger society with the motive to achieve highest profit. These types of farmers are characterised by growing what they eat, live without making regular purchases in the markets. The main objective of subsistence/peasant farmers is to ensure food security at household level. Cabbage is a crop that has been identified to have vital food nutrient sources like Vitamin A, B and C, protein, calcium, iron and antioxidative compounds beneficial for preventing cancer. This paper, therefore, looks at the potential that cabbage production has in enhancing household food security and also the challenges encountered by these cabbage producers. Primary data was obtained from 50 respondents, and linear regression model was used to analyse the data used. Income was used as food security measure. The results showed that three variables were statistically significant and they are gender (10%), education (5%) and household size (5%). Meaning that these are variables that influenced cabbage production by these households, and it also affects their food security status since income is affected.
Impact of Long Term Application of Municipal Solid Waste on Physicochemical, Microbial Parameters and Heavy Metal Distribution in Soils in Accordance to Its Agricultural Uses
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) being rich source of organic materials can be used for Agricultural application, 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 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% as compared to untreated soil samples. Application of sewage sludge at different sites led to increase in microbial biomass C by 60 to 68% as 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 were collected from waste water treatment plant at Gurgaon. The samples were then artificially contaminated double the EU limits and amend 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 DTPA exactable heavy metals. The results were compared to uncontaminated sewage sludge. The increasing level of sewage sludge from 0.5 to 4% led to more 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 of metals accumulation and their bioavailability in soil. The maximum metal concentrations were found in treatment with 4% of contaminated sewage sludge amendment.
Effect of Human Use, Season and Habitat on Ungulate Densities in Kanha Tiger Reserve
Density of large carnivores is primarily dictated by the density of their prey. Therefore, optimal management of ungulates populations permits harbouring of viable large carnivore populations within protected areas. Ungulate density is likely to respond to regimes of protection and vegetation types. This has generated the need among conservation practitioners to obtain strata specific seasonal species densities for habitat management. Kanha Tiger Reserve (KTR) of 2074 km2 area comprises of two distinct management strata: The core (940 km2), devoid of human settlements and buffer (1134 km2) which is a multiple use area. In general, four habitat strata, grassland, sal forest, bamboo-mixed forest and miscellaneous forest are present in the reserve. Stratified sampling approach was used to access a) impact of human use and b) effect of habitat and season on ungulate densities. Since 2013 to 2016, ungulates were surveyed in winter and summer of each year with an effort of 1200 km walk in 200 spatial transects distributed throughout Kanha Tiger Reserve. We used a single detection function for each species within each habitat stratum for each season for estimating species specific seasonal density, using program DISTANCE. Our key results state that the core area had 4.8 times higher wild ungulate biomass compared with the buffer zone, highlighting the importance of undisturbed area. Chital was found to be most abundant, having a density of 30.1(SE 4.34)/km2 and contributing 33% of the biomass with a habitat preference for grassland. Unlike other ungulates, Gaur being mega herbivore, showed a major seasonal shift in density from bamboo-mixed and sal forest in summer to miscellaneous forest in winter. Maximum diversity and ungulate biomass were supported by grassland followed by bamboo-mixed habitat. Our study stresses the importance of inviolate core areas for achieving high wild ungulate densities and for maintaining populations of endangered and rare species. Grasslands accounts for 9% of the core area of KTR maintained in arrested stage of succession, therefore enhancing this habitat would maintain ungulate diversity, density and cater to the needs of only surviving population of the endangered barasingha and grassland specialist the blackbuck. We show the relevance of different habitat types for differential seasonal use by ungulates and attempt to interpret this in the context of nutrition and cover needs by wild ungulates. Management for an optimal habitat mosaic that maintains ungulate diversity and maximizes ungulate biomass is recommended.
