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Studies on the growth and yield response of guinea corn (Sorghum bicolor) to organomineral fertilizer application in Ilorin North Central Nigeria


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ABSTRACT Farmers in southern guinea savanna zone of Nigeria cultivate crops such as yam, cassava, vegetables and cereal crops. However, the soils of the region are inherently infertile due to low vegetation cover, soil erosion and low organic matter content occasioned by constant bush fire. However, the zone is highly endowed with potentials for the cultivation of cereals such as maize, rice and guinea corn using low external inputs for fertility maintenance. Field experiments were conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria, during the 2012 and 2013 cropping seasons to evaluate the effects of organo-mineral fertilizer on the performance of guinea corn. The organo-mineral fertilizer was incorporated into the soil two weeks before sowing of the guinea corn seeds at the rate of 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 t/ha. The experiment was laid out as a randomized complete block design replicated three times. Data were collected on growth parameters (plant height, number of leaves and number of tillers) and yield parameters (weight of seeds per plant and seed weight per hectare). The result of the experiments indicated that applying organo-mineral fertilizer significantly affected the growth and yield parameters that were evaluated in the two years of study. Applying organo-mineral fertilizer at 4tha-1 gave highest growth and yield attributes which was similar to the 3t/ha application but significantly different (P ≤ 0.05) from the other treatments. Percentage mean yield for the two years combined was 71.1 more than the control. Keywords: Organomineral fertilizer, soil properties, growth, sorghum
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ISSN – 2350-2487
Eifediyi, E. K;
Omondan, G. O.;
Takim, F. O. and
Animashaun J.
Department of Agronomy, University of Ilorin ;
Ministry of Agriculture, Irrua, Edo State;
Dept of Agricultural Economics,
University of Ilorin - Nigeria
*Author email and phone no: +234 08056500881 :
Raising farmer’s productivity has been recognized as a sustainable route to food security in Africa. Therefore, making pest
control less arduous would enable the farmer’s increase farm size and productivity. To this end, a survey was conducted in the
2012 farming season to determine the use of agrochemicals by farmers in Esan land, Edo State, Nigeria. Structured
questionnaires were administered to farmers in the five local government areas that made up Esan land. The survey showed
that most of the farmers were male (78 %) within the age of 36 55 (52.4 %) and 40.7 % were secondary school dropouts.
Most of the farmers surveyed owned an average of 1 to 2 ha of farm land and 65 % used agrochemical products while 46% of
agrochemical users used herbicide for weed control. Most farmers (88%) used between 1 - 3 Litres of various herbicidal
products. Limited access to credit facilities was the major constraint to herbicide usage in Esanland. Farmers are therefore
encouraged to organize themselves into cooperative societies to enable them attract incentives while Edo state government
should subsidies procurement of agrochemical products.
Key words: Farmers, Esanland, Edo, agrochemical, herbicide
Nigerian agricultural sector is dominated by small scale
farmers whose farmlands varies from 0.10 – 5.99 hectares in
size and constitute about 80.35 percent of all 29,800 million
farm holdings in Nigeria (Ogunwale, 2005). The major
problem of crop production among others include weed
control (Akobundu, 1987), low soil fertility as a result of
reduced fallow periods and the problem of insect pests and
diseases. Effective control of these pests requires the use of
agrochemicals. Over the years, various agrochemicals have
contributed substantially to the control of pests thereby
increasing crop productivity hence reducing food insecurity
or hunger.
Herbicides are the most widely used class of pesticides in
the world, accounting for 44% of all sales in 1988 and more
than 90% of pesticide used in North America ( Conko et al.,
2002). About 50% of all agrochemicals used in Nigeria are
herbicides compared to insecticides and fungicides which is
about 17% (Itnal et al., 1993). Herbicide reduces the
drudgery that is associated with persistent weeds and chronic
labour shortages (Ogwoche et al., 2011). In the last 100
years, the use of herbicides has led to geometrical increase in
world agricultural production (Anonymous, 1992) as more
land is put into cultivation. However, despite all the good
attributes of agrochemicals, there are some drawbacks to
their use.
Agricultural activities in Esanland is dominated by
cultivation of arable crops: yam (Dioscoreaspp.), maize (Zea
mays)), Egusi (Citrullus vulgaris), several vegetable crops as
well as permanent crops such as rubber (Hevea brasiliensis),
oil palm (Elaies guineensis), kola(Cola nitida), oranges
(Citrus spp.), plantains and bananas (Musa spp.) etc.
Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the level
of herbicide utilization by farmers in Esanland of Edo State.
A structured questionnaire was administered to farmers in
Edo Central Senatorial District of Edo State, Nigeria which
comprises five local government areas, namely, Esan South-
East, Esan West, Esan North-West, Esan Central and
Igueben. Three communities were selected at random in
each of the local government areas and questionnaires were
administered to the selected farmers in each community with
the assistance of Agricultural Development Project (ADP)
personnel and community leaders. Elicited information
include farmer’s literacy level, farm size, use of
agrochemical, weed control technologies used, source of
information, source of herbicide, hiring and frequency of
herbicide usage in different crops. Data were analyzed and
presented as percentage of released used questionnaire.
Generally return rate was 100% of administered
questionnaire and all were usable.
Socio-economic characteristics of farmers in Esanland,
There were 450 respondents in Esanland comprising 350
males (77.8%) and 100 females (22.2%). About 52% of the
farmers are between 36 and 55 years old; 34% above 50
years old and 13.6% ranged between 20-35 years old (Table
1). Majority of the farmers in Esanland owned between 1-2
hectares of farm land, about 12% had farm sizes above 2ha
and 60% of the farmers practiced mixed cropping, while less
than 10% cultivated one crop per farm land.
Volume 2 No. 1 September 2014 pp 9-13
Table 1: Socio-economic Distribution of Respondent
Socio-economic characteristics Frequency Percentage
Age (years)
Farm size (ha)
Farming system
Mixed farming
Mixed cropping
Mixed & mono-cropping
Highest Educational attainment
No formal
Primary school
School certificate drop-outs
Secondary school
Tertiary education
Membership of cooperative
Access to credit
Farming as major occupation
Hundred and eighty-three of 450 respondents were
secondary school dropouts, less than 10% had tertiary
education. Members of agricultural cooperative societies in
Esanland are about 10% of the respondents and had access
to credit facilities. Overall, 54% of respondents indicate that
farming is their major occupation (Table 1).
Use of agro-chemicals
Percentage frequency of respondents which had used agro-
chemical was 64.5% in Esanland. Across the local
government areas, Esan West had the highest percentage
frequency of 73.4% followed of Esan Central with 68.4%
while Esan South East had the lowest percentage frequency
of about 58% (Table 2). Herbicides and fertilizers were the
most used agro chemicals with 46.4% and 41.6% of
respondents that used agrochemicals in Esanland; Esan west
and Esan North-East local government areas had the highest
respondents (Table 3). The quantity of herbicide used by
most farmers was small with 88.8% of respondents using 1-3
liters or kg of product (Table 4). Farmers who used
quantities of product greater than 3 L or Kg but less than 5 L
or Kg of product were about 11% and most of them were in
Esan west and Esan Central. Usage of herbicide among
respondents was often seasonal (30.6%), than regular
(24.0%) and occasional (25.4%). The regular and occasional
users were more in Esan central and Esan west, respectively
(Table 5).
The frequency of farmers who had discontinued the use of
herbicide ranged from 3% in Esan central to 11% in Igueben
local government area with mean frequency of 2.8% across
Esanland while 97.2% who had used herbicide in Esanland
had not abundoned its use (Table 6). About 84% of farmers
using herbicides in Esanland had used it in the last 1-2 years
(Table 7). While about 10% and 6% had used herbicide in
the last 3-4 years and 5 years, respectively. Non availability
of herbicide products (44.8% respondents),cost (28%) and
poor performance (27.4%) of herbicide were among the
principal reasons for stoppage of use of herbicides by few
farmers across Esanland (Table 8)
An Assessment of the use of Agrochemicals Among Small-Scale Farmers in Esanland, Nigeria
Table 2: Use of agrochemicals (%)
Response Esan
North- East
Esan West Igueben Total Mean
Yes 57.8 63.2 68.4 73.4 61.9 293 64.9
No 42.2 36.8 31.6 26.6 38.1 157 35.1
Table 3: Type of agrochemical used
Type Esan
Esan West Igueben Total
Mean (%)
Insecticides 6 2 8 1 3 20 6.82
Fertilizers 21 26 22 31 23 122 41.64
Fungicides 1 6 5 2 1 15 5.12
Herbicides 20 31 26 37 22 136 46.42
Table 4: Quantity of agrochemical used per cropping year
(L or Kg)
Igueben Mean (%)
1-3 100 75 69 100 100 88.8
4-5 0 25 31 0 0 11.2
>5 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Table 5 Frequency of herbicide use
Length of use
Igueben Mean (%)
Regular 16 21 43 17 23 24.0
Seasonal 82 72 27 33 39 50.6
Occasional 2 7 30 50 38 25.4
Table 6 Stoppage of use of herbicide
Response Esan South-
Esan North-
Esan Central Esan West Igueben Mean (%)
Yes 0 0 3 0 11 2.80
No 100 100 97 100 89 97.20
Table 7 Last time (years) herbicide were used
Years Esan South-
Esan North-
Esan Central Esan West Igueben Mean (%)
1-2 100 100 91 82 45 83.60
3-4 0 0 9 11 31 10.20
>5 0 0 0 7 24 6.20
An Assessment of the use of Agrochemicals Among Small-Scale Farmers in Esanland, Nigeria
Eifediyi, E. K; Omondan, G. O.; Takim, F. O. and Animashaun J.
