Open Access Opinion Article

Millet for Food and Nutritional Security in Drought Prone and Red Laterite Region of Eastern India

Koushik Brahmachari, Sukamal Sarkar, Dipak K. Santra, Sagar Maitra

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/ijpss/2018/v26i630062

The red and lateritic zone (RLZ) of Eastern India comprises of south-west part of West Bengal, a part of Odisha and Jahrkhand grimly a low position in respect of yield levels compared to many other parts of India. Soil of this area is poor in inherent fertility status with low to medium available nutrients of phosphorus, potassium and calcium. Most of the lands are located on higher elevation and erosion hazards and gully formation are very common. Monsoon rainfall is erratic or unevenly distributed in this region and, thus partial or even total failure of rainfed crops is very common. The major parts of this zone are rainfed, rice-fallow based mono-cropped and cropping intensity of the region is between 125-130%. This region of India is home of millions of resource-challenged small and marginal farmers having poor food and nutritional vis-à-vis economic security. To alleviate this grim situation of drought prone RLZ of Eastern India, intensification of Rice-fallow by inclusion of suitable crops was one the major challenges due to several bio-physical constraints. In this context, being the climate resilient and drought tolerant crops, millets may be the best choice for the rice-based crop sequence, any fallow and marginal land, agro-forestry system or even for popularizing any millet-based crop sequence for escalating the level of livelihood of the small and marginal farmers of the dry tract of RLZ. The objective is to develop a model using implementing millet-based cropping system to address food and nutritional security for the regions like RLZ of eastern India. Available research data on millet production feasibility in the region was used. A multidisciplinary approach was used for value-addition and small-scale agri-industry. In this present paper, we conceptualized the current status, prospects and research strategies for augmenting the millet production system to improve the food and nutritional security across drought prone and red laterite region of Eastern India. We believe that same model can be applied elsewhere in the world with agro-climatic conditions like RLZ.

Open Access Original Research Article

Long Term Fertilizer Management Effect on Nutrient Dynamics in Rainfed Rice-lentil System in Transect 4 of IndoGangetic Plain

Jitendra Kumar, Nirmal De, R. S. Meena, Pallab Sharma, A. K. Pradhan, G. Ravindra Chari

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/ijpss/2018/v26i630057

The present study analyzed the effect of different organic and inorganic fertilizers on soil nutrient dynamics in a long-term field experiment under rainfed rice-lentil system. The experiment was operative at Agricultural Research Farm, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, B.H.U Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. Carbon dynamics was investigated on surface soil on the basis of distribution of Walkley & Black Carbon, in active pool (AP) or labile carbon (oxidisable at low concentration of H2SO4) in relation to passive pool (PP) or non labile carbon (oxidisable at high concentration of H2SO4) and its indices carbon management index (CMI). The effect of eight different treatments including unfertilized, 100% N from farm yard manure, 100% recommended dose of fertilizer, 50% RDF + 50% N Foliar), 50% RDF, 50% RDF + 50% N FYM),  50% N FYM and Farmers practices i.e. application of 20kg N ha-1 The availability & uptake of major nutrients were studied. The results revealed: That mixed application of inorganic fertilizers and FYM substantially increase the soil organic carbon pool, sustainability index over remaining treatments. Higher fertilizer application rates resulted in higher and sustained crop yields which had been reflected in sustainability yield index. A significant Pearson correlation was found between SOC, AP, PP, exchangeable K2O content, soil microbial biomass carbon and SYI. (The result indicated to adopt conjunctive use of nutrient management which promote the SOC more labile and, induce availability of other nutrients coupled with SMBC that translate into higher crop yields.

Open Access Original Research Article

Occurrence of Anthracnose Disease of Turkey Berry (Solanum torvum) at Bunso, Eastern Region, Ghana

B. A. Adongo, S. Akrofi, E. Osei-Owusu, E. N. Ahiatsi

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/ijpss/2018/v26i630058

Aims: To identify the causal agent of anthracnose disease of Solanum torvum, determine whether the pathogen is seedborne and also to ascertain the cross infection potential of the pathogen on other Solanaceous crops of economic importance.

Place and Duration of Study:  Bunso, in the East Akim District of the Eastern Region of Ghana, between January and October, 2017.

