International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology (9 papers in press)
Arduino Based Solar Powered Auto-Irrigation System
by Arka Das, Ananthakrishnan V, Kanimozhi G, Gnana Swathika O V
Abstract: With agriculture being the primary economic sector of India and other developing countries, it is the urge of the hour to automate it in order to increase efficiency Automation significantly moderates the amount of manual labor, and makes farming easier and faster, resulting in more agricultural growth. This paper proposes the three major work in agriculture field: the dual-axis sun tracking system for power generation to the optimum level and storing the energy in a battery which will power the auto-irrigation system. The pumps are analogized with DC motors and the whole system is controlled by Arduino. The speed of motor is controlled manually by a Pulse Width Modulation wave generated by an Operational Amplifier multi-vibrator circuit. The soil moisture sensors, IR sensors and water level sensors are interfaced with Arduino to provide information about the prevailing environment conditions on the basis of which the microcontroller take necessary decisions about turning on or off of DC motors.
Keywords: Irrigation; Agriculture; Smart; Arduino; Monitoring System; Control System; Dual-Axis Sun Tracking System; Solar Power; Solar Technology.
Assessment of livelihood opportunities among farmers in the Shai Osudoku district of the Greater Accra Region, Ghana.
by Samuel Afotey Anang, Abigail A. Aryeh-Adjei
Abstract: The objective of this study was to assess livelihood opportunities among smallholder farmers in five communities namely Dodowa, Ayikuma, Agomeda, Asutsuare and Doryum in the Shai Osudoku district of the Greater Accra Region, Ghana. One hundred and fifty (150) farmers were selected from the Shai Osudoku district using multi-stage sampling procedure. Purposive sampling was used to select these communities due to their intensive involvement in farming. Furthermore, simple random sampling technique was adopted to pick 150 farmers for the survey. The study showed that farm
households were able to pair their farming activities with alternative livelihoods without abandoning their primary livelihoods, which is farming. The income levels of farmers from their primary livelihood activities were comparatively low with majority, 82.7% earning GH100 or less every month compared with fewer farmers, 13.3 % earning above GH 150. However, more than half of farmers (58%) earned above GH 150 every month from their alternative livelihoods. Again, farmers who decided to undertake their primary and alternative livelihoods concurrently have seen a rise in the level of their income and accordingly contributing to the reduction of income poverty among rural farm households.
Keywords: Ghana; livelihoods; poverty reduction; smallholder farmers.
CO-COMPOSTING OF SEAWEED WITH LIGNOCELLULOSIC SUBSTRATUM: EFFECT OF THE COMPOST COMPOSITION ON COMPOST HUMIC SUBSTANCES
by Oskars Bikovens, Sarmite Janceva, Laima Vevere, Ingrida Purina, Galina Telysheva
Abstract: Seaweed is one of Latvias underexploited natural resources. Green and brown algae collected after stranding on beaches were co-composted with lignocellulosic substratum grass and/or hardwood sawdust. Six different compost compositions were prepared. Composting was carried out indoors in the autumn-winter season. The correspondence of the obtained composts to the national and EU legislation was evaluated. The best results were obtained for compost prepared from green algae, grass and sawdust mixture. Compost raw material, compost and compost humic acids were characterised by elemental analysis, UV and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and monosaccharides analyses. The compost humic substance composition was found to depended on the compost raw materials. Compost humic acids constituted of recognisable algae and plants biomolecules structures, including lignin-derived structures and carbohydrates. Humic acids of the obtained compost contained around 8% monosaccharides. Fucose is a deoxy sugar typical for algae and not for higher plants, and can be used as a chemical indicator of algae biomass in compost.
Keywords: algae; compost; humic acids; fucose; waste management.
Metabolic role using a feed additive of humic nature "Humilid" on the organism of black african ostriches and broiler chickens
by Lilia Stepchenko, Lyudmila Galuzina, Evgenia Myhaylenko, Alisa Lisna
Abstract: The study investigated the influence of the humic nature feed additive "Humilid" on physiological and biochemical parameters of blood and liver in black African ostriches and broiler chickens (Cobb 500 cross) that characterize the state of protein metabolism in agricultural poultry. Results showed that morphological and biochemical blood parameters that characterize protein metabolism state were improved in the blood of ostriches by adding "Humilid" into their diet. It was also found with "Humilid" the total content of amino acids in all types of ostriches muscles was significantly higher.rnIt was shown that in broiler chickens "Cobb 500" cross, to which "Humilid" was added to the water, there was an increase in a total protein of blood plasma and in the water-soluble fraction of the liver.rnIn conclusion, additional use of the "Humilid" feed additive in poultry, had increased the body's natural resistance, activated metabolic processes, due to an increase in the muscle tissue, the content of total protein, essential amino acids and by this, it had an increase in the biological value of meat products.
Keywords: feed additive; humic substances; “Humilid”; blood; morpho-functional parameters of blood; biochemical parameters of blood; black African ostriches; broiler chickens; broiler chickens of the Cobb 500 cross; protein metabolism; amino acid; quantitative and qualitative indices of meat productivity.
