International Science Index

237
10008898
Projections of Climate Change in the Rain Regime of the Ibicui River Basin
Abstract:

The global concern about climate change has been increasing, since the emission of gases from human activities contributes to the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, indicating significant impacts to the planet in the coming years. The study of precipitation regime is fundamental for the development of research in several areas. Among them are hydrology, agriculture, and electric sector. Using the climatic projections of the models belonging to the CMIP5, the main objective of the paper was to present an analysis of the impacts of climate change without rainfall in the Uruguay River basin. After an analysis of the results, it can be observed that for the future climate, there is a tendency, in relation to the present climate, for larger numbers of dry events, mainly in the winter months, changing the pluviometric regime for wet summers and drier winters. Given this projected framework, it is important to note the importance of adequate management of the existing water sources in the river basin, since the value of rainfall is reduced for the next years, it may compromise the dynamics of the ecosystems in the region. Facing climate change is fundamental issue for regions and cities all around the world. Society must improve its resilience to phenomenon impacts, and spreading the knowledge among decision makers and citizens is also essential. So, these research results can be subsidies for the decision-making in planning and management of mitigation measures and/or adaptation in south Brazil.

Paper Detail
84
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236
10008961
From Industry 4.0 to Agriculture 4.0: A Framework to Manage Product Data in Agri-Food Supply Chain for Voluntary Traceability
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
61
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235
10008897
The Difficulties Witnessed by People with Intellectual Disability in Transition to Work in Saudi Arabia
Abstract:

The transition of a student with a disability from school to work is the most crucial phase while moving from the stage of adolescence into early adulthood. In this process, young individuals face various difficulties and challenges in order to accomplish the next venture of life successfully. In this respect, this paper aims to examine the challenges encountered by the individuals with intellectual disabilities in transition to work in Saudi Arabia. For this purpose, this study has undertaken a qualitative research-based methodology; wherein interpretivist philosophy has been followed along with inductive approach and exploratory research design. The data for the research has been gathered with the help of semi-structured interviews, whose findings are analysed with the help of thematic analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents of persons with intellectual disabilities, officials, supervisors and specialists of two vocational rehabilitation centres providing training to intellectually disabled students, in addition to that, directors of companies and websites in hiring those individuals. The total number of respondents for the interview was 15. The purposive sampling method was used to select the respondents for the interview. This sampling method is a non-probability sampling method which draws respondents from a known population and allows flexibility and suitability in selecting the participants for the study. The findings gathered from the interview revealed that the lack of awareness among their parents regarding the rights of their children who are intellectually disabled; the lack of adequate communication and coordination between various entities; concerns regarding their training and subsequent employment are the key difficulties experienced by the individuals with intellectual disabilities. Training in programmes such as bookbinding, carpentry, computing, agriculture, electricity and telephone exchange operations were involved as key training programmes. The findings of this study also revealed that information technology and media were playing a significant role in smoothing the transition to employment of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Furthermore, religious and cultural attitudes have been identified to be restricted for people with such disabilities in seeking advantages from job opportunities. On the basis of these findings, it can be implied that the information gathered through this study will serve to be highly beneficial for Saudi Arabian schools/ rehabilitation centres for individuals with intellectual disability to facilitate them in overcoming the problems they encounter during the transition to work.