Methodology: The disease symptoms on matured fruits, leaves, stems and flowers of Solanum torvum were carefully observed for documentation with magnifying glasses and the naked eyes. The pathogen was isolated on PDA after incubation for five days and the identification was based on the colony, morphology and conidial characteristics with reference to laboratory manuals. The virulence of the fungal isolates from the S. torvum fruits was determined through pathogenicity tests. A seed health test was conducted in accordance with the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) to determine whether the pathogen is seedborne. Conidial suspension of Colletotrichum acutatum (1×103 per ml) was used to inoculate pepper and eggplant fruits in a cross infectivity test.

Results: Colletotrichum acutatum was repeatedly isolated and identified as the causal agent of the disease on the fruits and was also seedborne. In cross infectivity studies, the pathogen produced characteristic anthracnose symptoms on both eggplant and pepper which happens to belong to the same Solanaceae family just as the turkey berry.

Conclusion: The anthracnose disease of Solanum torvum at Bunso, in the Eastern Region of Ghana is caused by Colletotrichum acutatum that has the potential to cross infect other Solanaceous species. This study is the first scientific report of the occurrence of anthracnose disease of S. torvum in Ghana.

Open Access Original Research Article

Pesticide Use Practices by Market Gardeners in the Santa Area of the North West Region of Cameroon

A. N. Abdulai, C. N. Konje, Tange Denis Achiri, D. N. Tarla, D. Nsobinenyui

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/ijpss/2018/v26i630060

Aims: This work aimed at establishing the different Garden crop pests and how farmers use different pesticides to manage these pests.

Place and duration of the Work: This work was carried out in Santa from January to March 2013

Methodology: The methodology involved the use of structured questionnaires which were administered to 120 farmers to obtain information on demographics, constraints to successful crop production, general farm system and agronomic practices, knowledge of insect pest problems, types of pesticides used, dosage and rate of application, and different pests crops suffered from. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics and chi-square test.

Results: The study indicates that majority of market gardeners in Santa community are males (70%) with ages from 30-39 and most of them are married (76%). Famers worked with relied on pesticides for pest control and did not dispose of empty pesticide containers properly such as throwing on the farm; use as drinking bowls and returned it to the pesticide vendors.

Conclusion: This study provides valuable information on the pesticides used in pests and diseases control in vegetable production and health symptoms like stomach disorders, burns, and catarrh experienced by gardeners. A majority (94%) of farmers suffered from serious insect pest attacks on their farms and the most important pest was the cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon) which affected (65%). A majority (96%) of farmers also reported diseases attacks with late blight (Phytophthora infestans) affecting more than four-fifth (81%) of the farms especially in the rainy season.

Open Access Original Research Article

Soil Quality Assessment of Different Land Use in Kabba Southern Guinea Savannah of Nigeria

T. S. Babalola, M. Yahqub

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-6
DOI: 10.9734/ijpss/2018/v26i630061

The study assessed the soil qualities of five land use types; Oil palm plantation, Nursery site, Forest (Teak), Citrus orchard and Arable Crop land in Kabba College of Agriculture using selected biological indicators which include, Organic Carbon (OC), Total Nitrogen (TN), Microbial Biomass Carbon (MBC) and Microbial Biomass Nitrogen (MBN). An area of 40 m x 30 m that is representative of each land use was selected, sampled and analyzed following standard procedures for laboratory analysis. The highest values of OC (18.41 g/kg) and TN (7.95 g/kg) were obtained at the nursery site followed by Oil Palm (OC - 14.12 g/kg; TN - 6.56 g/kg), the lowest values were obtained at the Arable Crops site (OC - 10.53 g/kg; TN - 5.20 g/kg). The MBC values ranged from 307 – 498 mg/kg across the land use studied. The MBN values obtained in this study ranged between 16.93 - 34.41 mg/kg. The MBC/MBN ratios obtained in this study were relatively high and in the following order Forest land (26.5 mg/kg) > Oil Palm Plantation (21.3 mg/kg) > Citrus orchard (19.5 mg/kg) > Nursery site (15.9 mg/kg) > Arable Crops land (12.2 mg/kg) respectively indicating the predominance of fungi in these soils. It is recommended that sustainable practices that will encourage replenishment of C and N into the soil should be adopted in the study area.