Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Organic Agriculture Related Abstracts

4 Influence of Different Ripening Agents on the Shelf-Life and Microbial Load of Organic and Inorganic Musaceae, during the Ripening Process, and the Health Implication for Food Security

Authors: Wisdom Robert Duruji

Abstract:

Local farmers and fruit processors in developing countries of West Africa use different ripening agents to accelerate the ripening process of plantain and banana. This study reports on the influence of different ripening agents on the shelf-life and microbial load of organic and inorganic plantain (Musa paradisiaca) and banana (Musa sapientum) during ripening process and the health implication for food security in Nigeria. The experiment consisted of four treatments, namely: Calcium carbide, Irvingia gabonensis fruits, Newbouldia laevis leaves and a control, where no ripening agent was applied to the fingers of plantain and banana. The unripe and ripened plantain and banana were subjected to microbial analysis by isolating their micro flora (Bacteria, Yeast and Mould) using pour plate method. Microbes present in the samples were enumerated, characterized and classified to genera and species. The result indicated that the microbial load of inorganic plantain from (Urban day) open market in Ile-Ife increased from 8.00 for unripe to 12.11 cfu/g for ripened; and the microbial load of organic plantain from Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching and Research Farm (OAUTRF) increased from 6.00 for unripe to 11.60 cfu/g for ripened. Also, the microbial load of inorganic banana from (Urban day) open market in Ile-Ife increased from 8.00 for unripe to 11.50 cfu/g for ripened; while the microbial load of organic banana from OAUTRF increased from 6.50 for unripe to 9.40 cfu/g for ripened. The microbial effects of the ripening agents increased from 10.00 for control to 16.00 cfu/g for treated (ripened) organic and inorganic plantain; while that of organic and inorganic banana increased from 7.50 for control to 14.50 cfu/g for ripened. Visual observation for the presence of fungal colonies and deterioration rates were monitored till seven days after the plantain and banana fingers have fully ripened. Inorganic plantain and banana from (Urban day) open market in Ile-Ife are more contaminated than organic plantain and banana fingers from OAUTRF. The ripening accelerators reduced the shelf life, increased senescence, and microbial load of plantain and banana. This study concluded that organic Agriculture is better and microbial friendlier than inorganic farming.

Keywords: Food Security, Organic Agriculture, calcium carbide, Musaceae, Irvingia gabonensis, Newbouldia laevis

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3 Equipping Organic Farming in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants: Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants' Scientific Interventions

Authors: Alok Kalra

Abstract:

Consumers and practitioners (medical herbalists, pharmacists, and aromatherapists) with strong and increased awareness about health and environment demand organically grown medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) to offer a valued product. As the system does not permit the use of synthetic fertilizers the use of nutrient rich organic manures is extremely important. CSIR-CIMAP has developed a complete recycling package for managing distillation and agro-waste of medicinal and aromatic plants for production of superior quality vermicompost involving microbes capable of producing high amounts of humic acid. The major benefits being faster composting period and nutrient rich vermicompost; a nutrient advantage of about 100-150% over the most commonly used organic manure (FYM). At CSIR-CIMAP, strains of microbial inoculants with multiple activities especially strains useful both as biofertilizers and biofungicide and consortia of microbes possessing diverse functional activities have been developed. CSIR-CIMAP has also initiated a program where a large number of accessions are being screened for identifying organic proficient genotypes in mints, ashwagandha, geranium and safed musli. Some of the natural plant growth promoters like calliterpenones from the plant Callicarpa macrophylla has been tested successfully for induction of rooting in stem cuttings and improving growth and yield of various crops. Some of the microbes especially the endophytes have even been identified improving the active constituents of medicinal and aromatic plants. The above said scientific interventions making organic farming a charming proposition would be discussed in details.

