The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of early feed restriction (FR) with wet feeding on size of small intestine, blood lipids and performance parameters in broilers from group 3. A total of 100 oneday-old male broiler chickens were randomly allocated to 4 treatments with 4 pens per treatment and 10 chickens per pen, in a fully randomized 2  2 factorial arrangement, two feeding arrangement; providing feed ad libitum (Full Fed) or FR by 50% between days 6 to 12, and feed in either wet or dry form (wet form, 1.2 g water per 1 g dry feed). Body weight and feed intake of broiler chickens were determined at d 0, 21, and 42, and feed conversion ratio (FCR) was calculated. At d 42, two birds per replicate were euthanised for determination of carcass weight, organ weight and length, and also for blood parameters, which included high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL), total cholesterol and triglycerides (TG). The broilers fed wet form irrespective of FR throughout had superior body weight gain and carcass weight compared with birds fed dry diets at d 22 and 42 (P < 0.05). The wet form with FR significantly showed lower FCR compared with the wet form and ad libitum at group 1 (P < 0.05). The broilers fed wet form had significantly increased HDL, LDL, and total cholesterol and decreased TG (P < 0.05). In conclusion, wet form can improve performance growth and blood parameters, and the FR birds were able to attain normal market body weight at d 42, which suggests that growth compensation occurred. 

Chapter One: Introduction

The advantages of wet feeding in broilers were recently reviewed by Yasar and Forbes (2000) and wet feeding was suggested by Scott (2002), Scott and Silversides (2003) and Afsharmanesh et al. (2006) as being a valuable tool in increasing our understanding of the limitations in feed intake by broilers fed cereal-based diets. Yasar and Forbes (2000) showed consistent benefits to broiler chickens of feeding conventional feeds mixed with 1.3 parts of water by weight per part of air-dry food. This effect may be due to changes in the physical properties of the feed, and to allowing more rapid penetration of digestive juices, rather than through improved palatability or pre-digestion between wetting and consumption. In general, broilers more readily accept feed in wet form than dry form (Mikkelsen and Jensen, 2001). Wet feed can improve daily weight gain and feed intake but can have a variable effect on feed conversion ratio (FCR) (Afsharmanesh et al., 2006; Scott and Silversides, 2003), because Scott (2002) suggested that adding water to the diet before feeding the hydrated diet allowed digestion to begin immediately and the bird to eat more and grow more quickly, therefore it can be concluded that broilers cannot eat enough dry feed to attain their genetic potential for growth. Fermented wet feed can reduce gastric pH and the number of coliform bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract of broilers (Afsharmanesh et al., 2010). However, for cereal-based diets, wet feeding resulted in a disproportionally larger increase in feed intake relative to growth rate, and may resulting in a significant increase in FCR (Yasar and Forbes, 2000). Washburn (1991) demonstrated that slowing the rate of passage of a diet increased nutrient retention.

Akinola et al. (2015) reported a markedly higher body weight gain for chickens fed wet diets. Wet feeding has been reported to stimulate increased dry matter intake, growth rate and feed conversion efficiency of broilers (Yalda and Forbes, 1995; Awojobi and Meshioye, 2001; Awojobi et al., 2009). It has also been shown to improve broiler performance in the hot tropic as it reduces heat stress and improve feed intake (Dei and Bumbie, 2011). Restricting the excessively high intake of wet-based diets may increase the retention of nutrients.

Physical FR is one of the common procedure was used in controlling feed intake in poultry. Physical FR supply a calculated amount of feed per bird, which is often just enough to meet maintenance requirements (Plavnik and Hurwitz, 1989). Quantitative FR has been observed to reduce mortality and culling (Yu and Robinson, 1992), improve feed conversion ratio (Deaton, 1995; Lee and Lesson, 2001) and allow a complete recovery of body weight if the degree of restriction was not too severe and slaughter ages were extended beyond 6 weeks (Plavnik and Hurwitz, 1988; Deaton, 1995). Plavnik and Hurwitz (1989) reported that broilers subjected to a short period (7 to 14 d) of severe early FR (before 21 d) could show complete catch up in body weight following refeeding. Some studies shows that feed restriction (FR) for short periods during the early growth phases show improvement of feed efficiency and reach a weight equal to that of birds fed ad libitum (Hornick et al., 2000; Pinheiro et al., 2004).