Using Water Erosion Prediction Project Simulation Model for Studying Some Soil Properties in Egypt
The objective of this research work is studying the water use prediction, prediction technology for water use by action agencies, and others involved in conservation, planning, and environmental assessment of the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) simulation model. Models the important physical, processes governing erosion in Egypt (climate, infiltration, runoff, ET, detachment by raindrops, detachment by flowing water, deposition, etc.). Simulation of the non-uniform slope, soils, cropping/management., and Egyptian databases for climate, soils, and crops. The study included important parameters in Egyptian conditions as follows: Water Balance & Percolation, Soil Component (Tillage impacts), Plant Growth & Residue Decomposition, Overland Flow Hydraulics. It could be concluded that we can adapt the WEPP simulation model to determining the previous important parameters under Egyptian conditions.
Effectiveness of Management Transfer Programs for Managing Irrigation Resources in Developing Countries: A Case Study of Farmer- and Agency-Managed Schemes from Nepal
Irrigation management transfer has been taken as the important policy instrument for effective irrigation resource management in many developing countries. The change in governance of the irrigation schemes for its day-to-day operation and maintenance has been centered in recent Nepalese irrigation policies also. However, both farmer- and agency-managed irrigation schemes in Nepal are performing well below than expected. This study tries to link the present concerns of poor performance of both forms of schemes with the institutions for its operation and management. Two types of surveys, management and farm surveys; were conducted as a case study in the command area of Narayani Lift Irrigation Project (agency-managed) and Khageri Irrigation System (farmer-managed) of Chitwan District. The farm survey from head, middle and tail regions of both schemes revealed that unequal water distribution exists in these regions in both schemes with greater percentage of farmers experiencing this situation in agency managed scheme. In both schemes, the cost recovery rate was very low, even below five percent in Lift System indicating poor operation and maintenance of the schemes. Also, the institution on practice in both schemes is unable to create any incentives for farmers’ willingness to pay as well as for its economical use in the farm. Thus, outcomes from the study showed that only the management transfer programs may not achieve the goal of efficient irrigation resource management. This may suggest water professionals to rethink about the irrigation policies for refining institutional framework irrespective of the governance of schemes for improved cost recovery and better water distribution throughout the irrigation schemes.
Norms and Laws: Fate of Community Forestry in Jharkhand
The conflict between livelihood and forest protection has been a perpetual phenomenon in India. In the era of climate change, the problem is expected to aggravate the declining trend of dense forest in the country, creating impediments in the climate change adaptation by the forest dependent communities. In order to access the complexity of the problem, Hazarinagh and Chatra districts of Jharkhand were selected as a case study. To identify norms practiced by the communities to manage community forestry, the ethnographic study was designed to understand the values, traditions, and cultures of forest dependent communities, most of whom were tribal. It was observed that internalization of efficient forest norms is reflected in the pride and honor of such behavior while violators are sanctioned through guilt and shame. The study analyzes the effect of norms being practiced in the management and ecology of community forestry as common property resource. The light of the findings led towards the gaps in the prevalent forest laws to address efficient allocation of property rights. The conclusion embarks on reconsidering accepted factors of forest degradation in India.
Increasing Participation of KUD (Rural Unit Cooperative) Through 'Kemal Propuri' System to Independence Farmers
Fertilizer is one of the production factors that are important to agriculture. Fertilizers contribution to the agricultural sector improvement is quite high. Fertilizers scarcity on the society are giving effect to agricultural sector, that is decreasing farmers production. Through a system called Kemal Propuri, society will be taught how to be independent, especially in terms of supplying the fertilizer and how to earn extra income besides of relying on the agriculture production. This research aims to determine implementation measures of Kemal Propuri in realizing farmers independence. This research was designed to use descriptive research with a qualitative approach. In this case, writers are trying to make an illustration of the increasing role of KUD (rural unit cooperative) through Kemal Propuri system (Independence System Through Individual Fertilizer Production) towards farmer independence. It can be concluded that Kemal Propuri system can contribute in order to achieve farmers independence. Independence fertilizer production will overcome farmers dependence of the subsidized fertilizer from the government.