Keywords: Organic Agriculture, organic fertilizers, microbial inoculants, natural plant growth promoters

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2 Organic Farming for Sustainable Production of Some Promising Halophytic Species in Saline Environment

Authors: Medhat Tawfik, Ezzat Abd El Lateef, Bahr Amany, Mohamed Magda

Abstract:

Applying organic farming systems in biosaline agriculture is unconventional approach for sustainable use of marginal soil and desert land for planting non-traditional halophytic crops such as Leptochloa fusca, Kochia indica, Sporobolus virginicus and Spartina patens. These plants are highly salt tolerant C4 halophytic forage plants grown well in coastal salt marsh. These halophytic plant will take important place in the farming system, especially in the coastal areas and salt-affected land. We can call it environmentally smart crops because they ensure food security, contribute to energy security, guarantee environmental sustainability, and mitigate the negative impacts of climate change. Organic Agriculture is the most important and widely practiced agro-ecological farming system. It is claimed to be the most sustainable approach and long term adaptation strategy. It promotes soil fertility and diversity at all levels and makes soils less susceptible to erosion. It is also reported to be climate change resilience farming systems as it promotes the proper management of soil, water, biodiversity and local knowledge and provides producers with ecologically sound management decisions. A field experiment was carried out at the Model Farm of National Research Centre, El Tour, South Sinai to study the impact of (Mycorrhiza 1kg/fed., charcoal 4 tons/fed., chicken manure 5 tons/fed., in addition to control treatment) on some growth characters, photosynthetic pigments content, and some physiological aspects i.e. prolind and soluble carbohydrates content, succulence and osmotic pressure values, as well as nutritive values i.e. Crude fat (CF), Acid detergent fiber (ADF), Neutral detergent fiber (NDF), Ether extract (EE) and Nitrogen-free extract (NFE) of five halophytic plant species (Leptochloa fusca, Kochia indica, Sporobolus virginicus and Spartina patens). Our results showed that organic fertilizer treatment enhanced all the previous character as compared with control with superiority to chicken manure over the other treatments.

Keywords: Organic Agriculture, Water Security, halophytic plants, saline environment

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1 Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices of Small Scale Farmers on Organic Agriculture in a Rural Community in Ifugao, Philippines

Authors: Marah Joy A. Nanglegan

Abstract:

A survey was conducted to describe knowledge, attitude, practices, information needs, and information seeking behavior of small-scale farmers on Organic Agriculture Production (OAP) in a rural community in Ifugao, Philippines. Respondents’ age ranged from 23-67 years old. Most of them are male, married, and have reached high school level. The major source of income is farming with an average monthly income of less than Php 5,000 for a household size of seven. More than fifty percent of the respondents are members of a farmer’s organization. Farm size is less than one hectare. Majority of them own their farms and have been farming for more than twenty years. Very few attended training on Organic Agriculture Production (OAP). Most of them are not aware of any OAP program in their community. Hence, their farming practices are mostly conventional. The overall level of knowledge on OAP among all respondents was below the average. On attitude, most of the respondents agreed that organic farming would decrease production costs by reducing input purchases. They believe it benefits both the consumer and the producer. In fact, they are aware of the many benefits of organic farming, especially on health. Likewise, many of them agreed on the benefits of organic farming to soil fertility, to the environment, and to increase the income of farmers. Many of them, however, see organic farming as troublesome and difficult in terms of time and effort, obtaining organic inputs, limited production, and marketing aspects. They also have heavy reliance on pesticides and herbicides to control pests and diseases. On practices, majority of the respondents stated that they practiced crop rotation, manual weeding, and the use of animal manure. Most of them desired to do organic farming but needed information such as production techniques, costs, and marketing opportunities. Their most preferred communication channel is through extension agents and contact farmers. Their most preferred communication method is through trainings and seminars as well as through farm demonstrations. Results of this study will serve as a basis for developing appropriate communication strategies to improve knowledge, attitude, and practices of respondents on organic agriculture as well as enhance the promotion of organic agriculture production in the community.

Keywords: Organic Agriculture, Philippines, Ifugao, knowledge attitude practices

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