Author Archive

Grain yield of newly developed wheat cultivar (NARC 201) as enhanced by foliar application of humic acid under rainfed conditions

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Sarhad Journal Agriculture 30 (2173-178, 2014.

Abbas, S.H.; Sohail, M.; Hussain, I.; Saleem, M.; Qamar, M.; Aslam, M.; Imram, M.

A newly developed wheat cultivar NARC 2011 was evaluated for physio- agronomic traits by varying Humic acid concentrations and Effective microbes at different phenological stages during rabi season of 2010-11 in the field area allocated to national coordinated wheat program of national agricultural research centre, Islamabad. The experiment was laid out using randomized complete block design (RCBD) for an assortment of growth and yield characters at various Humic acid concentrations and Effective microbe under rainfed conditions. There were six treatments and were replicated three times. Results revealed that E.M enhanced sub stomatal CO2 concentration in the flag leaf of mother shoot significantly, whereas for transpiration rate, spike length, number of spikelets spike-1 , flag leaf area and thousand seed weight, its effect but statistically at par. The highest grain yield of 3566 kg ha-1 was achieved at N P (115:85 kg ha- 1) in combination with 3000 mL ha-1 concentration of humic acid at tillering +flag leaf initiation +grain filling stages hence resulting in 30 percent greater yield than control (2747 kg ha-1). Similarly the highest biological yield of 12667 kg ha-1 was achieved at same level of NP in combination with 3000 mL ha-1 concentration of humic acid at tillering +flag leaf initiation +grain filling stages hence resulting in 31 percent greater biological yield than control (9667 kg ha-1). Hence in order to achieve higher biological and grain yield in rainfed regime, humic acid along with optimum recommended area specific NP levels depending up on soil nutritional status may be applied at appropriate phenological stages of wheat crop.

Production risks and food security under alternative technology choices in Malawi: application of a multinomial endogenous switching regression

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2014.

Kassie, M.; Adefris Teklewold; Marenya, P.; Jaleta Debello Moti; Erenstein, O.

Employing nationally representative data, we investigate the impact of Sustainable Intensification Practices (SIPs) on farm households’ food security, downside risk and the cost of risk in Malawi. The analysis relies on a flexible moment-based specification of a stochastic production function in a multinomial endogenous switching regression framework to correct for the selection bias stemming both from observed and unobserved heterogeneity. A quantile moment approach is used to estimate the cost of risk. After controlling for the effects of unobserved heterogeneity and several observable variables on maize production and downside risk functions, estimation results show that the adoption of SIPs increases food security and reduces downside risk exposure and the cost of risk. We estimate greater food security and larger reduction in downside risk from simultaneous adoption of both crop diversification (maize–legume intercropping and rotations) and minimum tillage, suggesting that there are complementary benefits from these practices. We find most of the cost of risk comes from exposure to downside risk. Our findings imply that in dealing with production risks development agents should encourage the adoption of agronomic and resource-management practices along with other risk mitigation and food security improving strategies.

Determinants of maize stover utilization as feed, fuel and soil amendment in mixed crop-livestock systems, Ethiopia

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Agricultural Systems, 2014.

Jaleta Debello Moti; Kassie, M.; Erenstein, O.

Crop residues have several uses in smallholder mixed crop-livestock systems. This paper examines determinants of households’ maize stover use as livestock feed, fuel and soil amendment in maize-based systems in Ethiopia. In these systems maize stover is primarily used as feed (56% of biomass) and fuel (31%), with the feed use share negatively associated with maize production potential. We develop a Seemingly Unrelated Regression model to capture the interdependence of crop residue uses. Results show extension training on crop residue retention in the field results in more residue use for soil amendment and less for feed. Farmers with more livestock tend to use more residues for feed and less for soil mulch. Cropping pattern, farm size, agro-ecology and crop residue production also influence crop residue utilization. Conservation agriculture interventions have implications for crop residue use and need to consider access to information, cropping patterns, resources endowments and other socio-economic factors in their development and targeting.