Food Sovereignty as Local Resistance to Unequal Access to Food and Natural Resources in Latin America: A Gender Perspective
Food sovereignty has been brought by the international peasants’ movement, La Via Campesina, as a precondition to food security, speaking about the right of each nation to keep its own supply of foods respecting cultural, sustainable practices and productive diversity. The political conceptualization nowadays goes beyond saying that this term is about achieving the rights of farmers to control the food systems according to local specificities, and about equality in the access to natural resources and quality food. The current feminization of agroecosystems and of food insecurity identified by researchers and recognized by international agencies like the UN and FAO has enhanced the feminist discourse into the food sovereignty movement, considering the historical inequalities that place women farmers in subaltern positions inside the families and rural communities. The current tendency in many rural areas of more women taking responsibility for food production and still facing the lack of access to natural resources meets particular aspects in Latin America due to the global economic logic which places the Global South in the position of raw material supplier for the industrialized North, combined with regional characteristics. In this context, Latin American countries play the role of commodities exporters in the international labor division, including among exported items grains, soybean paste, and ores, to the expense of local food chains which provide domestic quality food supply under more sustainable practices. The connections between gender inequalities and global territorial inequalities related to the access and control of food and natural resources are pointed out by feminist political ecology - FPE - authors, and are linked in this article to the potentialities and limitations of women farmers to reproduce diversified agroecosystems in the tropical environments. The work brings the importance of local practices held by women farmers which are crucial to maintaining sustainable agricultural systems and their results on seeds, soil, biodiversity and water conservation. This work presents an analysis of documents, releases, videos and other publicized experiences launched by some peasants’ organizations in Latin America which evidence the different technical and political answers that meet food sovereignty from peasants’ groups that are attributed to women farmers. They are associated with articles presenting the empirical analysis of women farmers' practices in Latin America. The combination drove to discuss the benefits of peasants' conceptions about food systems and their connections with local realities and the gender issues linked to the food sovereignty conceptualization. Conclusion meets that reality on the field cannot reach food sovereignty's ideal homogeneously and that agricultural sustainable practices are dependent on rights' achievement and social inequalities' eradication.
Measuring Impacts of Agroforestry on Soil Erosion with Field Devices: Quantifying Potential for Water Infiltration, Soil Conservation, and Payments for Ecosystems Services Schemes
Throughout the second half of the 20th Century, estimates indicate that soil losses due to erosion have impacted one-third of worldwide arable lands. As such, these losses are amongst the largest threats to agriculture sustainability and production potential. Increasing tree cover is considered one of the most efficient methods to mitigate this phenomenon. The present study describes soil erosion measurements in different land cover situations in Alto Huayabamba, Peru, using the experimental plot methodology. Three parcels were studied during a one-year period (starting September 2015) with 3 different land cover scenarii evaluated: 10-year-old secondary tropical forest (P1), 3-year-old native species reforestation (P2) and bare soil (P3). Information was collected systematically after each rain to assess the average rainfall, water runoff and soil eroded. The results indicate that variance in land cover has a strong impact on the level of soil erosion. In our study, it was found that P1, P2 and P3 had erosion rates of 92 kg/ha/yr, 11 tons/ha/yr and 59,7 tons/ha/year respectively. Using a replacement cost method, the potential of limiting erosion by reforesting bare soil was estimated to be 561 $/ha/yr after three years and 687 $/ha/yr after ten years. Finally, the results of the study allow us to assess the potential soil services provided by vegetation, which could be an important building block for a payment for ecosystems services (PES) scheme. The latter has been increasingly spread all over the world through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP).
