Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics (JARTS)
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    406 research outputs found

    Exploring the non-genetic factors that affect reproduction traits of Saanen Goats in Indonesia

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    Adjustment of trait records for different non-genetic factors increases the accuracy of genetic parameters and enables more accurate selection. This study aimed to investigate the non-genetic factors affecting reproductive traits in Saanen goats at the Baturraden breeding centre, Indonesia. The data of 71 Saanen does from the years 2014 to 2021 consisted of reproductive traits, namely, total birth weight (TBW), age at first kidding (AFK), kidding interval (KI), litter size (LS), multiple birth rate (MBR) and kidding failure rate (KFR). Non-genetic factors explored included parity, season of kidding (SK), and year of kidding (YK). The data was analysed using STATISTICA statistical package version 8.0. First, the descriptive statistics of reproductive traits were analysed; second, the effect of non-genetic factors on reproductive traits was analysed using one-way ANOVA. The mean ± SE values for the descriptive analysis were LS (1.28±0.41), TBW (6.35±0.24 kg), KI (9.46±0.28 months), AFK (15.63±0.64 months), MBR (29%) and KFR (17%). The one-way ANOVA results indicated significant effects of parity (p0.05) on TBW and LS, while SK had a significant effect on AFK (p0.0001), and YK had significant effects on TBW, AFK (p0.0001), and LS (p0.001). The TBW, LS and MBR increased as parity advanced, while KI declined with parity. The AFK was higher in dry season (19.3±3.58 months) than in wet season (13.3±3.05 months). Therefore, the study concluded that non-genetic factors have a significant effect on reproductive traits. Adjusting reproductive traits for significant non-genetic factors increases the accuracy of estimated genetic parameters and selection programs for these traits in Saanen goats

    Economic evaluation of biological nitrogen fixation in flooded rice cultivation in subtropical lowlands

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    This study aimed to assess the economic viability of biological nitrogen fixation in flood rice cultivation in subtropical lowlands. A field experiment of seven treatments was carried out during the cropping seasons 2015/16, 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 at the Lowland Experimental Station of Embrapa, in Pelotas, RS, Brazil. The evaluated treatments were: (1) negative control (without N and inoculant); (2) positive control with recommended N-fertilization (120 kg N ha-1, without inoculant) (standard recommendation); (3) inoculant 1 (accessions CMM 174 + CMM 175 + CMM 179); (4) inoculant 2 (accessions CMM 176 + CMM 197 + CMM 205); (5) combination of reduced N-fertilizer doses (90 kg N ha-1) + inoculant 1; (6) combination of reduced N-fertilizer doses (90 kg N ha-1) + inoculant 2; and (7) commercial inoculant [Azospirillum brasilense (strains Ab-V5 and Ab-V6)]. A partial budget was used to compare evaluated treatments with the standard recommendation regarding nitrogen fertilisation. Inoculant 2 composed of bacterial accessions CMM 176 (Rhizobium sp.), CMM 197 (Bacillus sp.) and CMM 205 (Aeromicrobium sp.) combined with reduced mineral nitrogen fertilisation [90 kg N ha-1 (applied in top dressing)] demonstrates the best agroeconomic efficiency in the production of irrigated rice in subtropical lowlands with the cultivar BRS Pampa

    Small-scale farmers’ coping strategies to extreme weather events in Upper Guinea

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    Extreme weather events pose a serious threat to subsistence farming and food security in Upper Guinea, where most farmers rely heavily on rain-fed agriculture. Following crop failures, farmers use what is available to them to try to maintain household food security. This paper investigated the coping strategies chosen by farmers in Upper Guinea and the motivating factors behind them. A multistage sampling method was used to select a purposive random sample of 1,500 farm households within nine selected livelihood zones (Bassando, Dion-Niandan Inter-River, Fié basin, Foutanian Piémont, Kolokalan High Valley, Middle Plateau, Solima's High Plateau, Soudanese Plateau and Woulada plateau) of Upper Guinea affected by extreme weather events. Approaches including household surveys, focus group discussions, key informant interviews and field observations were used to collect data. The multivariate probit regression (MVP) model was used to identify factors influencing small-scale farmers’ choice of coping strategies during periods of extreme weather events. Results from the MVP model showed that differences in the perception of risk factors and socioeconomic characteristics of farm households determined these choices. The main factors motivating farmers’ choice of coping strategies were awareness of extreme weather events, gender, the experience of crop failures, and ownership of assets. Other factors such as age, farming experience, household size, and educational level, were also determinants of farmers’ choice of coping strategies. Local institutional support to farmers that could drive widespread adoption of climate-smart agriculture could improve livelihood production and community resilience in this region