Gender contribution in production of high value crops: empirical evidence from Pakistan

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in The Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences 24 (3936-944, 2014

Ali, A.; Erenstein, O.; Dil Bahadur Rahut

The present study estimated the impact of women’s participation in farming activities on labour demand, production of high value crops, household income and the number of cattle kept per household in Pakistan. The study was carried out in the rice wheat area of the Pakistani Punjab. The cross-sectional data set was collected from 106 female respondents both participating and not participating in farming activities. The data was analysed by employing the propensity score matching approach to account for potential bias which may arise due to systematic dissimilarities among participants and non-participants. The empirical results indicate that households having women’s participation were able to grow high value crops and have less demand for labour as compared to households having no women’s participation. The results indicate that participating households have a higher income and were able to keep more cattle. The women’s participation in farming activities in Pakistan needs to be encouraged to increase household income and reduce the poverty in rural areas.

Impact of direct rice-sowing technology on rice producers’ earnings: empirical evidence from Pakistan

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Development Studies Research: An Open Access Journal (1244-254, 2014.

Ali, A.;Erenstein, O.; Dil Bahadur Rahut

Using the comprehensive data set collected from 238 rice producers during 2011, this study estimates the impact of direct seeding of rice-sowing technology on rice and wheat crop yields and farmers’ earnings in Pakistan. The propensity score-matching approach was employed to correct for potential sample selection bias that may arise due to systematic differences between the adopters and non-adopters of the direct rice-sowing technology. The empirical results indicate that the adopters of the direct rice-sowing technology have higher rice and wheat crop yields as compared to non-adopters. The rice yields are high, in the range of 8–9 maunds per acre, while the wheat yields are higher, in the range of 2–3 maunds per acre, indicating that the direct rice-sowing technology also has a positive impact on the following wheat crop. Results show that the adopter households have a higher income compared to non-adopter households. Most importantly, the new technology is a water-saving technology and on average it requires four times less irrigation than the traditional rice transplanting method. With the direct rice-sowing technology, the demand for skilled labor was less compared to the traditional transplanting method. However, the new technology is associated with a weed control problem, which needs to be addressed in order to maximize the benefits from the new technology.

Infiltration and planting pits for improved water management and maize yield in semi-arid Zimbabwe

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Agricultural Water Management 141 30-46, 2014.

Nyakudya, I.W.; Stroosnijder, L.; Nyagumbo, I.

Realising that rainwater harvesting (RWH) improves crop productivity, smallholder farmers in semi-arid Zimbabwe modified contour ridges traditionally used for rainwater management by digging infiltration pits inside contour ridge channels in order to retain more water in crop fields. However, scientific studies on crop yield benefits of infiltration pits have not been conclusive. Combining field-edge RWH methods such as contour ridges with infiltration pits with in-field practices may enhance crop yield benefits. Thus, the objective of the study was to assess soil moisture and maize yield improvement of combining infiltration and planting pits. Field experiments were conducted in Rushinga, Zimbabwe for three seasons at three sites using a split-plot design: main-plot factor, field-edge rainwater management method (RWMM); and split-plot factor, tillage method. Soil moisture content was measured weekly using gravimetric and Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) methods. A household and field survey to establish farmers’ perceptions, typology and availability of field-edge RWMM was conducted. In order to share experiences and enhance stakeholders’ learning, field days were held. Lateral movement of soil water was measured up to 2 m downslope from infiltration pits, hence infiltration pits did not improve maize yield and soil moisture content in the cropping area. Maize yield (kg ha−1) was 45% higher under conventional tillage (2697) than planting pits (1852) but the yield gap decreased from 90 to 30% in the first and third year respectively. The value of infiltration pits is in reducing soil erosion by water and growing high value horticultural crops inside and close to pits, a view shared by host farmers and other stakeholders. Planting pits are an option for farmers without access to draught power and a fall-back method. Research is required to determine soil moisture, maize yield benefits and waterlogging risk in fields with underlying impermeable layers that enhance lateral flow of water.