Table 8 Reasons for discontinuing use of herbicide
Reason Esan South-
Esan North-
Esan Central Esan West Igueben Mean (%)
Cost 8 17 20 23 72 28.00
Table 9 Crops on which herbicides are used
Crop Esan South-
Esan North-
Esan Central Esan West Igueben Mean (%)
Maize 20
35 25 30 18 25.60
Cassava 18 3 2 0 0 4.60
Plantain 10 5 8 11 7 8.20
Oil palm 4 3 11 13 4 7.00
Yam 12 13 12 18 11 13.20
Pawpaw 0 50 0 0 0 10.00
= % of farmers cultivating the crop.
Considering the age and gender distribution of farmers in
Esanland, men constitute the major source of labour across
the five Local Government Areas. The majority involved in
farming activities are adults (aged farmers population). This
is in consonance with what was reported in past surveys in
most parts of Nigeria (Fadayomi, 2003; Ikuenobe et al.,
2005). Literacy levels among farmers surveyed were
appreciable. Chikoye (2000) reported that formal education
help farmers to understand the usefulness and usage of agro-
chemicals while Ayeni (1991) observed that higher
educational attainment could facilitate the adoption of newer
technologies among Nigerian farmers, Michael and Tijani-
Eniola (2009) concluded that, higher education attainment
has the tendency to enhance the understanding of modern
agricultural technology which could translate into large scale
farming. This study showed that over 40% of respondents
are secondary school dropouts. Twenty nine percent
successfully completed O’level education while less than
15% had obtained tertiary education training. Thus, there is
potential for higher usage of herbicides technology in
Given the size of farm holdings, the level of usage of
herbicides is very low among farmers surveyed. There was
evidence that lack of access to credit was the major limiting
factor to large scale farming in Esanland. There is a low
level of herbicide use among farmers in Esanland. This
could be due to small-land holding others opined which
perceived high cost of and availability of chemicals are
limiting factors to usage of herbicides and large scale
farming. These findings support Brain (1990) who stated
that farmers are ready to use modern agricultural inputs, but
the inputs are not readily available and where available
prices are far beyond the reach of the poor farmers.
The survey shows that besides provision of literacy
programmes, herbicide outlet and extension service observed
by Ikuenobe et al. (2005), farmers in Esan land need to
organize themselves into cooperative societies that will be of
help in accessing credit facilities. Companies and other
agencies responsible for availability of herbicide should
ensure proper and timely provision of chemicals to farmers
while the Edo State government and ADP should make
herbicides readily available and at subsidized cost to enable
resource poor farmers have access to these agrochemicals.
An Assessment of the use of Agrochemicals Among Small-Scale Farmers in Esanland, Nigeria
The authors are grateful to Messers Okoruwa, Greg
Omobhude, Christopher Agoni, Vincent Itaman, Dominic
Emanfo, Vincent Imaguelo and Christopher Okogbeni the
following people for their assistance in the course of this
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ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
The authors present a dynamic, quantitative macroeconomic framework designed for analyzing the impact of adjustment policies and exogenous shocks on poverty and income distribution. They emphasize the role of labor market segmentation, urban informal activities, the impact of the composition of public expenditure on supply and demand, and credit market imperfections. Numerical simulations for a prototype low-income country highlight the importance of accounting for the various channels through which poverty alleviation programs and debt relief may ultimately affect the poor.