    Plantain mycorrhization with native consortium of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) induce solubilisation of metals (Fe2+ and Al3+) in soil from Azaguié (south-east of Côte d’Ivoire)

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    New agroecological practices propose to manage soil fertility using soil microorganisms such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). However, few studies have been conducted on the impact of plantain mycorrhization and metal (Fe2+ and Al3+) solubilisation in soil. This study evaluates the effectiveness of native AMF on plantain growth and metal leaching from soil. Trap plants (maize, sorghum and cowpea) were grown to produce various inoculums. Then, plantains were grown under controlled conditions, with six treatments (control, plantain without inoculum, plantain with maize root inoculum, vigna root inoculum, sorghum root inoculum and mixed root inoculum) replicated five times. Growth parameters were measured, and the rate of plantain root colonization was evaluated by determining the frequency or intensity of infection. The contents of metals in leached solutions were analyzed using ICP-OES. Results indicated the rate of plantain roots colonization by fungi was not significantly different between the different treatments. Plantain biomass remained very low whatever the treatment. However, plant inoculated with vigna roots inoculum had the highest biomass while plant inoculated with sorghum root inoculum showed the lowest biomass. Leached solutions from soils with inoculated plants had on average a pH value of one pH unit lower than leached solutions from soils without inoculum. In addition, plantain mycorrhization can promote the leaching of Fe2+ from the soil by acidification, whereas the difference between treatments was not significant for the concentration of Al3+ in solutions. These results suggest that the association of plantain with microorganisms remains a way for agroecological banana production in Côte d’Ivoire

    Intervention options for small-scale family poultry development in south-eastern Madagascar: an expert survey

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    The diets of resource-poor farmers in the Atsimo Atsinanana (AA) region of south-eastern Madagascar have limited diversity and are low in animal protein. Although poultry farming is widespread, productivity is low, and consumption of eggs is uncommon. To enable effective development interventions targeting poultry value chains, this study pursues two goals: (i) to describe current challenges in small-scale poultry rearing and egg consumption in AA, and (ii) to explore viable options for promoting poultry production. We employ a survey approach, carrying out semi-structured interviews with 16 international and 12 local key informants (KIs) on small-scale poultry development. We find that poultry production in AA is critically constrained by high mortality due to diseases and predation, poor husbandry, and lack of veterinary services. The major health constraint is the Newcastle disease. Given the high mortality rates and low egg-laying potential of local chicken breeds, only small numbers of eggs are consumed, as farmers prioritise hatching. The main identified solutions include improvements in veterinary health and animal husbandry. KIs emphasised the development of animal health support services, including village vaccinators, upgrading feed with locally accessible protein sources, and the need for biosecure housing. Furthermore, training for farmers on poultry management, marketing, and vaccinations was suggested, in addition to creating awareness about the nutritional benefits of poultry products. Our findings are relevant to local development practitioners, as achieving food and nutrition security requires a multifaceted approach that fits local conditions. Our study provides actionable recommendations for improving small-scale family poultry production in AA.

    Determination of consumer milk price in the informal dairy market in Bangladesh: A district level analysis of vertical system linkage

