International Science Index

216
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
47
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215
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.

Paper Detail
119
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214
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.

Paper Detail
89
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213
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.

Paper Detail
81
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212
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.

Paper Detail
87
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211
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.

Paper Detail
44
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210
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.

Paper Detail
58
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209
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.

Paper Detail
62
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208
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.

Paper Detail
154
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207
10006830
Green Synthesized Iron Oxide Nanoparticles: A Nano-Nutrient for the Growth and Enhancement of Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) Plant
Abstract:

Iron oxide nanoparticles (Fe2O3NPs) are widely used in different applications due to its ecofriendly nature and biocompatibility. Hence, in this investigation, biosynthesized Fe2O3NPs influence on flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) plant was examined. The biosynthesized nanoparticles were found to be cubic phase which is confirmed by XRD analysis. FTIR analysis confirmed the presence of functional groups corresponding to the iron oxide nanoparticle. The elemental analysis also confirmed that the obtained nanoparticle is iron oxide nanoparticle. The scanning electron microscopy and the transmission electron microscopy confirm that the average particle size was around 56 nm. The effect of Fe2O3NPs on seed germination followed by biochemical analysis was carried out using standard methods. The results obtained after four days and 11 days of seed vigor studies showed that the seedling length (cm), average number of seedling with leaves, increase in root length (cm) was found to be enhanced on treatment with iron oxide nanoparticles when compared to control. A positive correlation was noticed with the dose of the nanoparticle and plant growth, which may be due to changes in metabolic activity. Hence, to evaluate the change in metabolic activity, peroxidase and catalase activities were estimated. It was clear from the observation that higher concentration of iron oxide nanoparticles (Fe2O3NPs 1000 mg/L) has enhanced peroxidase and catalase activities and in turn plant growth. Thus, this study clearly showed that biosynthesized iron oxide nanoparticles will be an effective nano-nutrient for agriculture applications.

Paper Detail
228
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206
10006884
Effect of Urea Deep Placement Technology Adoption on the Production Frontier: Evidence from Irrigation Rice Farmers in the Northern Region of Ghana
Abstract:
Rice is an important staple crop, with current demand higher than the domestic supply in Ghana. This has led to a high and unfavourable import bill. Therefore, recent policies and interventions in the agricultural sub-sector aim at promoting various improved agricultural technologies in order to improve domestic production and reduce the importation of rice. In this study, we examined the effect of the adoption of Urea Deep Placement (UDP) technology by rice farmers on the position of the production frontier. This involved 200 farmers selected through a multi stage sampling technique in the Northern region of Ghana. A Cobb-Douglas stochastic frontier model was fitted. The result showed that the adoption of UDP technology shifts the output frontier outward and also move the farmers closer to the frontier. Farmers were also operating under diminishing returns to scale which calls for redress. Other factors that significantly influenced rice production were farm size, labour, use of certified seeds and NPK fertilizer. Although there was an opportunity for improvement, the farmers were highly efficient (92%), compared to previous studies. Farmers’ efficiency was improved through increased education, household size, experience, access to credit, and lack of extension service provision by MoFA. The study recommends the revision of Ghana’s agricultural policy to include the UDP technology. Agricultural Extension officers of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) should be trained on the UDP technology to support IFDC’s drive to improve adoption by rice farmers. Rice farmers are also encouraged to expand their farm lands, improve plant population, and also increase the usage of fertilizer to improve yields. Mechanisms through which credit can be made easily accessible and effectively utilised should be identified and promoted.
Paper Detail
116
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205
10007359
Understanding the Notion between Resiliency and Recovery through a Spatial-Temporal Analysis of Section 404 Wetland Alteration Permits before and after Hurricane Ike
Abstract:

Historically, wetlands in the United States have been lost due to agriculture, anthropogenic activities, and rapid urbanization along the coast. Such losses of wetlands have resulted in high flooding risk for coastal communities over the period of time. In addition, alteration of wetlands via the Section 404 Clean Water Act permits can increase the flooding risk to future hurricane events, as the cumulative impact of this program is poorly understood and under-accounted. Further, recovery after hurricane events is acting as an encouragement for new development and reconstruction activities by converting wetlands under the wetland alteration permitting program. This study investigates the degree to which hurricane recovery activities in coastal communities are undermining the ability of these places to absorb the impacts of future storm events. Specifically, this work explores how and to what extent wetlands are being affected by the federal permitting program post-Hurricane Ike in 2008. Wetland alteration patterns are examined across three counties (Harris, Galveston, and Chambers County) along the Texas Gulf Coast over a 10-year time period, from 2004-2013 (five years before and after Hurricane Ike) by conducting descriptive spatial analyses. Results indicate that after Hurricane Ike, the number of permits substantially increased in Harris and Chambers County. The vast majority of individual and nationwide type permits were issued within the 100-year floodplain, storm surge zones, and areas damaged by Ike flooding, suggesting that recovery after the hurricane is compromising the ecological resiliency on which coastal communities depend. The authors expect that the findings of this study can increase awareness to policy makers and hazard mitigation planners regarding how to manage wetlands during a long-term recovery process to maintain their natural functions for future flood mitigation.

Paper Detail
62
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204
10007508
The Infiltration Interface Structure of Suburban Landscape Forms in Bimen Township, Anji, Zhejiang Province, China
Abstract:

Coordinating and promoting urban and rural development has been a new round of institutional change in Zhejiang province since 2004. And this plan was fully implemented, which showed that the isolation between the urban and rural areas had gradually diminished. Little by little, an infiltration interface that is dynamic, flexible and interactive is formed, and this morphological structure starts to appear on the landscape form in the surrounding villages. In order to study the specific function and formation of the structure in the context of industrial revolution, Bimen village located on the interface between Anji Township, Huzhou and Yuhang District, Hangzhou is taken as the case. Anji township is in the cross area between Yangtze River delta economic circle and innovation center in Hangzhou. Awarded with ‘Chinese beautiful village’, Bimen has witnessed the growing process of infiltration in ecology, economy, technology and culture on the interface. Within the opportunity, Bimen village presents internal reformation to adapt to the energy exchange with urban areas. In the research, the reformation is to adjust the industrial structure, to upgrade the local special bamboo crafts, to release space for activities, and to establish infrastructures on the interface. The characteristic of an interface is elasticity achieved by introducing an Internet platform using ‘O2O’ agriculture method to connect cities and farmlands. There is a platform of this kind in Bimen named ‘Xiao Mei’. ‘Xiao’ in Chinese means small, ‘Mei’ means beautiful, which indicates the method to refine the landscape form. It turns out that the new agriculture mode will strengthen the interface by orienting the Third Party Platform upon the old dynamic basis and will bring new vitality for economy development in Bimen village. The research concludes opportunities and challenges generated by the evolution of the infiltration interface. It also proposes strategies for how to organically adapt to the urbanization process. Finally it demonstrates what will happen by increasing flexibility in the landscape forms of suburbs in the Bimen village.

Paper Detail
21
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203
10006451
Productivity Effect of Urea Deep Placement Technology: An Empirical Analysis from Irrigation Rice Farmers in the Northern Region of Ghana
Abstract:

This study examined the effect of Urea Deep Placement (UDP) technology on the output of irrigated rice farmers in the northern region of Ghana. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 142 rice farmers from the Golinga and Bontanga irrigation schemes, around Tamale. A treatment effect model was estimated at two stages; firstly, to determine the factors that influenced farmers’ decision to adopt the UDP technology and secondly, to determine the effect of the adoption of the UDP technology on the output of rice farmers. The significant variables that influenced rice farmers’ adoption of the UPD technology were sex of the farmer, land ownership, off-farm activity, extension service, farmer group participation and training. The results also revealed that farm size and the adoption of UDP technology significantly influenced the output of rice farmers in the northern region of Ghana. In addition to the potential of the technology to improve yields, it also presents an employment opportunity for women and youth, who are engaged in the deep placement of Urea Super Granules (USG), as well as in the transplantation of rice. It is recommended that the government of Ghana work closely with the IFDC to embed the UDP technology in the national agricultural programmes and policies. The study also recommends an effective collaboration between the government, through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) to train agricultural extension agents on UDP technology in the rice producing areas of the country.

