International Science Index

International Journal of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Chemical Composition and Antifungal Activity of Essential Oils of Two Lamiaceae
The improper use of chemical pesticides to reduce the severity of pathogens and diseases, generated resistance to the active ingredient of some synthetic pesticides in response to selection pressure due to high dose and continuous applications, causing great economic losses. For this reason, it is important to find an alternative control strategy such as using natural products derived from plants (secondary metabolites), since it does not affect environment and their residues are easy to degrade. The analysis and identification of essential oils hydrodistilated from two from aerial parts of aromatic plants, which belong to the Lamiacea family such as Origanum (Origanum floribundum) and spearmint (Mentha spicata) by means of gaz chromatography and mass spectroscopy was realized in this investigation. In addition, their antagonistic activity against some pathogenic fungi isolated from leguminous crop was screened. The major components of the spearmint oil were carvone, limonene, and eucalyptol, while the oregano oil components were carvacrol, thymol and p-cymene. Eight millimeter mycelia discs taken from the margins of a 7 days old culture were placed on the middle of a PDA plate and then 1,3 and 5 μl of essential oil were added on 5 mm sterile Watman paper disc in middle of the each petri covered and rapidly putted on petri contain fungi. The petri plates were sealed with parafilm and incubated at 25°C for 8 days. Control plates were treated with the same amount of sterile distilled water. Oregano essential oil showed the highest inhibition of the mycelial growth over 70% for the three concentrations ( 1, 3 and 5 μl of essential oil). However, the spearmint oil showed the higest inhibition of mycelial growth at 5µl, over 32% of inhibition.
Hemp Defoliation Technology and Management before Harvesting
Hemp (Cannabis sativa L. ssp. Sativa) cultivation for fiber is limited by extremely high labor cost, especially for the removal of the leaves before harvest. This study evaluated chemical defoliants as a means to remove the leaves of hemp before harvest, in an effort to reduce labor expenditures in the production on hemp fiber. This study was conducted by spraying the leaves of hemp with five different treatments: saline solution, Urea (CH4N2O), Ethephon, copper Sulphate (CuSO4) and water (control) before harvesting. The largest percentage of leaf loss 6 days after spraying was with saline solution (43%), followed by Ethephon (32%). However, saline solution also caused drying of the stems but Ethephon did not. Thus, Ethephon was evaluated in the second experiment by spraying with Ethephon concentrations of 0, 10, 15 and 20 ml per 1 liter of water at 7 days before harvest. Spraying with 0.5% Ethephon resulted in 13.6% leaf fall. Spraying with 1.5% and 2% Ethephon resulted in 82.2% and 82.3 % leaf fall, respectively. In addition, using Ethephon to defoliate hemp had no detrimental effect the yield. Therefore, Ethephon concentration at 15 ml per 1 liter of water will be recommended for use in removing hemp leaves by spraying at 7 days before harvest to lower labor cost.
Improvement of Low Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Hemp Cultivars for High Fiber Content
Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is multi-purpose crop delivering fibers, shives, and seed. The fiber is used today for special paper, insulation material, and biocomposites. This research was to improve low delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) hemp variety for high fiber contents. Mass selection for increased fiber content in four low THC Thai cultivars (including RPF1, RPF2, RPF3, and RPF4) was carried out in highland areas in the northern Thailand. Research work was conducted for three consecutive growing seasons during 2012 to 2014 at Pangda Royal Agricultural Station, Samoeng District, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. Results of selection indicated that after selecting for three successive generations, the average fiber content of four low THC Thai cultivars increased to 28-36 %. The resulted of selection was found that fiber content of RPF1, RPF2, RPF3 and RPF4 increased to 20.6, 19.1, 19.9 and 22.8%, respectively. In addition, THC contents of these four varieties were 0.07, 0.138, 0.08 and 0.072 % respectively. As well, mass selection method was considered as an effective and suitable method for improving this fiber content.
Inhibitory Effect of Hawthorn Extract on Heterocyclic Aromatic Amines Formation in Beef
Introduction: Heterocyclic aromatic amines (HCAs) are compounds that are formed naturally during cooking of proteinaceous foods such as muscle meat including beef, pork, fish, and poultry. The study focused to assess the inhibitory effect of hawthorn extract on the formation of HCAs in beef cooked by pan cooking and roasting. Methods: Proximate composition, creatine/creatinine, reducing sugar of samples were analyzed for all treatments (0.5% and 1% hawthorn extract) in pan-fried and roasted beef. HCAs (IQx, IQ, MeIQx, MeIQ, 4,8-DiMeIQx, 7,8-DiMeIQx, Norharman, Harman, Trp-P-2, PhIP, AαC, MeAαC) were analyzed from meat samples by HPLC. Results: Pan-fried beef cooked at 150°C had very low amounts of HCAs, and the levels of HCAs increased gradually when cooking temperature rose higher from 150 to 250°C. In this study, total level of HCAs in control group at 250oC for was determined as 11.38 ng/g, and the addition of 0.5% and 1% hawthorn extract to beef before cooking inhibited the formation of the total HCA compounds by 42.53% and 35.57% respectively. The usage of hawthorn extract at the levels of 0.5% and 1% in the pan-cooked beef at 250oC inhibited the formation of the IQx, IQ, MeIQx, MeIQ, 7,8-DiMeIQx, Norharman, Harman, Trp-P-2, PhIP, AαC compounds. 4,8-DiMeIQx amount was detected in beef between 0.08 and 0.10 ng/g at roasted beef. When comparing the cooking methods, the total HCA amounts in pan-fried samples were higher than roasted samples. Discussion: Various scientists used antioxidant substances in different studies to prevent HCAs formation and concluded that these antioxidants could play an important role in reducing quantities of HCAs because of their free radical scavenging activities.