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    The objective of this study was to identify the determinants of consumer milk prices and test the hypothesis that input prices, e.g., rice straw and wheat bran, as well as the farmgate milk price exert an influence on the consumer milk price. A unique panel dataset from July 2018 to June 2021 was obtained from the Integrated Dairy Research Network (IDRN) Bangladesh Monthly Dairy Sector database and was analysed using the Generalized Methods of Moments (GMM) methodology. The data collection and validation were done with a national panel of experts jointly with the data collection and processing team. The study found: a) vertical linkage with input and output price is highly affecting the consumers milk price which was due to the substantial variation across the regions and time; b) The dynamic panel analysis of GMM revealed mixed relationship between input prices (rice straw and wheat bran), farm gate milk prices, and the consumer milk price; c) The farmgate milk price determines the increase in consumer milk prices, and it is possible to predict the consumer milk price based on the time-price-system interaction variability of the farmgate milk price; d) Using COVID-19 as a proxy for real time impact, the study found a stark impact of COVID-19 on the input price and output prices and triggering a decrease in consumer milk prices by 3.96 BDT kg-1 milk (0.05 USD kg-1). The findings of this study are expected to be beneficial to the decisions making process of dairy farmers, milk processors, feed industry, consumers, and policy makers

    Estimation of growth parameters in Brahman cattle from Mexico

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    The objectives were to evaluate non-linear models (NLM) to define the growth curve of Brahman cattle in Mexico. The database was derived from weight development control, with live weight measurements (150,932 in females and 286,804 in males) taken in the interval from birth to 1095 days of age. Four NLM were evaluated: Brody, Bertalanffy, Gompertz and Logistic. The selection of the NLM with the best adjustment was made based on the Akaike and Bayesian information criteria. Growth parameters were generated: adult weight (AW), growth rate (GR), correlation (ϒ) between AW and GR, age and weight at the inflection point, evolution of live weight (as a percentage of adult weight), maturity level, daily growth rate (DGR; kg/day). The model with the best fit was Brody, followed by Bertalanffy. For AW, the average value was 787.2 kg for males and 592.1 kg for females; for GR, the average values (%) were 0.28 for males and 0.25 for females. All ϒ were less than -0.90. The DGR, for males presented values in the range of 0.347 to 0.786 and a mean of 0.537; for females, the mean was 0.424 with values in the range of 0.274 to 0.620. Heifers at 15 months of age reach an average weight of 287 kg, representing 57.7% of the adult weight. The growth analysis shows the response and/or adaptation to tropical livestock, based on a growth curve with a constant growth rate and no inflection poin

    Climate-smart production of coffee: Improving social and environmental sustainability by Reinhold Muschler (ed.)

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    Coffee production changed dramatically over the years. Through mass marketing, coffee consumption increased exponentially until the 1970s. Speciality coffees emerged to satisfy a specific group of consumers, and such segmentation of the market continues until today based on refined gradations in quality and taste, along with a greater focus on social and environmental responsibility. Especially the latter trend in coffee consumption also highlights the need for coffee growers to shift their production system to a climate-friendly approach. Not only to meet the respective demand in the coffee market, but also to contribute their part to reduce the environmental impact of the coffee industry. How this can be done is outlined in this highly interesting and easy to read publication. The book is divided into parts, of which the first comprises seven chapters and starts with a description of the environmental sustainability of growing coffee and the farmers’ income - why do (smallholder) coffee producers earn so little? It clearly shows how the livelihoods of these producers can be improved and how a more sustainable coffee sector can be created. The challenges faced by small- and medium-scale coffee growers are presented and ways forward are identified. The environmental services that coffee farmers can provide, such as carbon sequestration and storage, biodiversity protection, watershed protection, and cultural and recreational benefits, are also detailed.In the chapter on accessing and managing the environmental and social impacts of coffee production, for example, the carbon footprint of a cup of coffee as well as the greenhouse gas emissions on coffee farms are elaborated. Relevant factors that reduce environmental impacts, such as shade management and biodiversity management options, are presented to. The book also introduces the reader to the fair trade coffee market by asking the question “How fair is fair?”. It shows that an important aspect of fair trade should be the price paid to the producer. It should enable farmers to lead a decent life and finance additional investments to enable them shifting to more sustainable production methods and adjusting to climate change.Coffee breeding aspects are also covered in this publication, with a separate chapter on advances in Arabica coffee breeding. This chapter describes, among other things, the genetic resources of Arabica varieties, available germplasm banks, and variety selection criteria, such as yield, resistance to coffee leaf rust, as well as to other pest and diseases. Like most chapters in this book, this one also ends with a list of addresses where further information can be obtained. This extra information can be very helpful to practitioners and researchers alike.The last chapter of the book’s first part deals with post-harvest practices; here the steps and processes are discussed that ensure that a maximum amount of raw coffee beans is converted into a final, saleable product with maximum taste.The second part deals in depth with sustainable pest and disease management. It describes the insect pests and diseases that affect coffee production in different agroecosystems, as well as alternative pest control methods. Two diseases have their own chapter: coffee leaf rust and coffee wilt disease. The last three chapters of the second part present integrated management approaches towards control of nematodes, soil-borne insect and fungal pests, and weeds in coffee production systems.Overall, this book that is based on extensive research by a wide range of internationally recognised experts, is of interest to all stakeholders in the coffee value chain, including extension workers and their organisations