Economic Assessment of the Fish Solar Tent Dryers
In an effort of reducing post-harvest losses and improving the supply of quality fish products in Malawi, the fish solar tent dryers have been designed in the southern part of Lake Malawi for processing small fish species under the project of Cultivate Africa’s Future (CultiAF). This study was done to promote the adoption of the fish solar tent dryers by the many small scale fish processors in Malawi through the assessment of the economic viability of these dryers. With the use of the project’s baseline survey data, a business model for a constructed ‘ready for use’ solar tent dryer was developed where investment appraisal techniques were calculated in addition with the sensitivity analysis. The study also conducted a risk analysis through the use of the Monte Carlo simulation technique and a probabilistic net present value was found. The investment appraisal results showed that the net present value was US$8,756.85, the internal rate of return was 62% higher than the 16.32% cost of capital and the payback period was 1.64 years. The sensitivity analysis results showed that only two input variables influenced the fish solar dryer investment’s net present value. These are the dried fish selling prices that were correlating positively with the net present value and the fresh fish buying prices that were negatively correlating with the net present value. Risk analysis results showed that the chances that fish processors will make a loss from this type of investment are 17.56%. It was also observed that there exist only a 0.20 probability of experiencing a negative net present value from this type of investment. Lastly, the study found that the net present value of the fish solar tent dryer’s investment is still robust in spite of any changes in the levels of investors risk preferences. With these results, it is concluded that the fish solar tent dryers in Malawi are an economically viable investment because they are able to improve the returns in the fish processing activity. As such, fish processors need to adopt them by investing their money to construct and use them.
Effect of Time and Rate of Nitrogen Application on the Malting Quality of Barley Yield in Sandy Soil
A field experiment was conducted during the winter season of 2013/2014 in the barley production area of Dakhala – New Valley Governorate, Egypt to assess the effect of nitrogen rate and time of N fertilizer application on barley grain yield, yield components and N use efficiency of barley and their association with grain yield. The treatments consisted of three levels of nitrogen (0, 70 and 100 kg N/acre) and five application times. The experiment was laid out as a randomized complete block design with three replication. Results revealed that barley grain yield and yield components increased significantly in response to N rate. Splitting N fertilizer amount at several times result in significant effect on grain yield, yield components, protein content and N uptake efficiency when compared with the entire N was applied at once. Application of N at rate of 100 kg N/acre resulted in accumulation of nitrate in the subsurface soil > 30cm. When N application timing considered, less NO3 was found in the soil profile with splitting N application compared with all preplans application.
Comparative Analysis of Yield before and after Access to Extension Services among Crop Farmers in Bauchi Local Government Area of Bauchi State, Nigeria
The research was carried out to compare the yield of respondents before and after access to extension services on crop production technologies in the study area. Data were collected from the study area through questionnaires administered to seventy-five randomly selected respondents. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-test and regression models. The result disclosed that majority (97%) of the respondent attended one form of school or the other. The majority (78.67%) of the respondents had farm size ranging between 1-3 hectares. The majority of the respondent adopt improved variety of crops, plant spacing, herbicide, fertilizer application, land preparation, crop protection, crop processing and storage of farm produce. The result of the t-test between the yield of respondents before and after access to extension services shows that there was a significant (p< 0.001) difference in yield before and after access to extension. It also indicated that farm size was significant (p< 0.001) while household size, years of farming experience and extension contact were significant at (p< 0.005). The major constraint to adoption of crop production technologies were shortage of extension agents, high cost of technology and lack of access to credit facility. The major pre-requisite for the improvement of extension service are employment of more extension agents or workers and adequate training. Adequate agricultural credit to farmers at low interest rates will enhance their adoption of crop production technologies.
