The influence of seed location in the fruit pod of fluted pumpkin and inorganic fertilizers and poultry wastes on the plant sex ratio was investigated in 2009 and 2010 in a randomized complete block design in three replications. In 2009, a mean of 25:75 male: female plants per pod resulted from seeds in the head region producing a ratio of 38:62 male: female plants, the middle, 24:76 and in the tail region, 14:86. In 2010, a mean of 30:70 male: female plants per pod were obtained, 33:67 male: female plants from seeds in the head, 24:76 in the middle and 34:66 in the tail. A total plant sex ratio of 1: 3 per fruit pod occurred in the two trials, while more female plants occurred in middle and tail regions (1:3 or 24:76) than in the head region (1:2 or 35.5: 64.5). Fertilizer sources showed no significant influence on the male: female plant ratio, but on the leaf area. Poultry wastes influenced the highest (78.8 cm2), NPK (15:15:15) 57.3 cm2 and the least 48.4 cm2 from control. Plants in the middle region had the highest leaf area (65.8 cm2), Coefficient of variation for male plants was wide in 2009 (52.3) and in the mean of the years (25.4). Smallholder female farmers can increase their business and income by selecting seeds from the middle and tail locations and by augmenting soil fertility with cheap and affordable poultry wastes.
This study is one of very few studies which have investigated answers to the worrisome sights of preponderance of male plants characterized by tiny vines and leaves and no pods from a pod of fluted pumpkin. The farmer wants to know what to do to raise her income and livelihood.
N. I. Odiaka and R. R. Schippers, Telfairia occidentalis Hook. F. In: Grubben, G.J.H. and Denton, O.A. (Eds) plant resources of tropical Africa 2 vegetables. Leiden/CTA, Wageningen, Netherlands: PROTA Foundation, Wageningen, Netherlands/Buckhuys Publishers, 2004.
R. R. Schippers, African indigenous vegetables: An overview of the cultivated species. Chatham, UK/ACP-EU CTA: Natural Resources Institute, 2000.
C. Onwubiko, "Is ‘ugu’ fluted pumpkin (Telfairia Occidentalis Hook. F.) production profitable? Hort magazine," Horticultural Society of Nigeria (HORTSON), vol. 1, pp. 5-7, 2003.
W. T. W. Leung, F. Busson, and C. Jardin, Food composition table for use in Africa. Rome, Italy: FAO, 1968.
FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization), Traditional food plants. Rome: Food and Agricultural Organization, UN, 1988.
E. T. Akintayo, "Chemical composition and physiochemical properties of fluted pumpkin seed and seed oils," Nigerian Chemistry Department, Ondo State University (Report), 1997.
FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization), Filling the data gap: Gender sensitive statistics for agricultural development. Rome: FAO, 1999.
A. K. Saito, Raising the productivity of women farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. World Bank Discussion Paper No. 230, Africa technical department series. Washington DC: World Bank, 1994.
C. Mwanamwambwa, "Role and impact of women entrepreneurs-the case of an agri-food enterprise in Zambia," presented at the Paper Presented at the Co-Seminar on the Economic Role of Women in Rural and Agricultural Development: The Promotion of Income-Generating Activities, Athens, Greece, 1999.
A. O. Olufalaji and O. A. Denton, Vegetable programme In: Denton, O.A. Alasiri, K.O. and Adejoro, M.A. (eds.), NIHORT: 25 years of research into horticultural crops development in Nigeria (1975-2000). Idi-Ishin, Ibadan, Nigeria: NIHORT, 2000.
M. O. Akoroda, N. I. Ogbechie-Odiaka, M. L. Adebayo, O. E. Ugwo, and B. Fuwa, "Flowering, pollination and fruiting in fluted pumpkin," Scientia Horticuturae, vol. 43, pp. 197-206, 1989.
T. Khaliq, T. Mahmood, J. Kamal, and A. Masood, "Effectiveness of farmyard manure, poultry manure and nitrogen for corn (Zea Mays L) productivity," International Journal of Agriculture and Biology, vol. 6, pp. 260-263, 2004.
S. G. Carmer and M. R. Swanson, "Detection of differences between means: A monte carlo study of five pair-wise multiple comparison procedures," Agronomy Journal, vol. 63, pp. 940-945, 1971.
I. C. Onwueme, Crop science (Book 2) cassell’s tropical agriculture series. London: Cassell limited, 1978.