Effect of Different Temperatures and Cold Storage on Pupaes Apanteles gelechiidivoris Marsh (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) Parasitoid of Tuta absoluta Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae)
Tuta absoluta known as the tomato leaf miner, is one of the main pests in tomato crops in South America and the main pest in many European countries. Apanteles gelechiidivoris is a parasitoid of third instar Tuta absoluta larvae. Our studies have demonstrated that this parasitoid can cause up to 80% mortality of T. absoluta larvae in the field. We investigated cold storage of A. gelechiidivoris pupae as a method of mass production of this parasitoid. This storage method does not interfere with biological characteristics of the parasitoid. In this study, we evaluated the effect of different temperatures (4, 8 and 12°C) and different time duration (7, 14, 21 or 28 days) of cold storage on biological parameters of A. gelechiidivoris pupae and adults. The biological parameters of the parasitoid evaluated were: adult emergence time, lifespan, parasitism percentage and sex ratio. We found that the adult emergence time was delayed when the parasitoid pupae were stored at 4°C and 8°C. The shortest adult emergence was recorded when pupae were stored for seven days. The lowest adult emergence was found for pupae stored at 4°C and decreased significantly as the days of storage increased. We found high percentages of adult emergence when pupae were stored at 8°C and 12°C for seven days. Adult lifespan decreased with increasing days of cold storage. Adults emerging from pupae stored at 8°C during seven and 14 days showed the longest lifespan (nine days). The lowest parasitism rate was recorded at 4°C at every time point. The highest percentage of parasitism (80%) was found at 8°C during seven days of storage. The treatments had no effect on adults the sex ratio. The results suggest that A. gelechiidivoris pupae can be stored for up to 14 days at 8°C without affecting the efficacy of the parasitoid in the field.
Ripeness Classification of Oil Palm Fresh Fruit Bunches Based on Thermal Imaging Technique
Ripeness estimation of oil palm fresh fruit is important processes that affect the profitableness and salability of oil palm fruits. The adulthood or ripeness of the oil palm fruits influences the quality of oil palm. Conventional procedure includes physical grading of Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB) maturity by calculating the number of loose fruits per bunch. This physical classification of oil palm FFB is costly, time consuming and the results may have human error. Hence, many researchers try to develop the methods for ascertaining the maturity of oil palm fruits and thereby, deviously the oil content of distinct palm fruits without the need for exhausting oil extraction and analysis. This research investigates the potential of infrared images (Thermal Images) as a predictor to classify the oil palm FFB ripeness. A total of 270 oil palm fresh fruit bunches from most common cultivar of oil palm bunches Nigresens according to three maturity categories: under ripe, ripe and over ripe were collected. Each sample was scanned by the thermal imaging cameras FLIR E60 and FLIR T440. The average temperature of each bunches were calculated by using image processing in FLIR Tools and FLIR ThermaCAM researcher pro 2.10 environment software. An overall analysis-of-variance (ANOVA) test was proved that this predictor gave significant difference between underripe, ripe and overripe maturity categories. This shows that the temperature as predictors can be good indicators to classify oil palm FFB. Classification analysis was performed by using the temperature of the FFB as predictors through Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA), Mahalanobis Discriminant Analysis (MDA), Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and K- Nearest Neighbor (KNN) methods. The highest overall classification accuracy was 88.2% by using Artificial Neural Network. This research proves that thermal imaging and neural network method can be used as predictors of oil palm maturity classification.
Preliminary Prospecting on the Distribution of the Disease of Citrus Tristeza Orchards in the Province of Chlef
A survey was conducted to assess the presence of the virus in Citrus tristeza one of the main citrus regions of Algeria, namely the Chlef region, using the technique of Direct Tissue Print Immunoprinting Assay (DTBIA) and the Double Sandwich ELISA antibodies. A nursery citrus, lumber yards, and commercial orchards, which are the main varieties cultivated citrus were subjected to samples collected samples for laboratory analysis. 0.91% of the plants tested orchards were infected with CTV, while no positive case was detected at the nursery the yard, however, it is reported that an alarming rate of 10,5% of orchards tested at the common Chettia were infected with tristeza virus. The investigation was launched to identify the vector species tristeza revealed the presence of a vector is important Aphis gossypii.
Naturally Occurring Chemicals in Biopesticides' Resistance Control through Molecular Topology
Biopesticides, such as naturally occurring chemicals, pheromones, fungi, bacteria and insect predators are often a winning choice in crop protection because of their environmental friendly profile. They are considered to have lower toxicity than traditional pesticides. After almost a century of pesticides use, resistances to traditional insecticides are wide spread, while those to bioinsecticides have raised less attention, and resistance management is frequently neglected. This seems to be a crucial mistake since resistances have already occurred for many marketed biopesticides. With an eye to the future, we present here a selection of new natural occurring chemicals as potential bioinsecticides. The molecules were selected using a consolidated mathematical paradigm called molecular topology. Several QSAR equations were depicted and subsequently applied for the virtual screening of hundred thousands molecules of natural origin, which resulted in the selection of new potential bioinsecticides. The most innovative aspect of this work does not only reside in the importance of the identification of new molecules overcoming biopesticides’ resistances, but on the possibility to promote shared knowledge in the field of green chemistry through this unique in silico discipline named molecular topology.
