People in Africa eat staple foods made of grains such as maize and sorghum or tubers and roots such as taro and yams. Few proteins necessary for the growth and repair of tissues are present in these staple foods; the proteins lack lysine and display a low nutritional value. The staple foods are a source of calories, but they do not constitute an excellent nutritious meal. Thus, people eat side-dishes using beans to compensate for the lack of nutrients. People in Dirashe special autonomous region, southern Ethiopia, drink an alcoholic beverage parshot using sorghum and maize; they drink only parshot and other alcoholic beverages. This kind of food custom is rare worldwide. In the present, we analyzed the nutrition status and considered the origin of such a drinking culture. We conducted observation studies and investigations on the content of the meals as well as amount and frequency of intake; we also analyzed samples of sorghum, maize, and 3 types of alcoholic beverages. The analysis revealed that the amount of amino acids in the alcoholic beverage was higher than that in the grains. In addition, the results of the observation studies showed that the Dirashe people drink a large amount of parshot and other alcoholic beverages and increase the nutritional value of sorghum and maize by using these grains for the production of alcoholic beverages. They increased their intake by converting sorghum and maize into a slurry, since it is easier to drink liquids than to eat solid foods. Most people in Africa improve the nutrient quality of their food intake by cultivating beans. However, the Dirashe people obtain nutrients efficiently by cooking and consuming a limited number of crops. As a result, a drinking culture peculiar to the area was eventually developed.
Jatropha (Jatropha curcas L.) is one of the important oil crops as a source of bio-diesel fuel. Attempts were made to analyze the morphological features of Jatropha seeds and the effect of temperature on the germination percentage and rate. Seed shape was oval, and the long diameter, width and thickness were 18.5 ± 0.8 mm, 11.4 ± 0.5 mm and 8.7 ± 0.5mm, respectively (mean ± S.D.). After removal of the seed coat, seed germination percentages were higher than those of control seeds. Effects of different physical treatments of Jatropha seed surface on the germination percentages were analyzed. Control, slash and grind treatments led to low germination percentages without significant differences among them, while partial and full removal led to higher germination percentages without significant differences between them. We measured the germination percentage and germination rate to elucidate the effect of temperature (20, 25, 30 and 35 ˚C) on them. At 30 ˚C, seeds with the removal of the outer seed coats showed high germination percentages and germination rates. It was estimated that the removal of the outer coat increased the emergence of seeds in fields, and the optimal temperature was around 30 ˚C.
In order to establish a systematic fungicide application that is effective against mango anthracnose, we evaluated the sensitivity of the pathogen to the registered fungicides, the control efficacy of fungicide application during the fruit enlargement period, the presence or absence of phytotoxicity, as well as the control efficacy of the systematic application of a combination of different fungicides. We investigated the sensitivity of five types of registered fungicides against the conidial germination and mycelial growth of two pathogens, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and C. acutatum. Mancozeb wettable powder, captan wettable powder, kresoxim-methyl dry flowable and azoxystrobin flowable were found to have high suppressive efficacy on both fungi. In contrast, sensitivity to iminoctadine albesilate acid chloride wettable powder differed between two pathogens, with conidial germination being suppressed in C. gloeosporioides, but not in C. acutatum. In 2008, we conducted a test to investigate the control efficacy of fungicide application during the fruit enlargement period. Kresoxim-methyl dry flowable and azoxystrobin flowable showed control efficacy and reduced the incidence of anthracnose by approximately 41% to 54%, compared to areas with no application, 5 days after harvest. In addition, neither fungicide caused phytotoxicity to the fruit. In contrast, the application of captan wettable powder showed no control efficacy and the fungicide solution caused flecks on the peel. In 2009 and 2010, we conducted a trial on the systematic application of a combination of four fungicides on two fields that were treated prior to apical bud formation (late December) up until the start of harvest (before bagging in late June). The results revealed that a high control efficacy of the treatment and the incidence of anthracnose was reduced by approximately 76% to 96%, compared to areas with no application, 5 days after harvest. In addition, the systematic application of fungicides caused no phytotoxicity to the fruit. Meta-analysis of the four tests conducted over 2 years showed that the incidence of anthracnose in areas with systematic fungicide application was significantly reduced to about 12% of that in the non-treated areas. These results show that our systematic application of fungicides is effective as a control measure against mango anthracnose.