Paper Detail
89
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234
10008650
Optimal Selling Prices for Small Sized Poultry Farmers
Abstract:
In Japan, meat-type chickens are mainly classified into three categories: (1) Broilers, (2) Branded chickens, and (3) Jidori (Free-range local traditional pedigree chickens). The Jidori chickens are certified by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, whilst, for the Branded chickens, there is no regulation with respect to their breed (genotype) or methods for rearing them. It is, therefore, relatively easy for poultry farmers to introduce Branded than Jidori chickens. The Branded chickens are normally fed a low-calorie diet with ingredients such as herbs, which lengthens their breeding period (compared with that of the Broilers) and increases their market value. In the field of inventory management, fast-growing animals such as broilers are categorised as ameliorating items. To the best of our knowledge, there are no previous studies that have explicitly considered smaller sized poultry farmers with limited breeding areas. This study develops an inventory model for a small sized poultry farmer that produces both the Broilers (Product 1) and the Branded chickens (Product 2) with different amelioration rates. The poultry farmer’s total profit per unit of time is formulated as a function of selling prices by using a price-dependent demand function. The existence of a unique optimal selling price for each product, which maximises the total profit, established. It has also been confirmed through numerical examples that, when the breeding area is fixed, the total profit could increase if the poultry farmer reduced the product quantity of Product 1 to introduce Product 2.
Paper Detail
102
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233
10008926
Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture in Victoria’s Food Bowl: Optimizing Productivity with the use of Decision-Support Tools
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
56
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232
10008715
A Bi-Objective Stochastic Mathematical Model for Agricultural Supply Chain Network
Abstract:
Nowadays, in advanced countries, agriculture as one of the most significant sectors of the economy, plays an important role in its political and economic independence. Due to farmers' lack of information about products' demand and lack of proper planning for harvest time, annually the considerable amount of products is corrupted. Besides, in this paper, we attempt to improve these unfavorable conditions via designing an effective supply chain network that tries to minimize total costs of agricultural products along with minimizing shortage in demand points. To validate the proposed model, a stochastic optimization approach by using a branch and bound solver of the LINGO software is utilized. Furthermore, to accumulate the data of parameters, a case study in Mazandaran province placed in the north of Iran has been applied. Finally, using ɛ-constraint approach, a Pareto front is obtained and one of its Pareto solutions as best solution is selected. Then, related results of this solution are explained. Finally, conclusions and suggestions for the future research are presented.
Paper Detail
120
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231
10008550
Application of Metarhizium anisopliae against Meloidogyne javanica in Soil Amended with Oak Debris
Abstract:

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is one of the most popular, widely grown and the second most important vegetable crop, after potatoes. Nematodes have been identified as one of the major pests affecting tomato production throughout the world. The most destructive nematodes are the genus Meloidogyne. Most widespread and devastating species of this genus are M. incognita, M. javanica, and M. arenaria. These species can cause complete crop loss under adverse growing conditions. There are several potential methods for management of the root knot nematodes. Although the chemicals are widely used against the phytonematodes, because of hazardous effects of these compounds on non-target organisms and on the environment, there is a need to develop other control strategies. Nowadays, non-chemical measures are widely used to control the plant parasitic nematodes. Biocontrol of phytonematodes is an important method among environment-friendly measures of nematode management. There are some soil-inhabiting fungi that have biocontrol potential on phytonematodes, which can be used in nematode management program. The fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, originally is an entomopathogenic bioagent. Biocontrol potential of this fungus on some phytonematodes has been reported earlier. Recently, use of organic soil amendments as well as the use of bioagents is under special attention in sustainable agriculture. This research aimed to reduce the pesticide use in control of root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne javanica in tomato. The effects of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and different levels of oak tree debris on M. javanica were determined. The combination effect of the fungus as well as the different rates of soil amendments was determined. Pots were filled with steam pasteurized soil mixture and the six leaf tomato seedlings were inoculated with 3000 second stage larvae of M. javanica/kg of soil. After eight weeks, plant growth parameters and nematode reproduction factors were compared. Based on the results of our experiment, combination of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and oak debris caused more than 90% reduction in reproduction factor of nematode, at the rates of 100 and 150 g/kg soil (P ≤ 0.05). As compared to control, the reduction in number of galls was 76%. It was 86% for nematode reproduction factor, showing the significance of combined effect of both tested agents. Our results showed that plant debris can increase the biological activity of the tested bioagent. It was also proved that there was no adverse effect of oak debris, which potentially has antimicrobial activity, on antagonistic power of applied bioagent.