Statement of problem

According to Yalda and Forbes (1996) poultry have traditionally been fed on wet feedes. This practice has however not been adopted under large-scale intensive production because it has not been thought to confer any definite advantage. Increasing evidence from research (Abasiekong, 1989; Yalda and Forbes, 1995; Coskun and Kutlu, 1997; Awojobi and Meshioye, 2001; Ogbonna et al., 2001; Awojobi et al., 2007) is pointing to the tendency that wet feed may have advantages over dry wet feeding. Research findings so far have shown that wet feeding significantly improved body weight gain per unit food by increasing the proportion of food that is absorbed from the digestive tract. Significant increase in daily feed intake, carcass yield and dramatic improvement in digestibility has been reported. Awojobi and Meshioye (2001) observed superior performance of wet-fed broilers over dry wet feeding for feed intake, live weight gain and feed conversion efficiency but comparable performance for carcass yield. The experiment, which was conducted during wet season in the tropics, used 1 part of water to 1 part of feed. The birds on wet feeding also had drinking water. These researchers suggested further studies to examine higher amounts of water addition and also comparison of wet feeding with and without drinking water. Yalda and Forbes (1995) had earlier reported that birds given wet feed without drinking water compared favourably with those having drinking water. According to them, the provision of drinking water does not confer any advantage on the use of wet feed.




soil erosion on agricultural production On Arable Agricultural Production In Asaba And It’s Environs

Effect of soil erosion on agricultural production On Arable Agricultural Production In Asaba And It’s Environs


Soil erosion is recognized as one of the world’s most serious environmental problems (Pimentel et al 1995, Shiferaw and Holden, 1999). Globally, about 80% of the current degradation of agricultural land is caused by soil erosion.In most developing countries, including Nigeria, human activity triggers these losses this is associated with rapid population growth, inadequate attention to the basic natural resources S.W.V (soils, water and vegetation), and the need to maximize production to meet the needs of the growing population This situation is more serious in poor developing countries like Nigeria  where subsistence production predominates. Soil is one of the natural resources on Planet Earth. Though soil is a renewable natural resource, yet it can become finite, with the passage of time, through its degradation. In Nigeria soil erosion is a problem and there are several causes for this. These causes are in fact various factors as a result of which soil erosion takes place. Some of the contributing factors are certain agricultural practices of conventional agriculture and environmental problems. There is a universal acceptance that such agricultural practices degrade the soil. This study deliberate to explore the prevention of soil erosion problems and damage of the environmental component such as the effects of agricultural production and land degradation that soil erosion caused in asaba, Delta state. The main objective of this study is to know the possible cause and effect of soil erosion on agricultural production in asaba, delta state. And to be sought further in this study was be as follows:The aim of this thesis is to have clear understanding the cause and effect of soil erosion on agricultural production from the environment and the necessity to implement conservation measures in the study area.

The study is carried out in asaba which is located in delta state.The study was used a descriptive co-relational design; the study also was used a cross sectional, comparative and ex-post facto designs. Descriptive in that data collected was used to describe a phenomenon; co-relational in that it was interested in relating cause and effect of soil erosion on agricultural production in asaba, delta state.

Both soil causes and effect of soil are major drivers of land degradation and pose key problems to livelihoods of the community members in the study area. Sheet, rill and gully erosion are the main types of erosion within the study area and the latter form of erosion, namely gully erosion, is the most alarming problem removing huge quantities of soil, dissecting land and damaging infrastructure.

Deterioration in soil fertility as a result of severe soil erosion is a critical deterrent to crop production and a lack of fodder has been a major factor in the decline in agricultural production. As charcoal is the major source of energy for cooking in the study area, deforestation has seriously depleted forest resources. This has compelled community members to travel long distances and spending significant amount of time for collection of wood.


