Volume 5 Number 8 August 2019

Agriculture Status and Women’s Role in Agriculture Production and Rural Transformation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Authors: Hilmi S. Salem
Pages: 132-150
This paper focuses on the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), comprised of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, with respect to the status of agriculture and the role of Palestinian women in the agriculture sector, water management, and agricultural sustainability in rural areas in the OPT.  Recent estimates indicate that 15.4% and 7.8% of the total employed are employed in the agriculture sector in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, respectively. Despite the fact that the contribution of the agriculture sector to the GDP has decreased to 3% only, this sector is still hosting until recently 7.5%–10.5%, on average, of the employed in the OPT. Palestinian women only compose 18% of the labor force, and a little bit more than one fifth of them (22%, which is equivalent to around 4% of the women’s labor force) contribute to the agricultural sector in the OPT. However, most of women’s labor in the informal sector remains hidden and, thus, their contribution to the agriculture sector in the form of home-based activities is much higher than what is officially reported. Over 30% of informal agricultural work is performed by women as part of their domestic responsibilities. In addition, Palestinian women work at home as well as in the field, contributing effectively to the agriculture sector (plant and animal production) and, thus, to sustainable development in the OPT. With respect to water resources, women in rural areas play a considerable role in making water available for domestic and agricultural use, either by bringing water from far distances or getting water from springs and domestic harvesting wells (cisterns). Despite the fact that the status of agriculture in the OPT is really bad and getting even worse, and despite the presence of economic, financial, and political hardships and challenges, Palestinian women have obviously contributed to the agricultural sector towards achieving sustainable development in their communities in the OPT’s rural areas.

Survey and Identification of Rice Diseases in South Gondar Zone, Amhara Region, Ethiopia

Authors: Tekalign Zeleke ; Muluadam Birhan ; Wubneh Ambachew
Pages: 123-131
Disease surveys were conducted in rice grown districts of Libokemkem, Dera and Fogera in south Gondar zone in 2016 and 2017 cropping seasons. The study was designed to identify and record rice disease flora, their distribution in the districts, prioritize according to the importance and document for future use. Forty-six and 48 rice fields were assessed from nine Peasant Association (PA) in 2016 and 2017 cropping seasons, respectively. Rice diseases; Leaf blast, Panicle Blast, Brown spot, Sheath rot, Sheath brown rot, Sheath Blight, Bacterial blight, Rice Yellow Motile Virus, Kernel smut, Downy mildew were identified in 2016 cropping season and nine  rice diseases: Leaf blast, Panicle Blast, Neck Blast, Node blast, Brown spot, Sheath rot, Sheath brown rot, Rice Yellow Motile Virus, Kernel smut were identified in 2017. The overall mean prevalence of sheath rot and sheath brown rot diseases were above 60%, while the others had prevalence below 21%. The incidences and severities of these two diseases were higher than the other diseases implying that both diseases were important. In the present studies many rice diseases were recorded in lowland ecosystem as compared to upland ecosystem. From the assessment X-jigna cultivar was more susceptible to rice disease and followed by Gumera.  The results indicate that a sheath rot, and sheath brown rot, were important across the districts and years. Loss assessment studies should be initiated in order to know the yield damage caused by the diseases.

Utilization of Herbicide by Farmers in Kogi State, Nigeria

Authors: A. E. Agahiu ; S. E. Akogu
Pages: 117-122
A survey experiment was conducted during the 2018 cropping season to assess the utilization of herbicides by farmers in Kogi state.  The study was carried out through the use of structured questionnaires administered to nine hundred (900) farmers across five (5) Local Government Areas (LGAs), (three villages per LGA and 20 farmers in each village were sampled) in each of the three senatorial districts of the state.Results showed that farmers across the three senatorial districts were mostly males (79%), married (78.7%) illiterates (55.31%) and aged (41-60 years).  Very few farmers had post secondary education with Kogi west taking the lead (6.7%).  A large proportion of farmers (94.6%) applied herbicides on their farms by using mostly (72.8%) CP15 sprayers which were most often borrowed. Results also indicated that in the three senatorial districts, majority of famers (91%) did not put on protective attire during spraying operation and mostly (82.4%) used milk tin in dispensing herbicides into the spray tank. The survey revealed that inspite of high acceptability of herbicides as a means of weed control, most farmers did not observe safety measures and purchased chemicals from the open market.  Therefore, there is the need for advocacy by the State Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Development Project (ADP) in order to reverse the trend for optimum herbicide utilization in the state.