The Price of Wine as Consumer Good or Investment Plan: A Survey
The demand for wine could be considered within the context of the consumer’s lifetime allocation process. Demand is attributed to a person’s desire to consume wine at the present period or to invest in wine for future consumption. The consumer maximizes lifetime utility subject to the expected income over an individual’s lifetime, a vector of prices and expected returns on investments. Therefore, wine is studied as a consumer good or as an investment or even as a substitute to traditional financial assets. Knowledge of demand is essential to an understanding of how prices are determined. The issue is not new and a simple economic approach considers that the price is the result of supply and demand in a Walrasian equilibrium that applies to all competitive markets. In the standard approach, price and quantity are simultaneously determined by the interaction of supply and demand. In recent decades, the renewed interest in the analysis of price formation is also linked to the inclusion of a plurality of exchange situations and the specific role of information. In a competitive market like wine involving many experts, microeconomic and macroeconomic factors can explain the price differences. A large set of literature is interested in the impact of public information problems on the price of wine and techniques developed to reduce them. Experts have been recognized to reduce asymmetric information by providing public ratings and assessments of the quality. However, these expert grades are often biased or suspected to be randomly distributed. The solution would rather be to build a model of price determination gathering basic price components including weather variations. Because the demand function for wine derived from the maximization of the utility function of the consumer is time dependent and depends on the consumers’ subjective discount for consumption and investment in wine, another piece of literature attempts to monitor the price of wine over time, that is to say, the analysis of price dynamics. This implies following a wine over time by observing sales. This literature has become abundant because wine indeed appears increasingly as a financial asset substitution compared to traditional assets. The objective of this paper is to review all these approaches trying to explain the price of wine. We only review the determinants of the price of wine based three approaches: 1) the evaluation of properties or characteristics of wine that give utility to consumers, i.e. referred to as hedonic pricing, 2) a demand-supply approach, i.e. the supply factors that impact the price, and 3) the analysis of price dynamics, i.e. the role of the market and under what conditions it can explain the differences between the prices of different wines. We have identified a list of 70 papers published on price determinants: the largest share of these papers have been published in a dozen of journals specialized in agricultural Economics or agribusiness. We also have identified 30 papers on the analysis of price dynamics in auction markets or financial markets.
Hedonic Pricing Model of Parboiled Rice
Parboiled rice is one of the most important food grains and classified in cereal and cereal product. In 2015, parboiled rice was traded more than 14.34 % of total rice trade. The major parboiled rice export countries are Thailand and India, while many countries in Africa and the Middle East such as Nigeria, South Africa, United Arab Emirate, and Saudi Arabia, are parboiled rice import countries. In the global rice market, parboiled rice pricing differs from white rice pricing because parboiled rice is semi-processing product, (soaking, steaming and drying) which affects to their color and texture. Therefore, parboiled rice export pricing does not depend only on the trade volume, length of grain, and percentage of broken rice or purity but also depend on their rice seed attributes such as color, whiteness, consistency of color and whiteness, and their texture. In addition, the parboiled rice price may depend on the country of origin, and other attributes, such as certification mark, label, packaging, and sales locations. The objectives of this paper are to study the attributes of parboiled rice sold in different countries and to evaluate the relationship between parboiled rice price in different countries and their attributes by using hedonic pricing model. These results are useful for product development, and marketing strategies development. The 141 samples of parboiled rice were collected from 5 major parboiled rice consumption countries, namely Nigeria, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirate and Spain. The physicochemical properties and optical properties, namely size and shape of seed, colour (L*, a*, and b*), parboiled rice texture (hardness, adhesiveness, cohesiveness, springiness, gumminess, and chewiness), nutrition (moisture, protein, carbohydrate, fat, and ash), amylose, package, country of origin, label are considered as explanatory variables. The results from parboiled rice analysis revealed that most of samples are classified as long grain and slender. The highest average whiteness value is the parboiled rice sold in South Africa. The amylose value analysis shows that most of parboiled rice is non-glutinous rice, classified in intermediate amylose content range, and the maximum value was found in United Arab Emirate. The hedonic pricing model showed that size and shape are the key factors to determine parboiled rice price statistically significant. In parts of colour, brightness value (L*) and red-green value (a*) are statistically significant, but the yellow-blue value (b*) is insignificant. In addition, the texture attributes that significantly affect to the parboiled rice price are hardness, adhesiveness, cohesiveness, and gumminess. The findings could help both parboiled rice miller, exporter and retailers formulate better production and marketing strategies by focusing on these attributes.
Modelling Volatility Spillovers and Cross Hedging among Major Agricultural Commodity Futures
From the past recent, the global financial crisis, economic instability, and large fluctuation in agricultural commodity price have led to increased concerns about the volatility transmission among them. The problem is further exacerbated by commodities volatility caused by other commodity price fluctuations, hence the decision on hedging strategy has become both costly and useless. Thus, this paper is conducted to analysis the volatility spillover effect among major agriculture including corn, soybeans, wheat and rice, to help the commodity suppliers hedge their portfolios, and manage the risk and co-volatility of them. We provide a switching regime approach to analyzing the issue of volatility spillovers in different economic conditions, namely upturn and downturn economic. In particular, we investigate relationships and volatility transmissions between these commodities in different economic conditions. We purposed a Copula-based multivariate Markov Switching GARCH model with two regimes that depend on an economic conditions and perform simulation study to check the accuracy of our proposed model. In this study, the correlation term in the cross-hedge ratio is obtained from six copula families – two elliptical copulas (Gaussian and Student-t) and four Archimedean copulas (Clayton, Gumbel, Frank, and Joe). We use one-step maximum likelihood estimation techniques to estimate our models and compare the performance of these copula using Akaike information criterion (AIC) and Bayesian information criteria (BIC). In the application study of agriculture commodities, the weekly data used are conducted from 4 January 2005 to 1 September 2016, covering 612 observations. The empirical results indicate that the volatility spillover effects among cereal futures are different, as response of different economic condition. In addition, the results of hedge effectiveness will also suggest the optimal cross hedge strategies in different economic condition especially upturn and downturn economic.