Chapter One: 

1.0 Introduction

Introduction In total there are five chapters: The First Chapter provides an overview of the background, the problem area identified, the problem formulation question, the research question and the objectives.  The Second Chapter discusses review of related literature and third chapter methodology chapter four presentations Analysis and Interpretation of Data chapter five findings conclusion, Recommendation

1.1     Background of the study

Soil erosion is recognized as one of the world’s most serious environmental problems (Pimentel et al 1995, Shiferaw and Holden, 1999). Globally, about 80% of the current degradation of agricultural land is caused by soil erosion. Erosion by water, at a global scale, is the main soil degradation process in agricultural areas It generates strong environmental impacts and major economic losses from decreased agricultural production and from off-site effects on infrastructure and water quality by sedimentation processes Soil erosion creates severe limitations to sustainable agricultural land use, as it reduces on-farm soil productivity and causes food insecurity.

In most developing countries, including Nigeria, human activity triggers these losses this is associated with rapid population growth, inadequate attention to the basic natural resources S.W.V (soils, water and vegetation), and the need to maximize production to meet the needs of the growing population This situation is more serious in poor developing countries like Nigeria  where subsistence production predominates. The Asaba environment, is nowadays dependent on natural conditions and cannot tolerate further deterioration of soil productivity Increasing urbanization, intense land cultivation, uncontrolled grazing, and deforestation often lead to, or exacerbate, soil erosion These factors undermine agricultural productivity and frustrate economic development efforts, especially in developing countries where there is heavy land dependence in low external-input farming systems Nigeria has a total surface area of 137,600 sq  . However, whilst soil erosion is a feature of any natural Ecosystem, the rate at which it is taking place has been significantly accelerated by anthropogenic influences.

Soil erosion in the Areas has increased markedly in recent decades the impacts of soil erosion have major implications for society from an economic, social and, environmental perspective.  In terms of ecological service provision, soil performs many, ecological functions including nutrient cycling, regulating water and nutrient flows, filtering toxic compounds, providing a medium for plant roots and supporting the growth of a variety of animals and soil microorganisms by providing a diverse physical, chemical and biological habitat. As such, it is a vital natural resource and forms a key building block upon which life on earth depends. In economic terms, soil erosion inflicts significant costs on society as the ecological services we derive from soil have an economic value; as soil is eroded, the economic value we are able to derive from it is diminished. The financial implications of soil erosion do not stop here. For example, soil erosion can transmit pollutants into water which have to be removed through costly processes. Eroded soil often needs to be removed from roads, reservoirs and estuaries which again can involve considerable costs to society.

Soil is a precious natural resource and in Nigeria especially this study Area asaba there is an ever increasing awareness of the declining soil quality. To inhibit this decline, soil conservation has been given due consideration in organic farming in the asaba village.

To conserve means ‘to protect from loss and harm’. Hence soil conservation means to protect the soil from both loss and harm. ‘Soil Loss’ and ‘Soil Harm’ are two different unique terms/categories, with reference to soil degradation, that have been introduced separately (in this thesis). Soil Loss implies soil degradation that occurs naturally e.g. erosion and other factors are responsible for the loss of soil. Soil Loss can occur in the three basic dimensions of loss, i.e. physical, chemical and biological. Conversely, Soil Harm implies soil degradation that is anthropogenic in nature, i.e. induced by mankind e.g. chemicals and mechanics are responsible for the harm of the soil. Physical, chemical and biological dimensions of harm can take place in Soil Harm. With this background, organic farming practices propagate soil conservation by reducing both Soil Loss and Soil Harm.

As manifested from experience that soil harm has been pre-dominantly higher as C S L Compared to soil loss. The harm or damage to the soil caused by human induced activities is ever increasing due to factors like conventional agricultural practices, urbanization, Industrialization, increasing population, etc. Some of the problems of both soil loss and Soil harm are irreversible, e.g. soil erosion (whether it occurs naturally or as human Induced)  Whereas, other problems of both soil loss and soil harm can be dealt with and Improved with specialized tactics and measures, e.g. soil leaching can be improved with crop rotations of legumes and catch crops; soil contamination can be alleviated with remediation procedures; etc.

