College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

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    Evaluation of yam varietal response to vine multiplication technique under three growth media.
    (November, 2016) Agbesi, Shine
    A field trial was conducted at the CSIR-Crops Research Institute (CRI) experimental fields; Fumesua to identify the appropriate soil medium which best conserves soil nutrients and water for rapid growth and multiplication of seed yams. The experiment was a pot experiment, a 4 x 3 factorial design, and treatments were arranged in a Complete Randomized Design with three replications. The treatments consisted of four yam varieties; Mankrong Pona, Dente, Kukrupa and CRI Pona and three different soil media which were: blacksoil, blacksoil (5 parts): carbonized rice husk (3 parts) mixture and blacksoil (5 parts): sawdust (3 parts). This study was designed to evaluate the rooting and tuberization (mini tubers) potentials of vine cuttings of four yam varieties. Vine cuttings from 120 days old plants were collected from the yam varieties for root formation. Two nodes leafy vine cuttings were prepared and planted. The parameters measured were: percentage sprouting, percentage vine establishment, vine length, percentage root formation, mini tuber weight and number of mini tubers. Percentage sprouting in blacksoil/carbonized rice husk was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than all other soil treatments effects and Dente varietal effect was significantly higher than all other varietal effects. Percentage vine establishment was significantly higher in the blacksoil/carbonized rice husk media and higher percentage vine establishment was recorded in Dente variety. The study also revealed that the highest rooting of vines was in blacksoil/carbonized rice husk which was significantly higher than all other treatment effects and the poorest rooting was in blacksoil/sawdust mixture. Among the yam varieties, rooting in Dente was significantly higher than all the other varieties. The greatest number of tubers was in blacksoil/carbonized rice husk, and this was significantly higher than the other media effects. The Dente variety produced also the greatest number of mini tubers as well as tuber weight than all the other varieties. The weight of mini tubers in blacksoil/carbonized rice husk treatment effects was significantly greater than the others. The results indicated that the Dente variety showed the greatest response to the vine multiplication technology and the blacksoil/carbonized rice husk mixture was the most supporting medium.
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    Inheritance and combining ability studies on grain yield and resistance to maize weevil (Sitophilus Zeamais, Motschulsky) among extra early quality protein maize inbred lines.
    (November, 2016) Amissah, Solomon
    The maize weevil is one of the most important storage pests of maize in Ghana and Africa as a whole. It causes damage from as low as 20% to as high as 100% in untreated varieties. Developing resistant varieties has been identified as an important and environmentally friendly aspect of the integrated pest management system. However, little is known about the genetic control of resistance to the maize weevil in Ghana. The main objective of this research was to understand the genetic control and heritability of resistance to the maize weevil. The specific objectives were to identify promising genotypes with resistance to the maize weevil. Five parents were crossed in a complete Diallel mating design to obtain 20 hybrids. The 25 genotypes were planted again with two local checks to obtain their seeds. The seeds obtained from these genotypes were subsequently used in the laboratory evaluation for the identification of resistance of the genotypes to the three regional collections of the maize weevils. The laboratory assessment identified parent TZEEQI 111 as the best parental line for resistance to the maize weevil. It exhibited highly significant and negative GCA effects for weevil progeny emergence, percentage weight loss, percentage grain damage and susceptibility index. It also exhibited a positive and significant GCA effect for Median development period. Hybrids TZEEQI 111 × TZEEQI 139, TZEEQI 111 × TZEEQI 12, TZEEQI 111 × TZEEQI 61 and TZEEQI 12 × TZEEQI 66 exhibited significant SCA effects. Heritability estimates revealed high narrow sense heritability for F1 weevil progeny emergence, percentage grain damage and susceptibility index. These results suggest the presence of additive and non-additive gene action in the control of resistance to the maize weevil. Parental lines TZEEQI 111, TZEEQI 139 and TZEEQI 66 performed very well and as such should be considered when forming base population to initiate breeding programs for resistance to maize weevils.
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    Effects of pre-germination treatments and storage periods on germination, vigour, chemical and health composition of seeds of three cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) cultivars
    (JULY, 2016) Opoku, Priscilla Nana Ama
    Seeds of three cultivars of cassava were collected from the CSIR-Crops Research Institute at Fumesua in the Ashanti Region to determine the effect of storage periods and seed pregermination treatments on the germination percentage, physicochemical and health properties of seeds from the three varieties of cassava. The experiment was conducted under laboratory conditions and a 3 x 3 x 7 factorial in Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with three replications was used. The first factor was cultivar at three levels (Ahwengyanka-1, Ahwengyanka-2 and Aworowa-3); the second factor was pre-germination treatments at seven levels (hot water, cold water, mechanical scarification, three concentrations of acid scarification and no treatment as the control); the third factor was storage period at three levels (no storage, three months storage and six months storage). The study revealed that seeds of cassava stored for up to three months produced about 40% germination after undergoing the various pre-germination treatments. Seeds of the Aworowa-3 cultivar stored for six months produced the highest germination percentage of 61.0%. Seeds mechanically scarified with sand paper produced the highest germination percentage of 48.9% whereas seeds with no treatment recorded the least percentage of 34.8%. Seven fungi pathogens were identified on the three cultivars of cassava seeds irrespective of the cultivar and period of storage. The study concluded that Aworowa-3 seeds without storage produced a higher germination percentage than Ahwengyanka-1 and Ahwengyanka-2 seeds without storage but all the seeds of the three varieties had the highest germination percentage when stored for six months.