Effect of Juvenile Hormone on Respiratory Metabolism during Non-Diapausing Sesamia cretica Wandering Larvae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
The corn stemborer Sesamia cretica (Lederer), has been viewed in many parts of the world as a major pest of cultivated maize, graminaceous crops and sugarcane. Its life cycle is comprised of two different phases, one is the growth and developmental phase (non-diapause) and the other is diapause phase which takes place at the last larval instar. Several problems associated with the use of conventional insecticides, have strongly demonstrated the need for applying alternative safe compounds. Prominent among the prototypes of such prospective chemicals are the juvenoids; i.e. the insect (JH) mimics. In fact, the hormonal effect on metabolism has long been viewed as a secondary consequence of its direct action on specific energy-requiring biosynthetic mechanisms. Therefore, the present study was undertaken essentially in a rather systematic fashion as a contribution towards clarifying metabolic and energetic changes taking place during non-diapause wandering larvae as regulated by (JH) mimic. For this purpose, we applied two different doses of JH mimic (Ro 11-0111) in a single (standard) dose of 100µg or in a single dose of 20 µg/g bw in1µl acetone topically at the onset of nondiapause wandering larvae (WL). Energetic data were obtained by indirect calorimetry methods by conversion of respiratory gas exchange volumetric data, as measured manometrically using a Warburg constant respirometer, to caloric units (g-cal/g fw/h). The findings obtained can be given in brief; these treated larvae underwent supernumerary larval moults. However, this potential the wandering larvae proved to possess whereby restoration of larval programming for S. cretica to overcome stresses even at this critical developmental period. The results obtained, particularly with the high dose used, show that 98% wandering larvae were rescued to survive up to one month (vs. 5 days for normal controls), finally the formation of larval-adult intermediates. Also, the solvent controls had resulted in about 22% additional, but stationary moultings. The basal respiratory metabolism (O2 uptake and CO2 output) of the (WL), whether un-treated or larvae not had followed reciprocal U-shaped curves all along of their developmental duration. The lowest points stood nearly to the day of prepupal formation (571±187 µl O2/gfw/h and 553±181 µl CO2/gfw/h) during un-treated in contrast to the larvae treated with JH (210±48 µl O2/gfw/h and 335±81 µl CO2/gfw/h). Un-treated (normal) larvae proved to utilize carbohydrates as the principal source for energy supply; being fully oxidised without sparing any appreciable amount for endergonic conversion to fats. While, the juvenoid-treated larvae and compared with the acetone-treated control equivalents, there existed no distinguishable differences between them; both had been observed utilising carbohydrates as the sole source of energy demand and converting endergonically almost similar percentages to fats. The overall profile, treated and un-treated (WL) utilized carbohydrates as the principal source for energy demand during this stage.
Effects of Nickel and Inoculation with Three Isolates of Ectomycorrhizal Fungus Pisolithus on Eucalyptus urophylla S. T. Blake Seedlings
Two moderately nickel-tolerant isolates of Pisolithus were compared with a non-Ni tolerant isolate for the ability to increase the growth of Eucalyptus urophylla seedlings in the presence of nickel (Ni) in pots in a glasshouse. Seedlings, either inoculated with mycorrhizal fungi or uninoculated, were transplanted into pots containing 3 kg steam-pasteurized yellow sand amended with five concentrations of nickel (0, 6, 12, 24 and 48 mg Ni kg-1 soil). Within a day after transplanting, all seedlings subjected to Ni rates greater than 12 mg Ni kg-1 showed symptoms of wilting and all died within two weeks. At lower nickel concentrations, inoculation with all 3 Pisolithus strains increased rates of seedling survival after 12 weeks. Inoculation with all 3 isolates Pisolithus significantly increased the growth of plants in Ni-free soils between 2 to 4 fold dependent on isolate. However, seedlings growing in soils containing 12 mg Ni kg-1 grew poorly, mycorrhizal development was inhibited and no beneficial effects of inoculation were noted. In contrast, in soils containing 6mg Ni kg-1, inoculated seedlings did not show the reduced root growth and severe toxicity symptoms (chlorosis on young leaves and shoot tips) of uninoculated seedlings. Only the Ni-tolerant Pisolithus strains conferred a significant growth benefit compared to non-inoculated controls, and plants inoculated with one of these strains grew twice the size as those inoculated with the other Ni-tolerant strain. Inorganic plant analysis revealed that inoculation increased plant growth through improved P uptake but did not prevent Ni uptake. However, toxicity may have been minimized by dilution due to an increase in plant biomass. The results suggest that only one of the Ni-tolerant strains of Pisolithus has the potential to improve the growth and survival of E. urophylla seedlings in serpentine soils in the Philippines.