Here the soil management practices play a vital role in the Soil conservation.

The pressure on arable land is growing and this forces people to convert more marginal, available forest and grazing lands to arable lands. Hence, forest resources are very few and continuously decreasing both in quantity and quality. These results in firewood shortage and people are forced to use animal dung as a fuel wood substitute. The major source of organic matter is thus not brought back to the soil but used further purposes. Soil erosion is the most significant ecological restriction to sustainable agricultural production, mainly under subsistence agricultural production system like west of Delta state including this Area asaba.


Effect of soil erosion on agricultural production On Arable Agricultural Production In Asaba And It’s Environs




The study was conducted to examine the Effect of oil palm processing on socio economic growth of farmers in Kogi State of Nigeria. The objectives of the study are to: determine the factors affecting resource use efficiency by Oil Palm Producers in the study area and determine the optimum replacement age of oil palm. The tools of analysis used are:- simple descriptive statistics, multiple regression analysis, optimum replacement model and gross margin analysis. From the estimate of oil palm in the state,40,30,20 and 30 oil palm farmers were proportionally and purposively sampled from the four (4) Agricultural Zones, A,B,C and D with their headquarters at Ayetoro-Gbede, Anyigba, Koton-Karfe and Alloma respectively, to give a sample size of 120 oil palm producers. The oil palm producers were interviewed with structured questionnaire to obtain information on oil palm production. Data for optimum replacement age were obtained from NIFOR oil palm plantation, Acharu substation. The data collected were analysed using the tools of analysis as specified. The  t-values and F-statistics are significant up to 5 percent level of significance. The oil palm currently on the fields were planted over 26 years ago, most of which are over 45 years, already having impaired productivity. The gross margin analysis shows a margin of N2,046,844.00. The benefit-cost analysis shows a ratio of 1:1.56, indicating that one naira invested in oil palm processing will yield N1.56. The production has not been able to keep pace with consumption demand, hence Nigeria has to import palm oil to fill the deficit gap. The highest output recorded in research station was 13.50tonnes of fresh fruit bunch (ffb) per hectare. The study shows that optimum replacement age of oil palm is 35 years for the production to enjoy a flow of output. The major constraint being lack of good policy direction and inadequate financial support and other incentives to boost oil palm produce economy. It is recommended that there should be conscious desire to implement research findings. The need to commission agency(ies) to undertake the establishment of oil palm farms by government and after tending it to certain age shall hand them over to private individuals on charge is imperative. There is a need for credit policy to offer credit assistance to oil palm producers. Oil palm producers should be encouraged to cut down their oil palm at the age of 35 years.


1.0          INTRODUCTION

1.1          Background Information

Oil palm is a monocotyledonous tree belonging to the family, palmae and the subfamily, cocoideae. The normal (diploid) chromosome number is 2n = 32. The adult plant possesses an impressive crown of 30 to 45 green leaves, each 5-9m long at the top of a trunk bearing old leaf bases arranged spirally, (Kochhar, 1976; Opeke, 1992; CTA, 2000). The stem may be 30 to 38cm in diameter, with progressive thickening towards the base. On older palms, the stem is punctuated with conspicuous and regularly arranged leaf scars and the stem terminates in a handsome growth of leaves (fronds). The palm leaf is compound and is known as the frond. The leaf is paripinnate with a prominent petiole (0.9 to 1.5m long). The petiole often broadens at the base to form a clasper round the stem. Each palm frond bears, 20 to over 150 pairs of leaflets arranged in more or less two rows along each side of the flattened rachis with the longest pinnate varying up to 120 cm. The pinnae are parallel-veined.

The plant is monoecious with separate male and female flowers (inflorescences) on the same plant. Cross-fertilization is achieved through successive cycles of male and female flower production. It produces bunches of fleshy fruits, the pulp (mesocarp) of which yields a solid, edible, orange-red oil called palm oil. The endosperm or kernel yields a clear, yellowish oil, that is also edible and solid, and is called palm kernel oil. These two products are important in world trade.

