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Senchi, A. A. , A. A. Malami (2015). Profitability of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPS) Production and Marketing in Zuru Local Government Area, Kebbi State: A Case for Honey. International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Research, 2(2): 55-65. DOI: 10.18488/journal.70/2015.2.2/18.104.22.168
The study examined production and marketing of honey in Zuru Local Government area of Kebbi state. This research covers five district areas of Dabai, Manga, RafinZuru, Rikoto and Senchi. Five villages each of the districts were purposively selected, four (4) respondents were randomly selected from each village giving a total sample size of 100 respondents. 100 structured and open – ended questionnaires were administered, out of this number, 86 were retrieved. The data were analyzed using simple descriptive statistics and gross margin. In the marketing channels, individual consumers are the most active patronizers whereabout 36.0 and 37.2% of the honey producers and marketers respectively obtained between N6001 – N8000 and N2801 - N4800 net profit per week. The total profit made by the producers and marketers of honey were ₦610,150.00 and ₦478,560.00, while the average profits were ₦7,094.77 and ₦5,564.65 per week. Thus, honey production and marketing is a profitable business in the area. The rate of return was 375.93. The benefit cost ratio is greater than one (4.76), indicating that revenue from the business is able to cover the total cost. To address the problem of capital, the study recommended that honey producers and marketers should form co-operative societies so as to enable them access loans to boost their business.
This study, the first of its kind in the study area has contributed immensely in providing insight into the profitability and worth-whileness of the venture by uplifting the living standard and overall socio-economic capabilities of the stakeholders.
Microbial Degradation of Organic Waste through Vermicomposting
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Every habitation produces a considerable amount of biodegradable waste that is discarded via dumping at various sites, in landfills, being burnt or is dumped in the river systems. Guyana is no exception - the water ways are polluted with plants, grass is constantly mowed from lawns, huge amounts of market refuse on a daily basis – contributes to unsightly land pollution. Vermicomposting is the best solution to getting rid of these biodegradable waste materials. Composting of grass, water hyacinth and a combination of grass with water hyacinth were successful. Final compost yields were at least 30%. This represents a huge decrease in compost volume. Therefore, vermiculture is an efficient method to reduce biodegradable solid waste. By using earthworms, waste is rapidly turned into vermicompost. Vermicompost has higher microorganism content and the activities of microorganisms (Actinomycetes, Azotobacter, Nitrobacter, Nitrosomonas and Aspergillus) is responsible for enhanced plant productivity much more than would be possible from the mere conversion of mineral nutrients into more plant-available forms. Also, during this period, there is a reduction of Gram negative cocci bacteria and corresponding increase in Gram positive bacilli as time progresses towards the maturity of the vermicompost in all three compost samples. This would indicate a healthier finished product that is highly beneficial to plant growth.
This study is one of very few studies which have investigated the contribution of microbes in the process of large scale biodung mediated vermicomposting. The contribution is significant in the area of organic waste recycling that is necessitated towards clean environment.
Assessment of Human Capital Attributes Influencing Occupational Diversification among Rural Women in Anambra State, Nigeria
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Ajani, E.N , Igbokwe, E.M (2015). Assessment of Human Capital Attributes Influencing Occupational Diversification among Rural Women in Anambra State, Nigeria. International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Research, 2(2): 31-44. DOI: 10.18488/journal.70/2015.2.2/126.96.36.199
The study was carried out in Anambra State, Nigeria to assess the influence of human capital attributes on occupational diversification among rural women. Simple random sampling technique was used in selecting 462 respondents for the study. Data was collected using questionnaire. Descriptive statistics such as percentage mean scores, standard deviation; factor analysis and correlation were used for data analysis. Results show that the respondents were mostly influenced by certain human capital attributes namely; possession of entrepreneurial skills (59.5%), number of dependants in the household (55.4%), access to information on changing demand patterns (52.6%) 52.4% and perceived health status (52.4%). They were also highly constrained by lack of women empowerment training programmes in rural areas (M= 3.5), poor skill training (M= 3.5), inadequate training opportunities (M= 3.4), poor educational attainment (M= 3.3), among others. Developing skills in rural women are keys to improving rural productivity, employability and income-earning opportunities, enhancing food security and promoting environmentally sustainable rural development and livelihoods. It was recommended that adult literacy programmes should be introduced by government and non-governmental organizations in order to help the rural women to acquire necessary education that will help them in occupational diversification. It highlights the development of human capital among rural women in order to equip them with the necessary skills to work in various occupations gainfully employed for higher returns.
This study is one of very few studies which have investigated human capital attributes influencing rural women in occupational diversification. The economic planning assumption is that all rural people are involved in agricultural production, but social changes show that rural women are also involved in non-farm occupations and are highly influenced by human capital attributes.