Farmers’ Knowledge on Crop Insurance and Their Adoption Decisions
Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) was first introduced to Thai farmers in the year 1970. Crop Revenue Insurance (CRI) also became available for cotton farmers in selected areas of the country (i.e., Nakhon Ratchasima Province) during the 1978-1980 crop year. This CRI program guarantees to cover revenue for cotton producers whose crop revenue fell below 1,400 baht per rai ($1 is approximately equal to ฿35). The program was further applied to other crops such as maize, sorghum, and soybean. In the later year (2005), Crop Weather Index Insurance (CWII) was added to provide a risk management tool for the farmers in specific areas of the northeast region. Furthermore, the government is currently implementing the Named Peril Crop Insurance for rainfed rice producers in all regions of the country. Although the government has been long supporting the crop insurance program through certain subsidies (i.e., the insurance premium cost), the past insurance programs were not quite a success. A question to the research, what is the level of producers’ knowledge on insurance risk management tool and its features. Therefore, it is of interest to examine producers’ knowledge on crop insurance program and product features. The factors influencing producers’ decisions to enroll in the program also need to be investigated. The study analysis is conducted on a farm-level data of rice producers in the northeast and the northern regions of Thailand. These two regions are a major rice cultivation area of the country. Two hundred rainfed rice producers are randomly selected to take the survey. The questions included in the survey are related to demographic information, farm structure, risk attributes, and perceptions. The questions related to the farmers’ knowledge on crop insurance program and ability of the product features are also inquired. The logistic regression analysis will be used to analyze the survey data and determine the influencing factors of the producers’ decision. The factors on producers’ characteristics, farm structure, and level of farming risk will be included as explanatory variables in the analysis. The risk level of farm may vary across region depending on natural phenomena. Producers with more experienced and better educated are expected to have a higher level of insurable risk. The producers with larger farm operation size are expected to be an insurance user. On the other hand, the producers with greater wealth, a high ratio of owned rice field to total operated land, are expected to be a nonuse of insurance. The study results would be a useful guideline for agricultural agents and related government organizations to improve or create crop insurance program that meets the producers’ need.
Fertilizer Procurement and Distribution in Nigeria: Assessing Policy against Implementation
It is widely known that food security is a major concern in Sub-Saharan Africa. In many regions, including Nigeria, this is due to an agriculture-old problem of soil erosion beyond replacement levels. It seems that the use of fertilizer would be an immediate solution as it can boost agricultural productivity, and low agricultural productivity is attributed to the low use of fertilizers in Nigeria. The Government of Nigeria has been addressing the challenges of food shortage but with limited success. The utilisation of a practical and efficient subsidy programme in addressing this issue seems to be needed. However, the problem of procurement and distribution changes from one stage of subsidy to another. This paper looks at the difference between the ideal and the actual implementation of agricultural fertilizer policies in Nigeria, as it currently runs the risk of meeting required standards on paper but missing the desired real outcomes, and recognises the need to close the gap between the paper work and the realities on the ground.
Development of a Cost Effective Two Wheel Tractor Mounted Mobile Maize Sheller for Small Farmers in Bangladesh
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 carry 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 attached together with two wheel tractor. It is an anti clockwise 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 two wheel tractor. 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/h, 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 two wheel tractor can transport the mobile maize sheller long distance in operator’s seating position. The manufacturers started fabrication mobile maize sheller. This mobile maize sheller is also compatible for other countries where 2WT is available for farming operation.
Harnessing Environmental DNA to Assess the Environmental Sustainability of Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture in the Pacific Northwest United States
Commercial shellfish aquaculture makes significant contributions to the economy and culture of the Pacific Northwest United States. The industry faces intense pressure to minimize environmental impacts as a result of Federal policies like the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act and the Endangered Species Act. These policies demand the protection of essential fish habitat and declare several salmon species as endangered. Consequently, numerous projects related to the protection and rehabilitation of eelgrass beds, a crucial ecosystem for countless fish species, have been proposed at both state and federal levels. Both eelgrass beds and commercial shellfish farms occupy the same physical space, and therefore understanding the effects of shellfish aquaculture on eelgrass ecosystems has become a top ecological and economic priority of both government and industry. This study evaluates the organismal communities that eelgrass and oyster aquaculture habitats support. Water samples were collected from Willapa Bay, Washington; Tillamook Bay, Oregon; Humboldt Bay, California; and Sammish Bay, Washington to compare species diversity in eelgrass beds, oyster aquaculture plots, and boundary edges between these two habitats. Diversity was assessed using a novel technique: environmental DNA (eDNA). All organisms constantly shed small pieces of DNA into their surrounding environment through the loss of skin, hair, tissues, and waste. In the marine environment, this DNA becomes suspended in the water column allowing it to be easily collected. Once extracted and sequenced, this eDNA can be used to paint a picture of all the organisms that live in a particular habitat making it a powerful technology for environmental monitoring. Industry professionals and government officials should consider these findings to better inform future policies regulating eelgrass beds and oyster aquaculture. Furthermore, the information collected in this study may be used to improve the environmental sustainability of commercial shellfish aquaculture while simultaneously enhancing its growth and profitability in the face of ever-changing political and ecological landscapes.