Oil palm adapts well to most textures from medium loams to clays. Extremely coarse or fine textures may not always be suitable, especially if they affect water supply to the roots. The climatic and soil requirements constitute the physical factors that are responsible for the growth of oil palm. They include availability of water supply, soil conditions in terms of fertility and topography that is suitable for the growth of oil palm. It is recommended that rainfall of 1600mm to 5000mm per year evenly distributed will enhance the growth of oil palm, (Keu, 2001; Khera, 1976). The oil palm has a wide adaptability range of soils to low pH but sensitive to high pH (above 7.5) and stagnant water. Neutral pH soils are most favoured.

The temperature requirement varies between 180C and 340C. Opeke (1992), observed that oil palm would tolerate even higher temperature provided there is adequate moisture. It requires plenty of sunshine; productivity is reduced in areas with excessive sky overcast. It thrives under conditions of high relative humidity; yields are adversely influenced when the crop is exposed to dry harmattan winds (CTA, 2000).SOCIO ECONOMIC GROWTH

Oil palm is a lowland crop although it can grow well up to altitude of 900m. It has fibrous root system and benefits from deep soils which are fertile, free from iron deposits and well-drained. SOCIO ECONOMIC GROWTH

Oil palm is affected by pests and diseases attack. The pests and diseases attack both seedlings in the nursery and mature plants on the field. Some notable pests of oil palm are snails, crickets and mammals especially rodents (rats and mice). Others include leaf-minners, weevils, caterpillars, birds and squirrels. The oil palm diseases include Anthracnose, Freckle, Blast, Ganoderma trunk rot, Vascular wilt disease, Basal rot and crown diseases. These pests and diseases pose serious problems to the production of oil palm. They attack the plants at various stages of growth and development (Uguru, 1996; CTA, 1998). SOCIO ECONOMIC GROWTH

In the 1950s and 1960s, Kogi State was a major producer and exporter of palm oil and palm kernels  (about 12,000 tons or 2.40% of national palm kernel output)(Idachaba, 2005). At that time, he noted, there were pyramids of palm kernels in John Holt Warehouses at Idah. Also, there was annual loading of palm kernels at Idah River port for export through Delta Inland port of Burutu to Europe. Until after the First World War, palm oil and kernels were supplied entirely from groves of Africa and to a much lesser degree of Brazil. It was not until after the Second World War that the West African groves were studied with thoroughness. OIL PALM PROCESSING

Hartley (1988), postulated that in areas where the palm was already part of the natural vegetation, the factors of greatest importance in the development of a grove was the growth of a dense population. The cutting down of forest areas for annual crop cultivation removed dense shade and created conditions suitable for rapid establishment of the palm.

Because of economic importance of oil palm as high yielding source of edible and technical oils, the oil palm is now grown as a plantation in most countries with high rainfall (minimum 1600mm/year) in tropical climates within 100 north and south of equator, (USDA, 2000). Raymond (1961); McCall (2003), compared the potential oil yield from various crops and placed the oil palm at the head of the list. OIL PALM PROCESSING

The extensive development of oil palm industries in many countries in the tropics has been motivated by its extremely high potential productivity. The oil palm gives the highest yield of oil per unit area compared to any other oil crop and produces two distinct oils – palm oil and palm kernel oil – both of which are important in World Trade, (USDA, 2000). Oil palm seems to be part of the traditional agriculture of Kogi State. The climatic condition and soil type of Kogi State appear favourable for the growth of oil palm. The production and development is in the hands of small-scale holders. They have all been dependent on rainfed cultivation and a large proportion of the palm produced are on wild groves. Apart from the wild groves, three economically important varieties are grown in the study area. These are the Dura, the Pisifera and the Tenera. The Tenera is a cross between Dura and Pisifera (Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research, NIFOR, 1985).OIL PALM PROCESSING