Paper Detail
198
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202
10006476
21st Century Biotechnological Research and Development Advancements for Industrial Development in India
Authors:
Abstract:

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

Paper Detail
261
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201
10006554
Comparative Study of Conventional and Satellite Based Agriculture Information System
Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to compare the conventional crop monitoring system with the satellite based crop monitoring system in Pakistan. This study is conducted for SUPARCO (Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission). The study focused on the wheat crop, as it is the main cash crop of Pakistan and province of Punjab. This study will answer the following: Which system is better in terms of cost, time and man power? The man power calculated for Punjab CRS is: 1,418 personnel and for SUPARCO: 26 personnel. The total cost calculated for SUPARCO is almost 13.35 million and CRS is 47.705 million. The man hours calculated for CRS (Crop Reporting Service) are 1,543,200 hrs (136 days) and man hours for SUPARCO are 8, 320hrs (40 days). It means that SUPARCO workers finish their work 96 days earlier than CRS workers. The results show that the satellite based crop monitoring system is efficient in terms of manpower, cost and time as compared to the conventional system, and also generates early crop forecasts and estimations. The research instruments used included: Interviews, physical visits, group discussions, questionnaires, study of reports and work flows. A total of 93 employees were selected using Yamane’s formula for data collection, which is done with the help questionnaires and interviews. Comparative graphing is used for the analysis of data to formulate the results of the research. The research findings also demonstrate that although conventional methods have a strong impact still in Pakistan (for crop monitoring) but it is the time to bring a change through technology, so that our agriculture will also be developed along modern lines.

Paper Detail
202
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200
10006628
Vulnerability of Indian Agriculture to Climate Change: A Study of the Himalayan Region State
Abstract:
Climate variability and changes are the emerging challenges for Indian agriculture with the growing population to ensure national food security. A study was conducted to assess the Climatic Change effects in medium to low altitude areas of the Himalayan region causing changes in land use and cereal crop productivity with the various climatic parameters. The rainfall and temperature changes from 1951 to 2013 were studied at four locations of varying altitudes, namely Hardwar, Rudra Prayag, Uttar Kashi and Tehri Garwal. It was observed that there is noticeable increment in temperature on all the four locations. It was surprisingly observed that the mean rainfall intensity of 30 minutes duration has increased at the rate of 0.1 mm/hours since 2000. The study shows that the combined effect of increasing temperature, rainfall, runoff and urbanization at the mid-Himalayan region is causing an increase in various climatic disasters and changes in agriculture patterns. A noticeable change in cropping patterns, crop productivity and land use change was observed. Appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies are necessary to ensure that sustainable and climate-resilient agriculture. Appropriate information is necessary for farmers, as well as planners and decision makers for developing, disseminating and adopting climate-smart technologies.
Paper Detail
373
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10006086
A Corporate Social Responsibility Project to Improve the Democratization of Scientific Education in Brazil
Authors:
Abstract:

Nuclear technology is part of our everyday life and its beneficial applications help to improve the quality of our lives. Nevertheless, in Brazil, most often the media and social networks tend to associate radiation to nuclear weapons and major accidents, and there is still great misunderstanding about the peaceful applications of nuclear science. The Educational Portal Radioatividades (Radioactivities) is a corporate social responsibility initiative that takes advantage of the growing impact of Internet to offer high quality scientific information for teachers and students throughout Brazil. This web-based initiative focusses on the positive applications of nuclear technology, presenting the several contributions of ionizing radiation in different contexts, such as nuclear medicine, agriculture techniques, food safety and electric power generation, proving nuclear technology as part of modern life and a must to improve the quality of our lifestyle. This educational project aims to contribute for democratization of scientific education and social inclusion, approaching society to scientific knowledge, promoting critical thinking and inspiring further reflections. The website offers a wide variety of ludic activities such as curiosities, interactive exercises and short courses. Moreover, teachers are offered free web-based material with full instructions to be developed in class. Since year 2013, the project has been developed and improved according to a comprehensive study about the realistic scenario of ICTs infrastructure in Brazilian schools and in full compliance with the best e-learning national and international recommendations.

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334
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10006087
The Nuclear Energy Museum in Brazil: Creative Solutions to Transform Science Education into Meaningful Learning
Abstract:

Nuclear technology is a controversial issue among a great share of the Brazilian population. Misinformation and common wrong beliefs confuse public’s perceptions and the scientific community is expected to offer a wider perspective on the benefits and risks resulting from ionizing radiation in everyday life. Attentive to the need of new approaches between science and society, the Nuclear Energy Museum, in northeast Brazil, is an initiative created to communicate the growing impact of the beneficial applications of nuclear technology in medicine, industry, agriculture and electric power generation. Providing accessible scientific information, the museum offers a rich learning environment, making use of different educational strategies, such as films, interactive panels and multimedia learning tools, which not only increase the enjoyment of visitors, but also maximize their learning potential. Developed according to modern active learning instructional strategies, multimedia materials are designed to present the increasingly role of nuclear science in modern life, transforming science education into a meaningful learning experience. In year 2016, nine different interactive computer-based activities were developed, presenting curiosities about ionizing radiation in different landmarks around the world, such as radiocarbon dating works in Egypt, nuclear power generation in France and X-radiography of famous paintings in Italy. Feedback surveys have reported a high level of visitors’ satisfaction, proving the high quality experience in learning nuclear science at the museum. The Nuclear Energy Museum is the first and, up to the present time, the only permanent museum in Brazil devoted entirely to nuclear science.

Paper Detail
331
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10006331
Environmental Consequences of Metal Concentrations in Stream Sediments of Atoyac River Basin, Central Mexico: Natural and Industrial Influences
Abstract:
Atoyac River, a major south-central river flowing through the states of Puebla and Tlaxcala in Mexico is significantly impacted by the natural volcanic inputs in addition with wastewater discharges from urban, agriculture and industrial zones. In the present study, core samples were collected from R. Atoyac and analyzed for sediment granularity, major (Al, Fe, Ca, Mg, K, P and S) and trace elemental concentrations (Ba, Cr, Cd, Mn, Pb, Sr, V, Zn, Zr). The textural studies reveal that the sediments are mostly sand sized particles exceeding 99% and with very few to no presence of mud fractions. It is observed that most of the metals like (avg: all values in μg g-1) Ca (35,528), Mg (10,789), K (7453), S (1394), Ba (203), Cr (30), Cd (4), Pb (11), Sr (435), Zn (76) and Zr (88) are enriched throughout the sediments mainly sourced from volcanic inputs, source rock composition of Atoyac River basin and industrial influences from the Puebla city region. Contamination indices, such as anthropogenic factor (AF), enrichment factor (EF) and geoaccumulation index (Igeo), were used to investigate the level of contamination and toxicity as well as quantitatively assess the influences of human activities on metal concentrations. The AF values (>1) for Ba, Ca, Mg, Na, K, P and S suggested volcanic inputs from the study region, where as Cd and Zn are attributed to the impacts of industrial inputs in this zone. The EF and Igeo values revealed an extreme enrichment of S and Cd. The ecological risks were evaluated using potential ecological risk index (RI) and the results indicate that the metals Cd and V pose a major hazard for the biological community.
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215
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10006448
Impact of HIV/AIDS on Food Security in Pala Sub-Location, Bondo District, Kenya
Abstract:

Background: HIV/AIDS is leading to the loss of labor through sickness and subsequent death, this is leading to the neglect of farm and off-farm activities, with the subsequent loss of potential income and food security. The situation is sensitive to seasonal labour peaks in agriculture. This study was done to determine the impact of high HIV prevalence in farming systems and food security in Pala Bondo District, Kenya. Methods: In this study, 386 respondents were randomly chosen in Pala Sub-Location. The respondents and key informants were interviewed using structured questionnaire. The data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 16. Results: It was established that majority of respondents (67%) were between 18 and 35 years {χ2 = (1, N = 386) = 13.430, p = 0.000} (chimney effect). The study also established that 83.5% of respondents were married {χ2 = (1, N= 370) = 166.277 p = 0.000} and predominant occupation being farming and fishing (61%), while 52.8% of farm labour was by hand, 26% by oxen, and 4.9% mechanized. 73.2% of respondents only farm 0.25 to 2 acres, 48% mentioned lack of labour in land preparation {χ2 ((1,N = 321) = 113.146, p = 0.000), in planting {χ2 (1, N = 321) = 29.28, p = 0.000}. Majority of respondents lack food from January to June, during which 93% buy food. Conclusion: The high HIV prevalence in Pala has affected the farm labour leading to food insecurity.