Use of Silicate or Chicken Compost in Calacarious Soil on Productivity and Mineral Status of Wheat Plants under Different Levels of Phosphorus
A pot experiment was conducted in greenhouse of NRC, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt to study the response of wheat plants to different levels of superphosphate at (60kg P2O5 or 30 kg P2O5) with or without potassium silicate or chicken compost (2.5 ton/fed.) on growth yield and nutrients status especially, and phosphorus and silica availability. Data reveal that the addition either chicken or compost increased significantly affected on all the growth and yield parameters as well as nutrients status and protein of the different parts of wheat plants if compared with control (60kg P2O5 or 30 kg P2O5). Data also reveal that the highest mean values were obtained when potassium silicate with was added to 60 kg P2O5, while the lowest values of the previous parameters were obtained when 30 kg P2O5 alone was added to plants. Furthermore, data indicated that the highest mean values of all mentioned parameters were obtained when chicken compost was applied with any rate of P as compared with silica addition at the same rates of P. According to the results, the highest values of all mentioned parameters were obtained when addition of chicken compost and potassium silicate including the high rate of P at (60 kg P2O5) while the lowest values of the previous parameters were obtained when plants received of phosphorus (30 kg P2O5) alone.
Selection of Indigenous Tree Species and Microbial Inoculation for the Restoration of Degraded Uplands
Indigenous tree species are priority planting materials for the National Greening Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Areas for reforestation are marginal grasslands where plant growth is stunted and seedling survival is low. This experiment was conducted to compare growth rates and seedling survival of seven indigenous reforestation species. Narra (Pterocarpus indicus), salago (Wikstroemia lanceolata), kisubeng (Sapindus saponaria), tuai (Biscofia javanica), batino (Alstonia macrophylla), bani (Pongamina pinnata) and ipil (Intsia bijuga) were inoculated with Mykovam® (mycorrhizal fungi) and Bio-N® (N2-fixing bacteria) during pricking. After five months in the nursery, the treated seedlings were planted in degraded upland acidic red soil in Cavinti, Laguna (Luzon). During outplanting, all mycorrhiza inoculated seedlings had 50-80% mycorrhizal roots while the control ones had 5-10% mycorrhizal roots. Mykovam increased height of narra, salago and kisubeng. Stem diameter was bigger in mycorrhizal salago than the control. After two years in the field, Mykovam®+Bio-N® inoculated narra, salago and bani gave 95% survival while non-mycorrhizal tuai gave the lowest survival (25%). Inoculated seedlings grew faster than the control. Highest height increase was in batino (103%), followed by bani (95%), ipil (59%), narra (58%), tuai (53%) and kisubeng was the lowest (10%). Stem diameter was increased by Mykovam® from 13-39% over the control. Highest stem diameter was obtained from narra (50%), followed by bani (40%), batino (36%), ipil (33%), salago (28%), kisubeng and tuai (12%) had the lowest. In conclusion, Mykovam® inoculated batino, bani, narra, salago and ipil can be selected to restore degraded upland acidic red soil in the Philippines.
Bamboo: A Trendy and New Alternative to Wood
Bamboo is getting worldwide attention over the last 20 to 30 years due to numerous uses and it is regarded as the closest material that can be used as substitute to wood. In the domestic market, high quality bamboo products are sold in high-end markets while lower quality products are generally sold to medium and low income consumers. The global market in 2006 stands at about 7 billion US dollars and was projected to increase to US$ 17 B from 2015 to 2020. The Philippines had been actively producing and processing bamboo products for the furniture, handicrafts and construction industry. It was however in 2010 that the Philippine bamboo industry was formalized by virtue of Executive Order 879 that stated that the Philippine bamboo industry development is made a priority program of the government and created the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC) to provide the overall policy and program directions of the program for all stakeholders. At present, the most extensive use of bamboo is for the manufacture of engineered bamboo for school desks for all public schools as mandated by EO 879. Also, engineered bamboo products are used for high-end construction and furniture as well as for handicrafts. Development of cheap adhesives, preservatives, and finishing chemicals from local species of plants, development of economical methods of drying and preservation, product development and processing of lesser-used species of bamboo, development of processing tools, equipment and machineries are the strategies that will be employed to reduce the price and mainstream engineered bamboo products in the local and foreign market. In addition, processing wastes from bamboo can be recycled into fuel products such as charcoal are already in use. The more exciting possibility, however, is the production of bamboo pellets that can be used as a substitute for wood pellets for heating, cooking and generating electricity.