The paper presents an economic analysis of fluted pumpkin production (Telfaria occidentalis Hook F. Cucurbitaceae) production in Ukwuani local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. Primary data were obtained from questionnaire administered to 140 fluted pumpkin farmers drawn using systematic sampling techniques from the study area. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, marginal value productivity, multiple regression and a 5-point likert scale. Results showed that most of the respondents were females, illiterate and married. Farmers operated on subsistence level, about 95% practiced mixed cropping with farming experience not less than 5 years. An adjusted R2 value of 0.664 indicated that the independent variables; farm size, labour and quantity of seed in the model explained 66% of variations in the dependent variable (output). The F value of 60.09 showed the overall statistical significance with a P value of zero. Net return per hectare was $644.90. The benefit-cost ratio was $1 to $1.23 which implies that for every $1 invested, 23cents was obtained thus depicting that the enterprise was profitable in the study area. Resources under-utilized were quantity of seed and farm size while family and hired labour were over-utilized. Major constraints faced by farmers were; high cost of labour, lack of adequate and quality seeds, pests and disease attack, storage and transportation cost. It is recommended that effective agricultural extension services, credit and loan schemes and infrastructure should be provided to farmers in the study area for increased profitability, yield and resource-use efficiency of fluted pumpkin production. 



1.1     Background of the study

Fluted pumpkin is a very important vegetable that is popular in West Africa. It belongs to the family Telfaria Occidentalis Hook F. cucurbitaceae. It is a leafy vegetable that produces fruits. (Enabulele and Uavbarhe,  2001). Tindall, (1989) defined leafy vegetables as herbaceous plants used for culinary purposes. They are used to increase the dietary quality of soups. The fruit on full maturity has a weight of 10kg. and an appearance of 10 distinctive longitudinal ribs on the surface. It is popular in West Africa. The edible part of this vegetable are the large red seeds, leaves and young shoots used for traditional soup. Protein rich seed can be roasted or grounded for use in porridge. The flesh of the fruit has good oil content which can be used as cooking oil. Although fluted pumpkin is a minor oil crop it possesses healing properties that have been found effective in boosting blood levels and also in maintaining bone mineral density in older men when more of the seeds are consumed. It’s important role in ensuring food security for the populace has not been overlooked by the present administration through the 7 point agenda. Fluted pumpkin consumption has improved over the years and it is an important component of the daily diets of Nigerians (Okoli and Mgbeogu, 1983). Due it’s hypolipidemic action, it lowers blood cholesterol and thus protects from a large range of associated complications like cardiac problems, hypertension and diabetes Margret, (2011).

The joint FAO/WHO 2003 consultation on diet, nutrition and prevention of chronic disease recommended a minimum intake of 400g of leafy vegetables which helps in preventing and managing of nutritional and also health related diseases that are rampant in rural areas. According to Chweya and Denton (2000) the nutritional contribution of fluted pumpkin is essential for good health and growth among lactating mothers. The seed of fluted pumpkin contains essential nutrients in significant amounts which can supplement other foods (Christian and Ejeafehe, 2007). It has been shown that adding fluted pumpkin seeds to diet compares favourably with conventional drugs in reducing inflammatory symptoms of arthritis (Doan, 2008).

According to Koomolafe (1978), the uses of vegetables include:

Practical study of crop plants in school gardens, good sources of food, reasonable income by selling the vegetables.

Other uses of vegetables have emerged due to recent studies. They include:

Medicinal value of some vegetables compare favourably with conventional drugs.

Planted as cover crops that helps prevent and reduce soil erosion and leaching and also they out compete weeds (reducing the need for pesticides)

Mitigate global warming by carbon sequestration.

Vegetables have deep and extensive root system that can hold soil to capture dissolved nitrogen before it can contaminate ground and surface water.

Apart from fluted pumpkin, other vegetables produced in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State include water leaf, bitter leaf, green

leaf (African spinach), Okro, pepper etc. Fluted pumpkin producers in the study area are faced with challenges of seedbed preparation, seedlings, pest management, fertilization, harvesting, transportation, processing and marketing as other farmers.( Awerosuo, 2008).