Volume 5 Number 12 December 2019

Response to Anthracnose and Germination Rate of Colletotrichum Sublineola Acervuli of Greenhouse-Grown Sorghum

Authors: Louis K. Prom ; Thomas Isakeit ; Ghada Radwan
Pages: 266-269
Colletotrichum sublineola, the causal agent of sorghum anthracnose, infects all above ground parts of the crop.  The most pronounced phase of the disease is its foliar phase.  In this study, 10 sorghum lines with checks were evaluated in the greenhouse for resistance against C. sublineola. Acervuli germination rate within infected leaves was also recorded.  All the 10 sorghum lines along with checks BTX623, TAM428, and PI609251 were susceptible and as expected, SC748 was resistant. Variation among the lines for acervuli germination rate was observed; TAM428 and 1110248 recorded the highest percentage (98.3%) while PI609251 exhibited the lowest rate of acervuli germination (33.3%). Conidia produced from germinating acervuli are critical to the distribution and spread of the disease.   However, conidia produced within the acervuli do not usually germinate due to the presence of self-inhibitor compounds. Thus, these self-inhibitors that may occur in the acervuli could explain the difference in levels of susceptibility among sorghum germplasm.

Typology of Farms and Farmers’ Perception of the Effects of Soil and Water Conservation Practices in Northern Burkina Faso

Authors: Pale Siébou ; Coulibaly Zoumité Christ Thierry Stephen ; Yonli Djibril ; Mason C. Stephen ; Prasad P.V. Vara ; Noufe Tiatité ; Fofana Souleymane ; Traore Hamidou ; Zachary P. Stewart
Pages: 251-265
The continuous degradation of agroecosystem is a major concern for Sub-Saharan African countries, particularly Burkina Faso. To fight against this agroecosystem degradation, SWC such as stone rows, grass strips, zaï, filtering dikes, half-moons and agroforestry had been introduced in the Yatenga Province in Northern Burkina Faso several decades ago. Decades after introduction of SWC practices, a survey was conducted with 120 farmers equally distributed in four villages in the region to learn the farmers’ perceptions of the effects of these practices on their farms. Results revealed a higher proportion of men in the study sites (63%) compared to women. The largest difference in proportions between surveyed men and women was observed in Bogoya where only 22% of the surveyed persons were women. The average years of the respondents across villages was 53 years with 57% of farmers being members of at least one farmer organization. The proportion of educated farmers was 73% and those who received training in SWC techniques represented 36%. Results indicated that white grain sorghum and pearl millet were the main crops produced by 95% of farmers and stone rows and zaï were the dominant SWC techniques used by 77-80% of farmers. Data from the survey indicated a fairly high proportion of big ruminant breeders and small ruminant breeders as well. In fact, 79% of farmers bred big ruminants and 78% bred small ruminants. The main beneficial and direct effects of SWC techniques perceived by farmers was their capacity to improve soil fertility, recover soil, reduce water run-off, and allow good water infiltration in the field, thus improving soil productivity. Farmers pointed out indirect effects of SWC practices on livestock by the regeneration and increase of grass, tree and small shrub biomass available to improve animal growth and health. However, some farmers commented that the long-term use of zaï could lead to soil degradation. The study showed that farmers did perceive the beneficial effects of SWC practices and that greater extension and adoption will only be achieved if they could still receive training, financial and equipment supports.

Smallholder Farmers Vulnerability Level to Climate Change Impacts and Implications to Agricultural Production in Tigray Regional State, Northern Ethiopia

Authors: Alemu Addisu ; Daniel Olago ; Shem Wandiga ; Silas Oriaso ; Dorothy A. Amwata
Pages: 237-250
Vulnerability to climate change impact is the most pressing issues for less developed countries whose economy mainly depends on the agricultural sector. The demand for food is growing swiftly whereas impacts of climate change on the global food production are increasing. More area specific research outputs and evidences-based policy directions are needed to tackle the ever changing climate and to reduce its impacts on the agricultural production. The aim of this study was to investigate subsistence farmer household’s vulnerability level to climate change impacts and its associations with household’s agricultural production. Then primary data was collected from 400 households from Kolla Temben District, Tigray Regional State, North Ethiopia. Multistage sampling techniques were applied to select households for interview from the district. In the first stage, 4 Kebelles (Kebelle - administration unit) were selected randomly out of 27 Kebelles and then400 households were selected for interview through systematic random sampling techniques (Figure 1). Multiple regressions were used to examine the associations between household’s vulnerability to climate change impacts and agricultural production. Grounded theory and content analysis techniques were use to analyze data from key informant interviews and focus group discussions. For every single unit increase in household vulnerability to climate change impacts, there was an average agricultural production decrease between 16.99 and 25.83 (Table 4). For single unit increase in household’s vulnerability to climate change impact, there was a decrease of total crop production, Total income, total livestock, total food consumption and food consumption per adult equivalent. Rainfall decrease, small farmland ownership, steep topography, frequent flood occurrences and large family size are among the major factors that negatively affect household’s agricultural production and total income. The more the vulnerable the households, the less in total annual crop production, total livestock size, total income from agricultural production and the more dependent on food aid). There is a negative association between household’s vulnerability level to climate change impacts and agricultural production (crop production, total livestock ownerships and total income from crop production).  More access to irrigation and agricultural fertilizers, improved varieties of crops, small family size, improve farmland ownership size, more access to education and Agricultural Extension services are an effective areas of intervention to improve household’s resilient, reduce households vulnerability level to climate change impacts and increase household’s total agricultural production.