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132
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10005953
Characterisation of Fractions Extracted from Sorghum Byproducts
Abstract:

Sorghum byproducts, namely bran, stalk, and panicle are examples of lignocellulosic biomass. These raw materials contain large amounts of polysaccharides, in particular hemicelluloses, celluloses, and lignins, which if efficiently extracted, can be utilised for the development of a range of added value products with potential applications in agriculture and food packaging sectors. The aim of this study was to characterise fractions extracted from sorghum bran and stalk with regards to their physicochemical properties that could determine their applicability as food-packaging materials. A sequential alkaline extraction was applied for the isolation of cellulosic, hemicellulosic and lignin fractions from sorghum stalk and bran. Lignin content, phenolic content and antioxidant capacity were also investigated in the case of the lignin fraction. Thermal analysis using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) revealed that the glass transition temperature (Tg) of cellulose fraction of the stalk was ~78.33 oC at amorphous state (~65%) and water content of ~5%. In terms of hemicellulose, the Tg value of stalk was slightly lower compared to bran at amorphous state (~54%) and had less water content (~2%). It is evident that hemicelluloses generally showed a lower thermal stability compared to cellulose, probably due to their lack of crystallinity. Additionally, bran had higher arabinose-to-xylose ratio (0.82) than the stalk, a fact that indicated its low crystallinity. Furthermore, lignin fraction had Tg value of ~93 oC at amorphous state (~11%). Stalk-derived lignin fraction contained more phenolic compounds (mainly consisting of p-coumaric and ferulic acid) and had higher lignin content and antioxidant capacity compared to bran-derived lignin fraction.

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482
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10006080
Soil Moisture Regulation in Irrigated Agriculture
Abstract:

Seepage capillary anomalies in the active layer of soil, related to the soil water movement, often cause variation of soil hydrophysical properties and become one of the main objectives of the hydroecology. It is necessary to mention that all existing equations for computing the seepage flow particularly from soil channels, through dams, bulkheads, and foundations of hydraulic engineering structures are preferable based on the linear seepage law. Regarding the existing beliefs, anomalous seepage is based on postulates according to which the fluid in free volume is characterized by resistance against shear deformation and is presented in the form of initial gradient. According to the above-mentioned information, we have determined: Equation to calculate seepage coefficient when the velocity of transition flow is equal to seepage flow velocity; by means of power function, equations for the calculation of average and maximum velocities of seepage flow have been derived; taking into consideration the fluid continuity condition, average velocity for calculation of average velocity in capillary tube has been received.

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219
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10006269
Effect of Two Different Biochars on Germination and Seedlings Growth of Salad, Cress and Barley
Abstract:
The application of biochar to soils is becoming more and more common. Its application which is generally reported to improve the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils, has an indirect effect on soil health and increased crop yields. However, many of the previous results are highly variable and dependent mainly on the initial soil properties, biochar characteristics, and production conditions. In this study, two biochars which are biochar II (BC II) derived from a blend of paper sludge and wheat husks and biochar 005 (BC 005) derived from sewage sludge with a KCl additive, are used, and the physical and chemical properties of BC II are characterized. To determine the potential impact of salt stress and toxic and volatile substances, the second part of this study focused on the effect biochars have on germination of salad (Lactuca sativa L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare), and cress (Lepidium sativum) respectively. Our results indicate that Biochar II showed some unique properties compared to the soil, such as high EC, high content of K, Na, Mg, and low content of heavy metals. Concerning salad and barley germination test, no negative effect of BC II and BC 005 was observed. However, a negative effect of BC 005 at 8% level was revealed. The test of the effect of volatile substances on germination of cress revealed a positive effect of BC II, while a negative effect was observed for BC 005. Moreover, the water holding capacities of biochar-sand mixtures increased with increasing biochar application. Collectively, BC II could be safely used for agriculture and could provide the potential for a better plant growth.
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221
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10005802
Yield and Sward Composition Responses of Natural Grasslands to Treatments Meeting Sustainability
Abstract:

An outstanding part of the animal products are based on the grasslands, due to the fact that the grassland ecosystems can be found all over the globe. In places where economical and successful crop production cannot be managed, the grassland based animal husbandry can be an efficient way of food production. In addition, these ecosystems have an important role in carbon sequestration, and with their rich flora – and fauna connected to it – in conservation of biodiversity. The protection of nature, and the sustainable agriculture is getting more and more attention in the European Union, but, looking at the consumers’ needs, the production of healthy food cannot be neglected either. Because of these facts, the effects of two specific composts - which are officially authorized in organic farming, in Agri-environment Schemes and Natura 2000 programs – on grass yields and sward compositions were investigated in a field trial. The investigation took place in Hungary, on a natural grassland based on solonetz soil. Three rates of compost (10 t/ha, 20 t/ha, 30 t/ha) were tested on 3 m X 10 m experimental plots. Every treatment had four replications and both type of compost had four-four control plots too, this way 32 experimental plots were included in the investigations. The yield of the pasture was harvested two-times (in May and in September) and before cutting the plots, measurements on botanical compositions were made. Samples for laboratory analysis were also taken. Dry matter yield of pasture showed positive responses to the rates of composts. The increase in dry matter yield was partly due to some positive changes in sward composition. It means that the proportions of grass species with higher yield potential increased in ground cover of the sward without depressing out valuable native species of diverse natural grasslands. The research results indicate that the use of organic compost can be an efficient way to increase grass yields in a sustainable way.