Impact of Activated Sludge Bulking and Foaming on the Quality of Kuwait's Irrigation Water
Treated municipal wastewater produced in Kuwait is used mainly in agricultural and greenery landscape irrigations. However, there are strong doubts that severe sludge bulking and foaming problems, particularly during winter seasons, may render the treated wastewater to be unsuitable for irrigation purposes. To assess the impact of sludge bulking and foaming problems on the quality of treated effluents, samples were collected weekly for nine months (January to September 2014) from the secondary effluents, tertiary effluents and sludge-mixed liquor streams of the two plants that severely suffer from sludge bulking and foaming problems. Dominant filamentous bacteria were identified and quantified using a molecular method called VIT (Vermicon Identification Technology). Quality of the treated effluents was determined according to water and wastewater standard methods. Obtained results were then statistically analyzed and compared to irrigation water standards. Statistical results indicated that secondary effluents were greatly impacted by sludge bulking and foaming problems, while tertiary effluents were slightly affected. This finding highlights the importance of having tertiary treatment units in plants that encountering sludge bulking and foaming problems.
Evaluation of Simulated Noise Levels through the Analysis of Temperature and Rainfall: A Case Study of Nairobi Central Business District
There has been increasing noise levels all over the world in the last decade. Many factors contribute to this increase, which is causing health related effects to humans. Developing countries are not left out of the whole picture as they are still growing and advancing their development. Motor vehicles are increasing on urban roads; there is an increase in infrastructure due to the rising population, increasing number of industries to provide goods and so many other activities. All this activities lead to the high noise levels in cities. This study was conducted in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) with the main objective of simulating noise levels in order to understand the noise exposed to the people within the urban area, in relation to weather parameters namely temperature, rainfall and wind field. The study was achieved using the Neighbourhood Proximity Model and Time Series Analysis, with data obtained from proxies/remotely-sensed from satellites, in order to establish the levels of noise exposed to which people of Nairobi CBD are exposed to. The findings showed that there is an increase in temperature (0.1°C per year) and a decrease in precipitation (40 mm per year), which in comparison to the noise levels in the area, are increasing. The study also found out that noise levels exposed to people in Nairobi CBD were roughly between 61 and 63 decibels and has been increasing, a level which is high and likely to cause adverse physical and psychological effects on the human body in which air temperature, precipitation and wind contribute so much in the spread of noise. As a noise reduction measure, the use of sound proof materials in buildings close to busy roads, implementation of strict laws to most emitting sources as well as further research on the study was recommended. The data used for this study ranged from the year 2000 to 2015, rainfall being in millimeters (mm), temperature in degrees Celsius (°C) and the urban form characteristics being in meters (m).
Development of Automatic Farm Manure Spreading Machine for Orchards
Since chemical fertilizers are used for meeting the deficiency of plant nutrients, its many harmful effects are not taken into consideration for the structure of the earth. These fertilizers are hampering the work of the organisms in the soil immediately after thrown to the ground. This interference is first started with a change of the soil pH and micro organismic balance is disrupted by reaction in the soil. Since there can be no fragmentation of plant residues, organic matter in the soil will be increasingly impoverished in the absence of micro organismic living. Biological activity reduction brings about a deterioration of the soil structure. If the chemical fertilization continues intensively, soils will get worse every year; plant growth will slow down and stop due to the intensity of chemical fertilizers, yield decline will be experienced and farmer will not receive an adequate return on his investment. In this research, prototype of automatic farm manure spreading machine for orange orchards that not just manufactured in Turkey was designed, constructed, tested and eliminate the human drudgery involved in spreading of farm manure in the field. The machine comprised several components as a 5 m3 volume hopper, automatic controlled hydraulically driven chain conveyor device and side delivery conveyor belts. To spread the solid farm manure automatically, the machine was equipped with an electronic control system. The hopper and side delivery conveyor designs fitted between orange orchard tree row spacing. Test results showed that the control system has significant effects on reduction in the amount of unnecessary solid farm manure use and avoiding inefficient manual labor.
Dual Role of Microalgae: Carbon Dioxide Capture Nutrients Removal
This study evaluated the use of mixed indigenous microalgae (MIMA) as a treatment process for wastewaters and CO2 capturing technology at different temperatures. The study follows the growth rate of MIMA, removals of organic matter, removal of nutrients from synthetic wastewater and its effectiveness as CO2 capturing technology from flue gas. A noticeable difference between the growth patterns of MIMA was observed at different CO2 and different operational temperatures. MIMA showed the highest growth grate when injected with CO2 dosage of 10% and limited growth was observed for the systems injected with 5% and 15 % of CO2 at 30 ◦C. Ammonia and phosphorus removals for Spirulina were 69%, 75%, and 83%, and 20%, 45%, and 75% for the media injected with 0, 5 and 10% CO2. The results of this study show that simple and cost-effective microalgae-based wastewater treatment systems can be successfully employed at different temperatures as a successful CO2 capturing technology even with the small probability of inhibition at high temperatures
Treatment of Septic Tank Effluent Using Moving Bed Biological Reactor
Septic tanks (STs) are very commonly used wastewater collection systems in the world especially in rural areas. In this study, the use of moving bed biological reactors (MBBR) for the treatment of septic tanks effluents (STE) was studied. The study was included treating septic tank effluent from one house hold using MBBRs. Significant ammonia removal rate was observed in all the reactors throughout the 180 days of operation suggesting that the MBBRs were successful in reducing the concentration of ammonia from septic tank effluent. The average ammonia removal rate at 25◦C for the reactor operated at hydraulic retention time of 5.7 hr (R1) was 0.540 kg-N/m3and for the reactor operated at hydraulic retention time of 13.3hr (R2) was 0.279 kg-N/m3. Ammonia removal rates were decreased to 0.3208 kg-N/m3 for R1 and 0.212 kg-N/m3 for R3 as the temperature of reactor was decreased to 8 ◦C. A strong correlation exists between theta model and the rates of ammonia removal for the reactors operated in continuous flow. The average ϴ values for the continuous flow reactors during the temperature change from 8°C to 20 °C were found to be 1.053±0.051. MBBR technology can be successfully used as a polishing treatment for septic tank effluent.