Paper Detail
149
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230
10008620
Soil Moisture Control System: A Product Development Approach
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
146
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229
10008498
Effect of Nanoparticles on Wheat Seed Germination and Seedling Growth
Abstract:

Wheat is an important cereal crop for food security. Boosting the wheat production and productivity is the major challenge across the nation. Good quality of seed is required for maintaining optimum plant stand which ultimately increases grain yield. Ensuring a good germination is one of the key steps to ensure proper plant stand and moisture assurance during seed germination may help to speed up the germination. The tiny size of nanoparticles may help in entry of water into seed without disturbing their internal structure. Considering above, a laboratory experiment was conducted during 2012-13 at G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, India. The completely randomized design was used for statistical analysis. The experiment was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, the appropriate concentration of nanoparticles for seed treatment was screened. In second phase seed soaking hours of nanoparticles for better seed germination were standardized. Wheat variety UP2526 was taken as test crop. Four nanoparticles (TiO2, ZnO, nickel and chitosan) were taken for study. The crop germination studies were done in petri dishes and standard package and practices were used to raise the seedlings. The germination studies were done by following standard procedure. In first phase of the experiment, seeds were treated with 50 and 300 ppm of nanoparticles and control was also maintained for comparison. In the second phase of experiment, seeds were soaked for 4 hours, 6 hours and 8 hours with 50 ppm nanoparticles of TiO2, ZnO, nickel and chitosan along with control treatment to identify the soaking time for better seed germination. Experiment revealed that the application of nanoparticles help to enhance seed germination. The study revealed that seed treatment with  nanoparticles at 50 ppm concentration increases root length, shoot length, seedling length, shoot dry weight, seedling dry weight, seedling vigour index I and seedling vigour index II as compared to seed soaking at 300 ppm concentration. This experiment showed that seed soaking up to 4 hr was better as compared to 6 and 8 hrs. Seed soaking with nanoparticles specially TiO2, ZnO, and chitosan proved to enhance germination and seedling growth indices of wheat crop.

Paper Detail
211
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228
10008271
Aromatic and Medicinal Plants in Morocco: Diversity and Socio-Economic Role
Abstract:
Morocco is characterized by a great richness and diversity in aromatic and medicinal plants and it has an ancestral knowledge in the use of plants for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. In effect, the poverty of riparian, specially, mountain populations have greatly contributed to the development of traditional pharmacopoeia in Morocco. The analysis of the bibliographic data showed that a large number of plants in Morocco are exploited for aromatic and medicinal purposes and several of them are commercialized internationally. However, these potentialities of aromatic and medicinal plants are currently subjected to climate change and strong human pressures: Collecting fruits, agriculture development, harvesting plants, urbanization, overgrazing...
Paper Detail
227
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227
10008148
Intellectual Property Protection of CRISPR Related Technologies
Abstract:
CRISPR research has the potential to completely transform life science, agriculture, live-stock and the health care industry. The Intellectual Property derived from its research has raised significant attention in the academic as well as the biopharmaceutical industry culminating an urgent need for strategic IP protection. We review the rudimentary concepts and key competitors of CRISPR technologies as well as the paramount strategies for intellectual property protection. Further, we elaborate on prosecution issues related to CRISPR patents as well as possible solutions to various patent laws, interferences and litigation. Finally, we address how the bioinformatics of the CRISPR technology begs an inquiry into issues of privacy and a host of ethical concerns.
Paper Detail
460
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226
10008185
Topographic Mapping of Farmland by Integration of Multiple Sensors on Board Low-Altitude Unmanned Aerial System
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
203
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225
10008213
Effects of Lateness Gene on Yield and Related Traits in Indica Rice
Abstract:

Various genes which control or affect heading time have been found in rice. Out of them, Se1 and E1 loci play important roles in determining heading time by controlling photosensitivity. An isogenic-line pair of late and early lines were developed from progenies of the F1 from Suweon 258 × 36U. A lateness gene tentatively designated as “Ex” was found to control the difference in heading time between the early and late lines mentioned above. The present study was conducted to examine the effect of Ex on yield and related traits. Indica-type variety Suweon 258 was crossed with 36U, which is an Ur1 (Undulate rachis-1) isogenic line of IR36. In the F2 population, comparatively early-heading, late-heading and intermediate-heading plants were segregated. Segregation similar to that by the three types of heading was observed in the F3 and later generations. A late-heading plant and an early-heading plant were selected in the F8 population from an intermediate-heading F7 plant, for developing L and E of the isogenic-line pair, respectively. Experiments for L and E were conducted by randomized block design with three replications. Transplanting was conducted on May 3 at a planting distance of 30 cm × 15 cm with two seedlings per hill to an experimental field of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kochi University. Chemical fertilizers containing N, P2O5 and K2O were applied at the nitrogen levels of 4 g/m2, 9 g/m2 and 18 g/m2 in total being denoted by "N4", "N9" and "N18", respectively. Yield, yield components and other traits were measured. Ex delayed 80%-heading by 17 or 18 days in L as compared with E. In total brown rice yield (g/m2), L was 635, 606 and 590, and E was 577, 548 and 501, respectively, at N18, N9 and N4, indicating that Ex increased this trait by 10% to 18%. Ex increased yield-1.5 mm sieve (g/m2) b 9% to 15% at the three fertilizer levels. Ex increased the spikelet number per panicle by 16% to 22%. As a result, the spikelet number per m2 was increased by 11% to 18% at the three fertilizer levels. Ex decreased 1000-grain weight (g) by 2 to 4%. L was not significantly different from E in ripened-grain percentage, fertilized-spikelet percentage and percentage of ripened grains to fertilized spikelets. Hence, it is inferred that Ex increased yield by increasing spikelet number per panicle. Hence, Ex could be utilized to develop high yielding varieties for warmer districts.

Paper Detail
211
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224
10008674
Humic Acid and Azadirachtin Derivatives for the Management of Crop Pests
Abstract:

Organic cultivation of crops is gaining importance consumer awareness towards pesticide residue free foodstuffs is increasing globally. This is also because of high costs of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, making the conventional farming non-remunerative. In India, organic manures (such as vermicompost) are an important input in organic agriculture.  Though vermicompost obtained through earthworm and microbe-mediated processes is known to comprise most of the crop nutrients, but they are in small amounts thus necessitating enrichment of nutrients so that crop nourishment is complete. Another characteristic of organic manures is that the pest infestations are kept under check due to induced resistance put up by the crop plants. In the present investigation, deoiled neem cake containing azadirachtin, copper ore tailings (COT), a source of micro-nutrients and microbial consortia were added for enrichment of vermicompost. Neem cake is a by-product obtained during the process of oil extraction from neem plant seeds. Three enriched vermicompost blends were prepared using vermicompost (at 70, 65 and 60%), deoiled neem cake (25, 30 and 35%), microbial consortia and COTwastes (5%). Enriched vermicompost was thoroughly mixed, moistened (25+5%), packed and incubated for 15 days at room temperature. In the crop response studies, the field trials on chili (Capsicum annum var. longum) and soybean, (Glycine max cv JS 335) were conducted during Kharif 2015 at the Main Agricultural Research Station, UAS, Dharwad-Karnataka, India. The vermicompost blend enriched with neem cake (known to possess higher amounts of nutrients) and vermicompost were applied to the crops and at two dosages and at two intervals of crop cycle (at sowing and 30 days after sowing) as per the treatment plan along with 50% recommended dose of fertilizer (RDF). 10 plants selected randomly in each plot were studied for pest density and plant damage. At maturity, crops were harvested, and the yields were recorded as per the treatments, and the data were analyzed using appropriate statistical tools and procedures. In the crops, chili and soybean, crop nourishment with neem enriched vermicompost reduced insect density and plant damage significantly compared to other treatments. These treatments registered as much yield (16.7 to 19.9 q/ha) as that realized in conventional chemical control (18.2 q/ha) in soybean, while 72 to 77 q/ha of green chili was harvested in the same treatments, being comparable to the chemical control (74 q/ha). The yield superiority of the treatments was of the order neem enriched vermicompost>conventional chemical control>neem cake>vermicompost>untreated control.  The significant features of the result are that it reduces use of inorganic manures by 50% and synthetic chemical insecticides by 100%.

