1 Trends, Perceptions and Adaptation Options of Arable Crop Farmers to Climate Change in Imo State, Nigeria; Multinomial Logit Model Approach, Onubuogu, G.C and N.S Esiobu
The study evaluated the trends, perceptions and adaptation options of arable crop farmers to climate change in Imo State, Nigeria. Specifically, the study identified socio-economic characteristics of the farmers; determined farmers perceptions on climatic variables; examined trends of climatic variables in Imo State, Nigeria; determined farmers adaptation options to climate change and identified farmers barriers to climate change in the study area. Multi-stage random sampling technique was adopted in selection of respondents. The sample size comprised sixty farming households. The main tool for data collection was a set of structured, validated and pre-tested questionnaire. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistical tools, trend analysis and multinomial logit regression model. In order to forecast the future trends of climate change in the area and beyond, climatic record of 40 years duration were obtained between 1972 and 2012 from Agro-meteorological Station, National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria. Findings revealed mean age of the farmers to be 43.24years. Majority (73.33%) were males. Greater proportion (71.67%) were married with an average household size of six persons while the average farm income was N59,500.00. Farmers cultivated on an average farm size of 0.97ha. Majority (86.67%) have access to climate change information. The study confirmed the evidence of climate change in the area as result from trend analysis revealed a sustained decrease in number of rainy days and relative humidity between 1972 and 2012, while results on temperature level and sunshine duration from 1972-2012 showed an increasingly significant trends respectively. If the trend continues, arable crop production (vegetables, maize, okra, roots and tubers) in the area may be adverse with time. Perceptions of farmers on temperature level (63.33%), relative humidity (65.00%), rainfall amount (78.33%) and sunshine duration (81.67%) were all in line with the trends analysis result. Thus, it is obvious that arable crop farmers in the area are noticing the change and its negative impact in the area and are responding to the change through the adoption of certain local practices to thwart its negative impacts. Estimated multinomial logit model (likelihood ratio statistics) showed that socio-economic characteristics of the farmers have a significant influence on their adaptation options to climate change. Farmers complained of inadequate information and inadequate funds as the major barrier in adaptation to climate change. It was therefore recommended that effective agricultural policies and programmes should focus on intensifying awareness on climate change. Effort should also focus on integrated development supports to provide education, vocational skills and trainings to the farmers in the area. Ultimately, the government investment strategies should address access to credit and increase agricultural extension service delivery as this would affect farmers adaptation to climate change positively.
2 Acidification of roots and tolerance against oxidative stress of wheat (Triticum aestivum) under saline conditions, Muhammad Atiq-ur-Rahman, Muhammad Saqib, Javaid Akhtar and Rashid Ahmad
This solution culture study has been conducted to investigate the antioxidant activity and rhizosphere acidification of salt tolerant and salt sensitive wheat genotypes under salt stress conditions. At the time of harvest physical growth parameters were recorded and ionic composition was determined from dried, ground and digested material of shoot and root. The eaf samples were collected and processed for the determination of antioxidant enzymes. The activities of antioxidant enzymes including SOD, POD and CAT were determined, rhizosphere acidification involving determination of ash alkalinity and release of organic acids in root exudates were also determined. Both the genotypes showed positive co-relations between the amount of Na+ present in them and the activities of antioxidant enzymes. Ash alkalinity also showed a positive co-relation with Na+ concentration for both genotypes. An increase in the release of organic acids was observed under salt stress, tolerant genotype (25-SAWSN-12) showed better growth under salt stress as compared to sensitive genotypes (25-SAWSN-8) by accumulating less Na+ and Cl-, and more K+ in it. Salt tolerant genotypes should be grown in saline areas as they release more organic acids and thus lower the pH of roots making more nutrients available under salt stress. Key words: Acidification, Oxidative stress, tolerance, wheat, Triticum aestivum.
3 Assessment on major apple diseases and insect pests in Chench and Bonke Woredas of Gamo Gofa zone, Southern Ethiopia, Seifu Fetena* and Berhanu Lemma
Assessment on major apple diseases and insect pests was conducted in Chencha and Bonkeworedas of Gamo Gofa Zone in 2012/13 cropping season. The aim of the study was to determine occurrences and assess impacts of major diseases and insect-pests. Survey was done to assess the awareness level of the farmers about the apple insect pests and diseases. From the two woredas, five administrative kebles were purposively selected. A total of 90 respondents (73 male and 17 female) were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires. In addition group discussions were made with selected farmers of the study areas. Data was analyzed by using descriptive statistics by employing SPSS software version 15. Apple scab and powdery mildew (45.1%) as measured during the survey period was the serious disease. Insect pests such as apple aphids, scale insects and green plant bugs were also observed. Royal Gala variety being replaced by Crispin in Chencha due to its susceptibility to apple scab disease. About 35% of respondents revealed that farm tools and winds were the main spreading mechanisms of major apple diseases and insect pests. About 48.3 % of the respondents indicated that they are using different traditional apple disease and insect pest control methods. About 28.3% of the respondents were revealed that 151-250 apple seedlings and apple mother trees lost due to major apple diseases and insect pests. About 28.3% of the respondents were revealed that less than 25 kg of apple fruit lost due to major apple diseases and insect pests. It can be concluded that the awareness of farmers about most of the diseases and insect pests were very low. Therefore, this study recommended that there is an urgent need from concerned offices to improve apple farming system in the study area. Key words: Assessment, Apple, Diseases, Insect pests, Respondent, Chencha and Bonke.