Remediation of heavy metal contaminated soils by dissolved organic matter (DOM)
by Ole Borggaard, Peter Holm, Bjarne Strobel
Abstract: Dissolved organic matter (DOM) isolated from soils enriched in fulvic acid (FA) or from processed organic wastes rich in low-molecular-weight-organicacids (LMWOAs) was tested as extractant of heavy metals (HMs) from contaminated soils. The test showed that DOM can be as effective as the environmentally problematic, synthetic aminopolycarboxylic acids such as EDTA and NTA. Therefore, DOM is suggested as a possible chelant in remediation of contaminated soils by chelant-enhanced phytoextraction and soil washing. However, the efficiency of DOM as chelant depends on numerous factors, e.g. pH, soil and DOM composition and extraction time, which need further studies before DOM can be recommended for practical use in the field.
Keywords: Phytoextraction; soil washing; fulvic acid ((FA); low-molecular-weight-organic acids (LMWOAs); FA-DOM; LMWOA-DOM; citric acid; EDTA; NTA.
Product-service systems in direct crop-livestock relationships
by Fateh Mamine, M'hand Farès
Abstract: A major restructuring of the agricultural sector will soon occur that will result in a strong disconnect between stakeholders in the agricultural sector and the location of agricultural production and natural resource utilization. Moreover, current issues related to economic and social-environmental aspects of agriculture justify the need to change the business model to one where sustainability is the main strategy of agricultural development. A new paradigm of the functionality-based economyconcretized by the product-service system (PSS) approachhas been built around the notion of consumption not being focused on goods, but rather on the services provided by goods. This article analyses seven case studies on the relationships between growers and breeders living in the same territory. It shows that these new organizational models are an interesting alternative that can change farming practices toward greater sustainability through the provision of services that aims to reduce environmental impact and improving eco-efficiency.
Keywords: Product-Service Systems; crop-livestock interactions; provided service; sustainability.
Precision Agriculture in India- Challenges and Opportunities
by Musarrat Shaheen, Mahesh Kumar Soma, Farrah Zeba, M. Aruna
Abstract: Precision farming is the latest trend in the agriculture sector which makes use of information technology to integrate all the procedures of farming from analyzing the soil-moisture, weather forecasting, and the quality of seed to predicting the real-time of harvesting. India is an agrarian country where agriculture is the backbone of the economy and precision farming could be quite useful. In the present article, through a systematic literature review, the vital role of precision farming is outlined. Also, the article identifies various challenges and opportunities associated with the adoption of precision farming in India. In-depth interviews with ten farmers of the villages located near Hyderabad city of India were conducted. The article is among the first preliminary study to explore the awareness, usage, challenges, and opportunities behind the adoption of precision farming in India. The findings of the study will aid the policy makers in designing strategies for promoting precision farming in the emerging markets of India.
Keywords: Precision farming; in-depth interviews; farmers; systematic review; India.
Lignin transformation is soils of arable lands, Russian Plain
by Natalia Kovaleva
Abstract: Lignin that is the main matrix for the humus formation in Phaeozems affect greatly the transformation their organic matter. The aim of this work was a detailed characterization of the lignin phenols composition and processes of their transformation in soils under the impact of soil plowing and drainage during last 30 years. The objects of investigation were Greyic Phaeozems Albic of south of the Russian Plain. The process of lignin determination included the alkaline oxidation of a sample using copper oxide at 170 degrees under the pressure in a nitrogen medium. The lignin phenols were divided by a gas-luquid chromatograph. The proportions of lignin phenols in soils ploughed did not change under plowing. Drainage caused a deep transformation of lignin in soils and in the Fe-Mn nodules too. Lignin phenols are associated with the coarse sand fraction.
Keywords: lignin phenols; Greyzemic Phaeozems; arable lands; drainage; Russian Plain; Fe-Mn noduls; organuc matter; biotransformation.
Coconut farmer producer organisation in socio-economic transformation of rural economy in Karnataka
by A.N. Vijayakumar
Abstract: Coconut sector consisting of small and marginal farmers with fragmented landholdings have limited collective bargaining power to realise remunerative prices. In this regard, farmer producer organisations (FPOs) are considered as one of the effective ways to enhance farmers competitiveness and their socio-economic conditions. This paper using a descriptive case study with analytical approach explored socio-economic contribution of coconut FPOs in Karnataka, India to its member farmers, employees, and other stakeholders of rural areas. The statistical tests find a positive impact of social issues on curbing migration from rural to urban (1st rank), unemployment and underemployment (2nd rank), poverty alleviation (3rd rank), gender inequality (4th rank), by coconut FPOs. Similarly, the study finds a positive impact of economic concerns in realising remunerative prices (1st rank), availing inputs at economical costs (2nd rank), enhancing farm income (3rd rank), and
facilitating to access credit in rural economies (4th rank). It is, therefore, the
study recommends farmer producer organisation as an ideal mechanism to bring socio-economic transformation in the rural economy.
Keywords: coconut sector; farmer producer organisations; FPOs; rural economy; small and marginal farmer; socio-economic development.