Effect of Polymer Coated Urea on Nutrient Efficiency and Nitrate Leaching Using Maize and Annual Ryegrass
The worldwide exponential growth of the population and the simultaneous increasing food production requires the strategic realization of sustainable and improved cultivation systems to ensure the fertility of arable land and to guarantee the food supply for the whole world. To fulfill this target, large quantities of fertilizers have to be applied to the field, but the long-term environmental impacts remain uncertain. Thus, a combined system would be necessary to increase the nutrient availability for plants while reducing nutrient losses (e.g. NO3- by leaching) to the environment. To enhance the nutrient efficiency, polymer coated fertilizer with a controlled release behavior have been developed. This kind of fertilizer ensures a delayed release of nutrients to synchronize the nutrient supply with the demand of different crops. In the last decades, research focused primarily on semi-permeable polyurethane coatings, which remain in the soil for a long period after the complete solvation of the fertilizer core. Within the implementation of the new European Regulation Directive the replacement of non-degradable synthetic polymers by degradable coatings is necessary. It was, therefore, the objective of this study to develop a total biodegradable polymer (to CO2 and H2O) coating according to ISO 17556 and to compare the retarding effect of the biodegradable coatings with commercially available non-degradable products. To investigate the effect of ten selected coated urea fertilizer on the yield of annual ryegrass and maize, the fresh and dry mass, the percentage of total nitrogen and main nutrients were analyzed in greenhouse experiments in sixfold replications using near-infrared spectroscopy. For the experiments, a homogenized and air-dried loamy sand (Cambic Luvisol) was equipped with a basic fertilization of P, K, Mg and S. To investigate the effect of nitrogen level increase, three levels (80%, 100%, 120%) were established, whereas the impact of CRF granules was determined using a N-level of 100%. Additionally, leaching of NO3- from pots planted with annual ryegrass was examined to evaluate the retention capacity of urea by the polymer coating. For this, leachate from Kick-Brauckmann-Pots was collected daily and analyzed for total nitrogen, NO3- and NH4+ in twofold repetition once a week using near-infrared spectroscopy. We summarize from the results that the coated fertilizer have a clear impact on the yield of annual ryegrass and maize. Compared to the control, an increase of fresh and dry mass could be recognized. Partially, the non-degradable coatings showed a retarding effect for a longer period, which was however reflected by a lower fresh and dry mass. It was ascertained that the percentage of leached-out nitrate could be reduced markedly. As a conclusion, it could be pointed out that the impact of coated fertilizer of all polymer types might contribute to a reduction of negative environmental impacts in addition to their fertilizing effect.
Utilization of Torula Yeast (Zymomonas mobilis) as Main/Reciprocal for Degradation of Municipal Organic Waste as Feed for Goats
The study was carried out to investigate the performance of Red Sokoto goats fed Municipal Oranic Wastes (MOW) subjected to two methods of in vivo degradation by Torula Yeast and Zymomonas mobilis. Two combination, Torula Yeast + Zymomonas mobilis (main degradation), and Zymomonas mobilis + Torula Yeast (Reciprocal degradation) were used to degrade MOW. Eighteen Red Sokoto goats of both sexes (9 males and 9 females) of ages between 6-8 were used for the study. The goats were randomly assigned into 3 treatments groups A, B and C respectively with 6 goats per treatment. The experiment was laid in a Completely Randomized Design and replicated 3 times. Treatment A groups were fed 30% Undegraded MOW base diet +concentrate mixture, Treatment B groups were fed 30% Main degraded MOW base diet +concentrate mixture, Treatment C groups were fed 30% Reciprocal degraded MOW base diet +concentrate mixture. The result of the daily weight gain was significantly (P0.05) in Treatment B followed by Treatment C, while Treatment A had the lowest. The cost/ kg weight gain that was recorded in Treatment A was better (P
Perceived Effect of Livelihood Diversification on the Welfare of Rural Households in Niger State, Nigeria
This study determined the perceived effect of livelihood diversification on welfare of rural household in Niger state, Nigeria. Multi-stage sampling technique was adopted for sampling the respondents. Data used for the study were obtained from primary source. Structured questionnaire with interview schedule was administered to 180 randomly selected rural farmers in the study area. Descriptive statistics analysis and z-test statistics were used to analyse the data collected. The study revealed the mean age of the household to be 43 years, mean years of schooling was 8.5, mean household size was 6 people, mean farming experience of 17.5 years and mean farm size of 1.8 hectares. The effect of livelihood diversification revealed that livelihood diversification had positive and significant effect on food security (65.6%) and income generation (66.8%) in the study area. The major constraints to diversification in the study area were poor infrastructure, unavailability of credit and climatic risk and uncertainty. The study, therefore, recommended that rural household should be sensitised to diversify their income source into non-farm activities.