Paper Detail
68
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10007967
Problems of Youth Employment in Agricultural Sector of Georgia and Causes of Migration
Abstract:
The article substantiates that youth employment in Georgia, especially in the agricultural sector, is an acute socio-economic problem. The paper analyzes the indicators of youth employment and unemployment rates by age and gender in the agriculture sector. Research revealed that over the past decade, the unemployment rate in rural areas has decreased; however, the problem of unemployment is more sensitive than in the city in this field. The article established youth unemployment rates in rural areas; it assesses labor and educational migration causes. Based on the survey, there are proposed findings and recommendations of the agricultural sector about improving youth employment, reducing unemployment rate, reaching migration processes optimization.
Paper Detail
227
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222
10007968
Consumer Market of Agricultural Products and Agricultural Policy in Georgia
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
233
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221
10007880
Study on Changes of Land Use impacting the Process of Urbanization, by Using Landsat Data in African Regions: A Case Study in Kigali, Rwanda
Abstract:
Human activities on land use make the land-cover gradually change or transit. In this study, we examined the use of Landsat TM data to detect the land use change of Kigali between 1987 and 2009 using remote sensing techniques and analysis of data using ENVI and ArcGIS, a GIS software. Six different categories of land use were distinguished: bare soil, built up land, wetland, water, vegetation, and others. With remote sensing techniques, we analyzed land use data in 1987, 1999 and 2009, changed areas were found and a dynamic situation of land use in Kigali city was found during the 22 years studied. According to relevant Landsat data, the research focused on land use change in accordance with the role of remote sensing in the process of urbanization. The result of the work has shown the rapid increase of built up land between 1987 and 1999 and a big decrease of vegetation caused by the rebuild of the city after the 1994 genocide, while in the period of 1999 to 2009 there was a reduction in built up land and vegetation, after the authority of Kigali city established, a Master Plan where all constructions which were not in the range of the master Plan were destroyed. Rwanda's capital, Kigali City, through the expansion of the urban area, it is increasing the internal employment rate and attracts business investors and the service sector to improve their economy, which will increase the population growth and provide a better life. The overall planning of the city of Kigali considers the environment, land use, infrastructure, cultural and socio-economic factors, the economic development and population forecast, urban development, and constraints specification. To achieve the above purpose, the Government has set for the overall planning of city Kigali, different stages of the detailed description of the design, strategy and action plan that would guide Kigali planners and members of the public in the future to have more detailed regional plans and practical measures. Thus, land use change is significantly the performance of Kigali active human area, which plays an important role for the country to take certain decisions. Another area to take into account is the natural situation of Kigali city. Agriculture in the region does not occupy a dominant position, and with the population growth and socio-economic development, the construction area will gradually rise and speed up the process of urbanization. Thus, as a developing country, Rwanda's population continues to grow and there is low rate of utilization of land, where urbanization remains low. As mentioned earlier, the 1994 genocide massacres, population growth and urbanization processes, have been the factors driving the dramatic changes in land use. The focus on further research would be on analysis of Rwanda’s natural resources, social and economic factors that could be, the driving force of land use change.
Paper Detail
235
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10008088
Decreasing Environmental Pollution in Superphosphate Production Using Apatite and Phosphorite Mixture
Authors:
Abstract:

The enhanced need for food items is receiving more importance due to a gradual increase in the world population and, in this scenario, fertilizers play a very important role in agriculture. In this study, the production of the normal superphosphate was investigated with a continuous chamber method by adding potassium chloride to a mixture of Hibin apatite and Kingisepp phosphorite. In the experiments, the following parameters were selected: The concentration of sulfuric acid (54–66% (w/w)), the stoichiometric norm of sulfuric acid (100, 107, 110, 114% (w/w)), the ratio of apatite/phosphorite in the mixture of phosphate (95/5, 90/10, 85/15, 80/20, 75/25, 70/30, 65/35,60/40, 55/45, 50/50 (w/w)), potassium chloride/the mixture of phosphate (1/50, 2/50, 3/50,4/50, 5/50 (w/w)), and the reaction time (2–8 min). It was observed that by adding potassium chloride to a low-grade phosphorite and using it to substitute a fraction of high-grade apatite in the normal superphosphate production not only resulted in a high-quality product but also eliminated the waiting period for the maturation of superphosphate in the storage. The objective of this study was to produce a normal superphosphate fertilizer by using a continuous chamber method in order to accelerate the production process and to reduce the environmental pollution caused by fluoride gases by eliminating the maturation time in the storage.

Paper Detail
163
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10007552
Spatial Variation of WRF Model Rainfall Prediction over Uganda
Abstract:
Rainfall is a major climatic parameter affecting many sectors such as health, agriculture and water resources. Its quantitative prediction remains a challenge to weather forecasters although numerical weather prediction models are increasingly being used for rainfall prediction. The performance of six convective parameterization schemes, namely the Kain-Fritsch scheme, the Betts-Miller-Janjic scheme, the Grell-Deveny scheme, the Grell-3D scheme, the Grell-Fretas scheme, the New Tiedke scheme of the weather research and forecast (WRF) model regarding quantitative rainfall prediction over Uganda is investigated using the root mean square error for the March-May (MAM) 2013 season. The MAM 2013 seasonal rainfall amount ranged from 200 mm to 900 mm over Uganda with northern region receiving comparatively lower rainfall amount (200–500 mm); western Uganda (270–550 mm); eastern Uganda (400–900 mm) and the lake Victoria basin (400–650 mm). A spatial variation in simulated rainfall amount by different convective parameterization schemes was noted with the Kain-Fritsch scheme over estimating the rainfall amount over northern Uganda (300–750 mm) but also presented comparable rainfall amounts over the eastern Uganda (400–900 mm). The Betts-Miller-Janjic, the Grell-Deveny, and the Grell-3D underestimated the rainfall amount over most parts of the country especially the eastern region (300–600 mm). The Grell-Fretas captured rainfall amount over the northern region (250–450 mm) but also underestimated rainfall over the lake Victoria Basin (150–300 mm) while the New Tiedke generally underestimated rainfall amount over many areas of Uganda. For deterministic rainfall prediction, the Grell-Fretas is recommended for rainfall prediction over northern Uganda while the Kain-Fritsch scheme is recommended over eastern region.
Paper Detail
293
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218
10008000
Methods for Preparation of Soil Samples for Determination of Trace Elements
Abstract:

It is generally accepted that only about ten microelements are vitally important to all plants, and approximately ten more elements are proved to be significant for the development of some species. The main methods for their determination in soils are the atomic spectral techniques - AAS and ICP-OAS. Critical stage to obtain correct results for content of heavy metals and nutrients in the soil is the process of mineralization. A comparative study of the most widely spread methods for soil sample preparation for determination of some trace elements was carried out. Three most commonly used methods for sample preparation were used as follows: ISO11466, EPA Method 3051 and BDS ISO 14869-1. Their capabilities were assessed and their bounds of applicability in determining the levels of the most important microelements in agriculture were defined.

