The present study provides an analysis of the comparative costs of cropping systems based on aman and boro rice varieties and shrimp in coastal Bangladesh. The research was conducted in the Shuktia village under Tala Upazila of Satkhira District. The results revealed that the comparative production cost per hectare of land was higher for both aman and boro rice (45,737 taka/ha and 54,411 taka/ha, respectively) than for shrimp (43,853 taka/ha), whereas the gross income, net income, and benefit cost ratio (BCR) were higher for shrimp culture. The shrimp-boro rice rotating cropping system was about 1.56 times superior to a purely rice-based cropping system. The introduction of shrimp-boro rice cropping systems changed the local land tenure, and brought a degree of economic freedom for the local farmers, both landlords and tenants. The paper concludes that a rotating shrimp-boro rice cropping system has exerted a positive economic impact on the livelihood of local farmers on the southwestern coast of Bangladesh, the area under study.
Knowledge of the soil fertility is an important factor in determining crop yield under low or in the absence of chemical fertilizer application and is even more critical under rainfed conditions than in irrigated areas. Here, we report a case study conducted in central Laos in which we identified the criteria farmers use to perceive and evaluate their soils and related their perceptions of soils to both scientific indicators of soil fertility, such as the chemical and physical properties, and rice productivity. In a zoning of paddy fields was performed quickly and accurately, rezoning was unnecessary for conducting the subsequent interviews. The farmers use robust criteria to differentiate their fields. When the farmers’ descriptors of soil quality were compared to the soil analyses, a significant correlation was found only for the topographical land levels. The farmers estimate soil fertility from a holistic viewpoint based on soil descriptors. In the same way on upland rice farmers, lowland rainfed rice farmers use the soil color for soil classification. However, they distinguish the soil fertility from yield levels, indicating that their concept of fertility is related to minimum yield in the area. There were no significant relationships between the farmers’ soil classifications and a scientific understanding of soils in case soil fertility inferred based on soil physico-chemical analyses was low. It is considered that farmers include the water conditions in their concept of paddy field fertility.
The focus of the present study was to examine the importance of farmers’ motivation in attending livestock training in bringing about knowledge and behavioural changes in goat production and management practices (PMP). The training program called the Farmer Livestock School on Integrated Goat Management (FLS-IGM) which was implemented in 2007 with 130 beneficiaries was analyzed in the present study because it is the only season-long livestock training school in the Philippines that specifically deals with goat production – from housing to marketing. Data gathered from the survey questionnaires and 25-point pre and post test results from 101 respondents were analyzed. Results revealed that the participants have different motivations for attending the FLS-IGM. Majority (43%) of them were driven to attend FLS-IGM because they wanted to gain knowledge, followed by entrepreneurial motive (16%), improvement of technical skills (14%), benefit from government support (14%), use of spare time wisely (8%) and socialize with co-farmers (5%). There was an increase in knowledge by 129% after FLS-IGM and factors attributable to the increase were years of education, number of organizational meetings attended per year, over-all course perceived as highly satisfactory and participatory and number of training/seminars on goat production attended before FLS-IGM. Although knowledge was correlated to perceived behavioural change, respondents with the motivation of considering goat raising as a business (entrepreneurial motive) has the highest increase in knowledge (143%) and the highest (very much) perceived behavioural change that is reflected in their actual production and management practices. With the importance of farmers’ motivation, it is suggested that agricultural extensionist should also boost the entrepreneurial motivation of the participants for better training outcome.
Chinese yam (Dioscorea polystachya Turcz.) is an edible tuber crop cultivated mainly in temperate regions of Japan and China. Chinese yam cultivars in Japan are classified into the following three groups: Nagaimo, Tsukuneimo, and Ichoimo, which produce cylindrical, round, and flattened tubers, respectively. In the present study, the chromosome numbers of cultivated Chinese yams from Japan were estimated. The chromosomes of the cultivar ‘Kagamaruimo’ were observed, and the chromosome number was estimated to be 2n = approximately 100. Flow cytometry using ‘Kagamaruimo’ as an internal reference standard revealed that the number of chromosomes in the 11 cultivars belonging to the Nagaimo group was 2n = approximately 140, while in the remaining 10 cultivars classified in the Tsukuneimo or Ichoimo group, the chromosome number was 2n = approximately 100. Based on data from shape analysis of leaves, Chinese yam cultivars could be divided mainly into two groups: a group that includes cultivars of Nagaimo and a group that includes cultivars of Tsukuneimo and Ichoimo. A high correlation was also found between stomatal traits and chromosome number. Based on the length, width, and size of the stoma, chinese yam cultivars were divided into two groups: cultivars with the chromosome number 2n = 100 and those with 2n = 140. Based on the results obtained in the present study, chinese yam cultivars can be divided into two genetic groups: a group containing cultivars of Nagaimo and a group containing cultivars of ‘Tsukuneimo’ and ‘Ichoimo’.