Vulnerability of Indian Agriculture to Climate Change: A Study of Himalayan Region
Climate variability and changes are the emerging challenges for the 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 Himalayan region causing changes in land use and cereal crop productivity with the various Climatic parameters. Rainfalls, Temperature changes from 1951 to 2013 were studied at four locations namely Hardwar, Rudra Prayag, Uttar Kashi and Tehri Garwal of varying altitude. It was observed that there is noticeable increment in temperature on all the four locations. It was surprisingly observed that Mean rainfall intensity of 30 minutes duration has been increased at the rate of 0.1 mm/hours since 2000. Study shows that combined effect of increasing temperature, Rainfall, Runoff and urbanization at mid Himalayan region is causing increase in various climatic disasters and changes in agriculture pattern. A noticeable change in cropping pattern, crop productivity and land use change was observed. Appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies are necessary to make agriculture sustainable and climate-resilient. Appropriate information is necessary for farmers and planners and decision makers for developing, disseminating and adopting climate-smart technologies.
Physicochemical Properties of Soy Protein Isolate (SPI): Starch Conjugates Treated by Sonication
In recent years there is growing interested in using soy protein because of several advantages compared to other protein sources, such as high nutritional value, steady supply, and low cost. Soy protein isolate (SPI) is the most refined soy protein product. It contains 90% protein in a moisture-free form and has some desirable functionalities. Creating a protein-polysaccharide conjugate to be the emulsifying agent rather than the protein alone can markedly enhance its stability. This study was undertaken to examine the effects of ultrasound treatments on the physicochemical properties of SPI-starch conjugates. The soy protein isolate (SPI, Pro-Fam® 955) samples were obtained from the Archer Daniels Midland Company. Protein concentrations were analyzed by the Bardford method using BSA as the standard. The volume-weighted mean diameters D [4,3] of protein–polysaccharide conjugates were measured by dynamic light scattering (DLS). Surface hydrophobicity of the conjugates was measured by using 1-anilino-8-naphthalenesulfonate (ANS) (Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, MO, USA). Increasing the pH from 2 to 12 resulted in increased protein solubility. The highest solubility was 69.2% for the sample treated with ultrasonication at pH 12, while the lowest (9.13%) was observed in the Control. For the other pH conditions, the protein solubility values ranged from 40.53 to 49.65%. The ultrasound treatment significantly decreased the particle sizes of the SPI-modified starch conjugates. While the D [4,3] for the Control was 731.6 nm, it was 293.7 nm for the samples treated by sonication at pH 12. The surface hydrophobicity (H0) of SPI-starch at all pH conditions were significantly higher than those in the Control. Ultrasonication was proven to be effective in improving the solubility and emulsifying properties of soy protein isolate-starch conjugates.
Validation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Inactivation on Apple-Carrot Juice Treated with Manothermosonication by Kinetic Models
Several models such as Weibull, Modified Gompertz, Biphasic linear, and Log-logistic models have been proposed in order to describe non-linear inactivation kinetics and used to fit non-linear inactivation data of several microorganisms for inactivation by heat, high pressure processing or pulsed electric field. First-order kinetic parameters (D-values and z-values) have often been used in order to identify microbial inactivation by non-thermal processing methods such as ultrasound. Most ultrasonic inactivation studies employed first-order kinetic parameters (D-values and z-values) in order to describe the reduction on microbial survival count. This study was conducted to analyze the E. coli O157:H7 inactivation data by using five microbial survival models (First-order, Weibull, Modified Gompertz, Biphasic linear and Log-logistic). First-order, Weibull, Modified Gompertz, Biphasic linear and Log-logistic kinetic models were used for fitting inactivation curves of Escherichia coli O157:H7. The residual sum of squares and the total sum of squares criteria were used to evaluate the models. The statistical indices of the kinetic models were used to fit inactivation data for E. coli O157:H7 by MTS at three temperatures (40, 50, and 60 0C) and three pressures (100, 200, and 300 kPa). Based on the statistical indices and visual observations, the Weibull and Biphasic models were best fitting of the data for MTS treatment as shown by high R2 values. The non-linear kinetic models, including the Modified Gompertz, First-order, and Log-logistic models did not provide any better fit to data from MTS compared the Weibull and Biphasic models. It was observed that the data found in this study did not follow the first-order kinetics. It is possibly because of the cells which are sensitive to ultrasound treatment were inactivated first, resulting in a fast inactivation period, while those resistant to ultrasound were killed slowly. The Weibull and biphasic models were found as more flexible in order to determine the survival curves of E. coli O157:H7 treated by MTS on apple-carrot juice.
Different Parameters that Influence the Polyphenols from Some Medicinal Plants in Western Algeria
This work focuses on the influences of biological and chemical parameters on the phenolic compounds such as flavonoids and tannins in different medicinal plants in western Algeria (Papaver rhoeas, Daphnegnidium, Lavandula multifida, Lavandula dentata, Lavandula stoicha, ...). Thus we look the difference between species of the same genus, difference between the different organs of the same species, the influence of environment all temperature influences, time, percentage of solvent on the extraction. Quantification of the phenolic compounds was performed by spectrophotometric method then treated with statistics tools such as variance analysis, multivariant analyzes, response surface methodology). The results show that the polyphenols are influenced by the parameters mentioned.