Utilization of deletion bins to anchor and order sequences along the wheat 7B chromosome

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Theoretical and Applied Genetics 127 (92029-2040, 2014.

Belova, T.;Gronvold, L.; Kumar, A.; Kianian, S.; Xinyao He; Lillemo, M.; Springer, N.M.; Lien, S.; Olsen, O.-A.; Sandve, S.R.

Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) has a large, complex and highly repetitive genome which is challenging to assemble into high quality pseudo-chromosomes. As part of the international effort to sequence the hexaploid bread wheat genome by the international wheat genome sequencing consortium (IWGSC) we are focused on assembling a reference sequence for chromosome 7B. The successful completion of the reference chromosome sequence is highly dependent on the integration of genetic and physical maps. To aid the integration of these two types of maps, we have constructed a high-density deletion bin map of chromosome 7B. Using the 270 K Nimblegen comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) array on a set of cv. Chinese spring deletion lines, a total of 3,671 sequence contigs and scaffolds (~7.8 % of chromosome 7B physical length) were mapped into nine deletion bins. Our method of genotyping deletions on chromosome 7B relied on a model-based clustering algorithm (Mclust) to accurately predict the presence or absence of a given genomic sequence in a deletion line. The bin mapping results were validated using three different approaches, viz. (a) PCR-based amplification of randomly selected bin mapped sequences (b) comparison with previously mapped ESTs and (c) comparison with a 7B genetic map developed in the present study. Validation of the bin mapping results suggested a high accuracy of the assignment of 7B sequence contigs and scaffolds to the 7B deletion bins.

Farm size and profitability of rice farming under rising input costs

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Journal of Land Use Science, 2014.

Mottaleb, K.A.; Mohanty, S.

As small farmers produce 90% of the total rice in the world, it is important to maintain adequate incentives for small rice farmers to ensure an adequate global rice supply. Rising input prices and agricultural wage rates, however, have been reducing overall profitability, consequently generating disincentives to rice farmers. Using household income and expenditure survey data for 2000 and 2010, this paper econometrically demonstrates that the loss in profitability is generally larger for small farms than for large farms, as small farms use more labor and other inputs than large farm households to earn higher rice income and profit. This paper econometrically demonstrates that, while per acre overall rice farming profitability (profit/total revenue) in Bangladesh declined more in 2010 than in 2000, the rate of reduction for small rice farm households is higher than for large farm households. It is found that, for both small and large farm households, the costs of wages, chemical fertilizer, irrigation, and tilling increased more significantly in 2010 than in 2000; however, the rate of increase for small farm households was higher than for large farm households. Consequently, the total cost of rice farming per acre for small farm households increased more sharply in 2010 than for large farm households. As a result, the profitability of rice farming per acre for small farm households declined more than for large farm households in 2010. Policies are drawn up based on the findings.

Quantifying production losses due to drought and submergence of rainfed rice at the household level using remotely sensed MODIS data

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in Journal Articles

Published in Agricultural Systems, 2014.

Mottaleb, K.A.; Gumma, M.K.; Mishra, A.K.; Mohanty, S.

Combining remotely sensed Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data with Bangladesh Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) data, this study estimates losses in rainfed rice production at the household level. In particular, we estimated the rice areas affected by drought and submergence from remotely sensed MODIS data and rice production from Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) data for 2000, 2005 and 2010. Applying two limit Tobit estimation method, this study demonstrated that both drought and submergence significantly affected rice production. Findings reveal that on average, a one percent increase in drought affected area at district level reduces Aman season rice production by approximately 1382 kilograms per household on average, annually. Similarly, a one percent increase in drought area reduces rainfed Aus season rice production by approximately 693 kilograms per household, on average, annually. Based on the findings the paper suggests disseminating and developing drought and submergence tolerant rice and also short duration rice varieties to minimize loss caused by drought and submergence in Aus and Aman rice seasons.