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255
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10006034
Agriculture in the Dominican Republic: Competitiveness in a New Trade Regime and Lessons for Cuba
Abstract:

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

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205
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10005532
Jatropha curcas L. Oil Selectivity in Froth Flotation
Abstract:

In Brazil, most soils are acidic and low in essential nutrients required for the growth and development of plants, making fertilizers essential for agriculture. As the biggest producer of soy in the world and a major producer of coffee, sugar cane and citrus fruits, Brazil is a large consumer of phosphate. Brazilian’s phosphate ores are predominantly from igneous rocks showing a complex mineralogy, associated with carbonites and oxides, typically iron, silicon and barium. The adopted industrial concentration circuit for this type of ore is a mix between magnetic separation (both low and high field) to remove the magnetic fraction and a froth flotation circuit composed by a reverse flotation of apatite (barite’s flotation) followed by direct flotation circuit (rougher, cleaner and scavenger circuit). Since the 70’s fatty acids obtained from vegetable oils are widely used as lower-cost collectors in apatite froth flotation. This is a very effective approach to the apatite family of minerals, being that this type of collector is both selective and efficient (high recovery). This paper presents Jatropha curcas L. oil (JCO) as a renewable and sustainable source of fatty acids with high selectivity in froth flotation of apatite. JCO is considerably rich in fatty acids such as linoleic, oleic and palmitic acid. The experimental campaign involved 216 tests using a modified Hallimond tube and two different minerals (apatite and quartz). In order to be used as a collector, the oil was saponified. The results found were compared with the synthetic collector, Fotigam 5806 produced by Clariant, which is composed mainly by soy oil. JCO showed the highest selectivity for apatite flotation with cold saponification at pH 8 and concentration of 2.5 mg/L. In this case, the mineral recovery was around 95%.

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307
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10005584
Fisheries Education in Karnataka: Trends, Current Status, Performance and Prospects
Abstract:
This paper looks at the development of Fisheries education in Karnataka and the supply of skilled human capital to the sector. The study tries to analyse their job occupancy patterns, Compound Growth Rate (CGR) and forecasts the fisheries graduates supply using the Holt method. In Karnataka, fisheries are one of the neglected allied sectors of agriculture in spite of having enormous scope and potential to contribute to the State's agriculture GDP. The State Government has been negligent in absorbing skilled human capital for the development of fisheries, as there are so many vacant positions in both education institutes, as well as the State fisheries department. CGR and forecasting of fisheries graduates shows a positive growth rate and increasing trend, from which we can understand that by proper utilization of skilled human capital can bring development in the fisheries sector of Karnataka.
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423
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10005761
Limestone Briquette Production and Characterization
Abstract:

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

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345
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187
10006904
Reverse Engineering of Agricultural Machinery: A Key to Food Sufficiency in Nigeria
Abstract:

Agriculture employs about three-quarter of Nigeria's workforce and yet food sufficiency is a challenge in the country. This is largely due to poor and outdated pre-harvest and post-harvest farming practices. The land fallow system is still been practised as fertiliser production in the country is grossly inadequate and expensive. The few available post-harvest processing facilities are faced with ageing and are inefficient. Also, use of modern processing equipment is limited by farmers' lack of fund, adequate capacity to operate and maintain modern farming equipment. This paper, therefore, examines key barriers to agricultural products processing equipment in the country. These barriers include over-dependence on foreign technologies and expertise; poor and inadequate manufacturing infrastructure; and lack of political will by political leaders; lack of funds; and lack of adequate technical skills. This paper, however, sees the increase in the domestic manufacturing of pre-harvest and post-harvest machinery and equipment through reverse engineering approach as a key to food production sufficiency in Nigeria.

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82
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