Comparative Growth Kinetic Studies of Two Strains Saccharomyces cerevisiae Isolated from Dates and a Commercial Strain
Dates, main products of the oases, due to their therapeutic interests, are considered highly nutritious fruit. Several studies on the valuation biotechnology and technology of dates are made, and several products are already prepared. Isolation of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, naturally presents in a scrap of date, optimization of growth in the medium based on date syrup and production biomass can potentially expand the range of secondary products of dates. To this end, this paper tries to study the suitability for processing dates technology and biotechnology to use the date pulp as a carbon source for biological transformation. Two strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolated from date syrup (S1, S2) and a commercial strain have used for this study. After optimization of culture conditions, production in a fermenter on two different media (date syrup and beet molasses) was performed. This is followed by studying the kinetics of growth, protein production and consumption of sugars in crops strain 1, 2 and the commercial strain and on both media. The results obtained showed that a concentration of 2% sugar, 2.5 g/l yeast extract, pH 4.5 and a temperature between 25 and 35°C are the optimal conditions for cultivation in a bioreactor. The exponential phase of the specific growth rate of a strain on both media showed that it is about 0.3625 h-1 for the production of a medium based on date syrup and 0.3521 h-1 on beet molasses with a generation time equal to 1.912 h and on the medium based on date syrup, yeast consumes preferentially the reducing sugars. For the production of protein, we showed that this latter presents an exponential phase when the medium starts to run out of reducing sugars. For strain 2, the specific growth rate is about 0.261h-1 for the production on a medium based on date syrup and 0207 h-1 on beet molasses and the base medium syrup date of the yeast consumes preferentially reducing sugars. For the invertase and other metabolits, these increases rapidly after exhaustion of reducing sugars. The comparison of productivity between the three strains on the medium based on date syrup showed that the maximum value is obtained with the second strain: p = 1072 g/l/h as it is about of 0923 g/l/h for strain 1 and 0644 g/l/h for the commercial strain. Thus, isolates of date syrup are more competitive than the commercial strain and can give the same performance in a shorter time with energy gain.
Lessons Learnt from Industry: Achieving Net Gain Outcomes for Biodiversity
Development plays a major role in stopping biodiversity loss. But the ‘silo species’ protection of legislation (where certain species are protected while many are not) means that development can be ‘legally compliant’ and result in biodiversity loss. ‘Net Gain’ (NG) policies can help overcome this by making it an absolute requirement that development causes no overall loss of biodiversity and brings a benefit. However, offsetting biodiversity losses in one location with gains elsewhere is controversial because people suspect ‘offsetting’ to be an easy way for developers to buy their way out of conservation requirements. Yet the good practice principles (GPP) of offsetting provide several advantages over existing legislation for protecting biodiversity from development. This presentation describes the learning from implementing NG approaches based on GPP. It regards major upgrades of the UK’s transport networks, which involved removing vegetation in order to construct and safely operate new infrastructure. While low-lying habitats were retained, trees and other habitats disrupting the running or safety of transport networks could not. Consequently, achieving NG within the transport corridor was not possible and offsetting was required. The first ‘lessons learnt’ were on obtaining a commitment from business leaders to go beyond legislative requirements and deliver NG, and on the institutional change necessary to embed GPP within daily operations. These issues can only be addressed when the challenges that biodiversity poses for business are overcome. These challenges included: biodiversity cannot be measured easily unlike other sustainability factors like carbon and water that have metrics for target-setting and measuring progress; and, the mindset that biodiversity costs money and does not generate cash in return, which is the opposite of carbon or waste for example, where people can see how ‘sustainability’ actions save money. The challenges were overcome by presenting the GPP of NG as a cost-efficient solution to specific, critical risks facing the business that also boost industry recognition, and by using government-issued NG metrics to develop business-specific toolkits charting their NG progress whilst ensuring that NG decision-making was based on rich ecological data. An institutional change was best achieved by supporting, mentoring and training sustainability/environmental managers for these ‘frontline’ staff to embed GPP within the business. The second learning was from implementing the GPP where business partnered with local governments, wildlife groups and land owners to support their priorities for nature conservation, and where these partners had a say in decisions about where and how best to achieve NG. From this inclusive approach, offsetting contributed towards conservation priorities when all collaborated to manage trade-offs between: -Delivering ecologically equivalent offsets or compensating for losses of one type of biodiversity by providing another. -Achieving NG locally to the development whilst contributing towards national conservation priorities through landscape-level planning. -Not just protecting the extent and condition of existing biodiversity but ‘doing more’. -The multi-sector collaborations identified practical, workable solutions to ‘in perpetuity’. But key was strengthening linkages between biodiversity measures implemented for development and conservation work undertaken by local organizations so that developers support NG initiatives that really count.
Management of High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF) in Peninsular Malaysia as Part of Sustainable Forest Management Practices
Tropical forests in Malaysia safeguard enormous biological diversity while providing crucial benefits and services for the sustainable development of human communities. They are highly significant globally, both for their diverse and threatened species and as representative unique ecosystems. In order to promote the conservation and sustainable management of forest in this country, the Forestry Department (FD) is using ITTO guidelines on managing the forest under the Sustainable Forest Management practice (SFM). The fundamental principles of SFM are the sustained provision of products, goods and services; economic viability, social acceptability and the minimization of environmental/ecological impacts. With increased awareness and recognition of the importance of tropical forests and biodiversity in the global environment, efforts have been made to classify forests and natural areas with unique values or properties in a universally accepted scale. In line with that the concept of High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) first used by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in 1999, has been adopted and included as Principle ‘9’ in the Malaysia Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (MC&I 2002). The MC&I 2002 is a standard used for assessing forest management practices of the Forest Management Unit (FMU) level for purpose of certification. The key to the concept of HCVF is identification of HCVs of the forest. This paper highlighted initiative taken by the Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia in establishing and managing HCVF areas within the Permanent Forest Reserves (PFE). To date almost all states forestry department in Peninsular Malaysia have established HCVFs in their respective states under different categories. Among others, the establishments of HCVF in this country are related to the importance of conserving biological diversity of the flora in the natural forest in particular endemic and threatened species such as Shorea bentongensis. As such it is anticipated that by taking this important initiatives, it will promote the conservation of biological diversity in the PFE of Peninsular Malaysia in line with the Sustainable Forest Management practice.