    Female farmers in the Galapagos: An invisible force

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    Despite the crucial contributions of women to agriculture and food security, female farmers in the Galapagos Islands face persistent challenges that hinder the recognition and valuation of their work. Furthermore, the lack of gender-disaggregated data tailored to their local and contextual realities presents an ongoing challenge for evidence-based policy formulation, hampering the response to their specific needs and challenges. Taking a departure from the dominant quantitative approach in agricultural research, this scholarly article delves into the Galapagos Islands as a socio-ecological system, employing qualitative methods that integrate meaning and emotion. With the objective of exploring the role of women in Galapagos' agriculture, the study contributes to the gender discourses and advances knowledge on the gendered dimensions of agriculture in the Galapagos Islands. Employing semi-structured in-depth interviews, focus groups, and a thematic analysis guided by Ecofeminist Ethics of Care approaches, the research draws upon the lived experiences of 26 female farmers from six parishes in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. Their narratives sheds light on the nuanced needs, responsibilities, challenges, and concerns that shape the experiences of these women. Our empirical findings reveal four key dimensions characterizing the role of female farmers: providing nutritious food to families and communities, transmitting knowledge and retaining skills, diversifying the agroecosystem, and conserving the environment. Moreover, our investigation highlights the ongoing marginalization experienced by these women across various domains. They encounter significant challenges that hinder their equitable and meaningful engagement in agriculture, including the double burden of childcare and household responsibilities, financial constraints, discriminatory practices, and tokenism. We arrive at the conclusion that, female farmers in the Galapagos exhibit a caregiving orientation within their farming practices. Recognising the significance of their role is imperative. To nurture these caregiving practices, addressing their challenges, such as improving living conditions and providing enhanced opportunities, is paramount. Consequently, we offer actionable recommendations for gender mainstreaming in the Galapagos' agricultural sector

    Characterisation of the lactation curve of Gyr and Sardo Negro cattle

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    The objectives were to characterize the lactation curves (LC) of tropical Gyr and Sardo Negro (SN) cattle from Mexico for the design of breeding and management programs for these breeds. A total of 3561 records of 504 lactations and 3927 records of 449 lactations were used for Gyr and SN, respectively. Three lactation lengths (LL) were evaluated, namely 240 (240d), 270 (270d), and 300 (300d) days, with five non-linear models (NLM): Wood, Wiltmink, Cobby, Brody, and Sikka. Milk production was obtained at the beginning (PI; kg), daily average (PMD; kg), maximum at peak (PMX; kg), days to reach maximum production (DP), and accumulated total (PT; kg). The selection of models was made based in the Akaike and Bayesian information criteria. The NLM explained at least 88% of the variability in the data. Brody model provided the best fit for 240d and 270d, and Sikka for 300d in SN; for Gyr, Wood model showed the best fit for 240d and 270d, while Wiltmink had the best fit for 300d. The means for PMD were 5.3 kg in SN and 10.2 kg in Gyr; for PMX the averages were 6.9 kg and 12.7 kg, respectively. The average of PT, within LL (240d, 270d, and 300d), was 1297 kg, 1418 kg, and 1552 kg for SN, and 2653 kg, 2930 kg, and 3202 kg for Gyr, respectively. The first third of the LC presented the highest contribution (%), with average values of 37.4 in Gyr and 39.5 in SN; the second and third periods, contributed (%) 33.5 and 29.1 in Gyr, and 33.0 and 27.5 in SN, respectively. The 240d LL, are the proposals for the design of management, feeding, and genetic improvement programs, they presented the best statistical adjustment in both breeds


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    Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics (JARTS)
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