This study was designed to determine adoption of herbicides and fertilizers among rural farmers in Zone B area of Kogi State Agricultural Department Project (KADP). A total of 105 farmers were stratified and randomly interviewed. Frequency distribution and percentage were used to analyze the data. The result revealed that 88 and 96% of the farmers in the area were aware of herbicides and fertilizer respectively. Majority (74%) of the farmers obtained much of their information from extension agents. It was however stated that project scarcity (46%) and high cost of fertilizers (30%) were the major limitation to the usage of fertilizers while the major limitations to the usage of herbicides were the high cost (30%), lack of capital (30%) and technical know-how (19%). It was recommended that government and agenesis responsible for the procurement and distribution of herbicides and fertilizers ensure proper and timely delivery to target users at subsidized price to enable interested farmers afford them.
Background Research on pesticide-related health effects has been mostly focused in industrialized countries and in men. This paper discusses critical issues related to women's pesticide exposure and its effects on women's health.Methods The literature on pesticides was reviewed with emphasis on data related to women. Attention was focused on research suggesting different conditions of exposure or different response to pesticides by sex. Studies on cancer and reproductive effects were used as illustrative examples.ResultsWomen are increasingly exposed to pesticides in developing countries, where women's poisoning and other pesticide-related injuries seem to be greatly underestimated. Many of the effects of pesticides in human health will be the same for men and women, but not always. Some organochlorine pesticides have been related to breast cancer in post-menopausal women. However, knowledge about other pesticides is much more limited. Epidemiological studies assessing maternal exposure to individual pesticides and abortion, fetal death, or congenital defects are not conclusive, although some suggestive associations have been observed.Conclusions Gender-sensitive research is needed to properly address the study of women's pesticide exposures and related adverse outcomes. A better understanding of potential gender–environment and sex–environment interactions related to pesticide exposure and health effects in women is needed. Am. J. Ind. Med. 44:584–594, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Speargrass [Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raeuschel] is a noxious weed widespread in most tropical zones of the world. Studies were conducted in the savannah of West Africa from 1997 to 1999 to evaluate crop yield, speargrass control, and net benefit from the use of cover crops integrated with handweeding and chemical control in maize and cassava. Glyphosate and handweeding were main treatments. Subplot treatments were type of cover crop [velvetbean, Mucuna cochinchinensis (Lour.) A. Chev., kudzu, Pueraria phaseoloides (Roxb.) Benth, and velvetbean intercropped with kudzu] and plots without cover crops. Weeding five times or applying glyphosate was more effective than weeding twice in preventing crop yield losses and suppressing speargrass. Plots that received glyphosate or those weeded five times had 28–59% higher crop yields than plots weeded twice at all locations. In maize, subplots without cover crop had 30% more maize grain yield than plots with cover crops. In cassava, subplots without cover crops at Ezillo and plots where kudzu was intercropped with velvetbean at Ogoja had the lowest cassava tuber yields. Speargrass was more effectively suppressed in plots with cover crops than in plots without cover crops. Across all main treatments, velvetbean nearly eliminated rhizomes of speargrass within 2 years of treatment application at Avrankou. It was cheaper to use glyphosate than handweeding for speargrass control in both crops. Cover crops generally gave better economic benefit in cassava while in maize an opposite trend was observed.
The global problem of acute pesticide poisoning has been confirmed as extensive by a variety of independent estimates. Further, it is also recognized to be a problem confined to the developing countries. Most estimates concerning the extent of acute pesticide poisoning have been based on data from hospital admissions which would include only the more serious cases. The latest estimate by a WHO task group indicates that there may be 1 million serious unintentional poisonings each year and in addition 2 million people hospitalized for suicide attempts with pesticides. This necessarily reflects only a fraction of the real problem. On the basis of a survey of self-reported minor poisoning carried out in the Asian region, it is estimated that there could be as many as 25 million agricultural workers in the developing world suffering an episode of poisoning each year. This article emphasizes the need to control the problem on a collaborative basis by all concerned, including national governments, agrochemical industries, international agencies, scientists and victims.
Challenges for the adoption of weed science in Nigeria in the new millennium
  • O Fadayomi
Fadayomi, O. (2003). Challenges for the adoption of weed science in Nigeria in the new millennium. Nigerian Journal of Weed Science13:5-8.
Crop production chemicals
  • G Brain
Brain, G. (1990). Crop production chemicals. Ellis Harwood, New York Pg. 180.