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116
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10008187
Historical and Future Rainfall Variations in Bangladesh
Abstract:

Climate change has become a major concern across the world as the intensity along with quantity of the rainfall, mean surface temperature and other climatic parameters have been changed not only in Bangladesh but also in the entire globe. Bangladesh has already experienced many natural hazards. Among them changing of rainfall pattern, erratic and heavy rainfalls are very common. But changes of rainfall pattern and its amount is still in question to some extent. This study aimed to unfold how the historical rainfalls varied over time and how would be their future trends. In this context, historical rainfall data (1975-2014) were collected from Bangladesh Metrological Department (BMD) and then a time series model was developed using Box-Jenkins algorithm in IBM SPSS to forecast the future rainfall. From the historical data analysis, this study revealed that the amount of rainfall decreased over the time and shifted to the post monsoons. Forecasted rainfall shows that the pre-monsoon and early monsoon will get drier in future whereas late monsoon and post monsoon will show huge fluctuations in rainfall magnitudes with temporal variations which means Bangladesh will get comparatively drier seasons in future which may be a serious problem for the country as it depends on agriculture.

Paper Detail
181
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216
10008907
Model-Driven and Data-Driven Approaches for Crop Yield Prediction: Analysis and Comparison
Abstract:
Crop yield prediction is a paramount issue in agriculture. The main idea of this paper is to find out efficient way to predict the yield of corn based meteorological records. The prediction models used in this paper can be classified into model-driven approaches and data-driven approaches, according to the different modeling methodologies. The model-driven approaches are based on crop mechanistic modeling. They describe crop growth in interaction with their environment as dynamical systems. But the calibration process of the dynamic system comes up with much difficulty, because it turns out to be a multidimensional non-convex optimization problem. An original contribution of this paper is to propose a statistical methodology, Multi-Scenarios Parameters Estimation (MSPE), for the parametrization of potentially complex mechanistic models from a new type of datasets (climatic data, final yield in many situations). It is tested with CORNFLO, a crop model for maize growth. On the other hand, the data-driven approach for yield prediction is free of the complex biophysical process. But it has some strict requirements about the dataset. A second contribution of the paper is the comparison of these model-driven methods with classical data-driven methods. For this purpose, we consider two classes of regression methods, methods derived from linear regression (Ridge and Lasso Regression, Principal Components Regression or Partial Least Squares Regression) and machine learning methods (Random Forest, k-Nearest Neighbor, Artificial Neural Network and SVM regression). The dataset consists of 720 records of corn yield at county scale provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the associated climatic data. A 5-folds cross-validation process and two accuracy metrics: root mean square error of prediction(RMSEP), mean absolute error of prediction(MAEP) were used to evaluate the crop prediction capacity. The results show that among the data-driven approaches, Random Forest is the most robust and generally achieves the best prediction error (MAEP 4.27%). It also outperforms our model-driven approach (MAEP 6.11%). However, the method to calibrate the mechanistic model from dataset easy to access offers several side-perspectives. The mechanistic model can potentially help to underline the stresses suffered by the crop or to identify the biological parameters of interest for breeding purposes. For this reason, an interesting perspective is to combine these two types of approaches.
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10007183
A Review on Climate Change and Sustainable Agriculture in Southeast Nigeria
Abstract:

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.

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10007184
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
Abstract:

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.

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363
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10007200
Effect of Entomopathogenic Fungi on the Food Consumption of Acrididae Species
Abstract:

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.

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10007250
Characterization and Optimization of Culture Conditions for Sulphur Oxidizing Bacteria after Isolation from Rhizospheric Mustard Soil, Decomposing Sites and Pit House
Abstract:

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 in all kinds of environment ranging from normal soil, water habitats to extreme natural sources like geothermal areas, volcanic eruptions, black shale and acid rock drainage (ARD). SOB have been isolated from low pH environment of anthropogenic origin like acid mine drainage (AMD) and bioleaching heaps, hence these can work efficiently in different environmental conditions. Besides having many applications in field of environment science, they may be proven to be very beneficial in area of agriculture as sulphur is the fourth major macronutrients required for the growth of plants. More amount of sulphur is needed by pulses and oilseed crops with respect to 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. Sulphur is generally found in soils in many forms which are unavailable for plants (cannot be use by plants) like elemental sulphur, thiosulphate which can be taken up by bacteria and converted into simpler forms usable by plants by undergoing a series of transformations. So, keeping the importance of sulphur in view for various soil types, 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 2.785 mM, respectively. Also, these were optimized for various culture conditions like carbon, nitrogen source, pH, temperature, and incubation time, and characterization was also done.

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297
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10007155
Development of a Cost Effective Two Wheel Tractor Mounted Mobile Maize Sheller for Small Farmers in Bangladesh
Abstract:

Two-wheel tractor (power tiller) is a common tillage tool in Bangladesh agriculture for easy access in fragmented land with affordable price of small farmers. Traditional maize sheller needs to be carried from place to place by hooking with two-wheel tractor (2WT) and set up again for shelling operation which takes longer time for preparation of maize shelling. The mobile maize sheller eliminates the transportation problem and can start shelling operation instantly any place as it is attached together with 2WT. It is counterclockwise rotating cylinder, axial flow type sheller, and grain separated with a frictional force between spike tooth and concave. The maize sheller is attached with nuts and bolts in front of the engine base of 2WT. The operating power of the sheller comes from the fly wheel of the engine of the tractor through ‘V” belt pulley arrangement. The average shelling capacity of the mobile sheller is 2.0 t/hr, broken kernel 2.2%, and shelling efficiency 97%. The average maize shelling cost is Tk. 0.22/kg and traditional custom hire rate is Tk.1.0/kg, respectively (1 US$=Tk.78.0). The service provider of the 2WT can transport the mobile maize sheller long distance in operator’s seating position. The manufacturers started the fabrication of mobile maize sheller. This mobile maize sheller is also compatible for the other countries where 2WT is available for farming operation.

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153
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10007278
Characterization of the Microbial Induced Carbonate Precipitation Technique as a Biological Cementing Agent for Sand Deposits
Abstract:

The population increase in Egypt is urging for horizontal land development which became a demand to allow the benefit of different natural resources and expand from the narrow Nile valley. However, this development is facing challenges preventing land development and agriculture development. Desertification and moving sand dunes in the west sector of Egypt are considered the major obstacle that is blocking the ideal land use and development. In the proposed research, the sandy soil is treated biologically using Bacillus pasteurii bacteria as these bacteria have the ability to bond the sand partials to change its state of loose sand to cemented sand, which reduces the moving ability of the sand dunes. The procedure of implementing the Microbial Induced Carbonate Precipitation Technique (MICP) technique is examined, and the different factors affecting on this process such as the medium of bacteria sample preparation, the optical density (OD600), the reactant concentration, injection rates and intervals are highlighted. Based on the findings of the MICP treatment for sandy soil, conclusions and future recommendations are reached.

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188
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10007367
Conservation Agriculture Practice in Bangladesh: Farmers’ Socioeconomic Status and Soil Environment Perspective
Abstract:

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.

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261
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10006812
A Neuro-Automata Decision Support System for the Control of Late Blight in Tomato Crops
Abstract:

The use of decision support systems in agriculture may help monitoring large fields of crops by automatically detecting the symptoms of foliage diseases. In our work, we designed and implemented a decision support system for small tomatoes producers. This work investigates ways to recognize the late blight disease from the analysis of digital images of tomatoes, using a pair of multilayer perceptron neural networks. The networks outputs are used to generate repainted tomato images in which the injuries on the plant are highlighted, and to calculate the damage level of each plant. Those levels are then used to construct a situation map of a farm where a cellular automata simulates the outbreak evolution over the fields. The simulator can test different pesticides actions, helping in the decision on when to start the spraying and in the analysis of losses and gains of each choice of action.

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335
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