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    Analyses of perceptions and adaptations to climate change by rice farmers: case study in the Ashanti and Northern Regions of Ghana
    (NOVEMBER, 2016) Adusei, Kwame
    Climate change is becoming a serious global problem that is expected to pose a serious threat on the environment and many sectors of economic growth such as agricultural production and food security and especially on rural farmers whose livelihoods depend on the use of natural resources are likely to bear the burden of the adverse impacts. The extent to which these impacts are felt depends in large part on the extent of adaptation in response to climate change perceived by farmers. This study analyses the perceptions and adaptations of rice farmers to climate change in the Ashanti and Northern regions of Ghana. To carry out this analysis, a multinomial logit model, in which the choices of rice farmers' adaptations to climate change are specified to be a function of socioeconomic and institutional variables, and is estimated using the maximum likelihood method. Cross sectional data was collected from a sample of 249 rice farmers from the Adansi South district, Ahafo Ano South district and the Tolon-Kumbungu districts. The results show that rice farmers in all the surveyed districts are aware of the changing climatic conditions, and recognize climate change. The overall perception index (CBPI) of sampled rice farmers about climate change across the surveyed districts is 0.5, suggesting that rice farmers have a positive perception about climate change and as well agree to most of the perception statements about climate change. Hence, they are always willing to put measures in place to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. The main adaptation strategies used by rice farmers are migrating to urban areas, diversification of crop, making of bonds (irrigation) and engaging in off-farm jobs. The results reveal that age significantly but negatively affects the decision of farmers to make bonds on their rice fields as well as migrate to the urban area when faced with climate variability. Policy should therefore aim at encouraging and motivating the young people to go into the rice farming business. Farm size also had negative influence on a farmer ’s choice of vi making bonds his rice field. It is therefore recommended that the bonding method of irrigation on rice fields is improved and mechanized as farmers with very large rice fields are not able to invest in the method. Off-farm income negatively influence the likelihood of a rice farmer making bonds, migrating as well as diversifying his crop types. Rice farmers should properly manage their off-farm income-earning opportunities so that these jobs do not interfere with their farm activities. The size of a rice farmer's household, distance from house to farm, educational level, farming experience and land acquisition were all found to negatively influence a farmer's choice of an adaptation strategy. However, gender and fixed agreement between land owner and the rice farmer positively influence a farmer's choice of adaptation to climate change. It is recommended that land acquisition and property rights should be clearly defined to both land owners and rice farmers. Lack of financial resources, High cost of labor and inputs and transportation problems are the most pressing problems facing rice producers in the surveyed districts. The study therefore recommends that policies that would improve access to credit, extension service delivery, off-farm jobs, land acquisition and property rights should be pursued.
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    Combining ability, heterosis and heritability of agronomic traits and resistance to maize streak virus in maize inbred lines
    (NOVEMBER, 2016) Ige, Adenike Damilola
    Maize is an important cereal crop in Sub-Saharan Africa which contributes substantial portion to the diet of millions of people. The production of maize is being affected by maize streak virus disease (MSVD); an economically important foliar disease, thereby causing significant grain yield losses in farmers’ fields. In Ghana, re-occurrence of the disease has been reported in several regions, therefore, necessitating the development of resistant hybrids which is the most sustainable and economical management option. The objectives of the study were to identify parents and hybrids that combine MSVD resistance with high yield, and also to determine the influence of maternal effect on the inheritance of MSVD resistance. Five parental inbred lines namely; TZEI-4, TZEI-7, TZEI-22, TZEI-31 and TZEI-157 were crossed in a full diallel mating design during the major season of 2015. The resulting F1 hybrids were evaluated under natural and artificial infestations during the minor and major seasons of 2015/2016 using 9 x 3 alpha-lattice design with three replications. Diagnosis of the viral disease using Polymerase Chain Reaction confirmed the presence of maize streak virus in the 27 genotypes evaluated. ANOVA for diallel crosses across environments revealed that general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) mean squares were significant for MSVD severity mean score and most of the agronomic traits. Maternal effect had no significant contribution to the inheritance of MSVD resistance. GCA by environment (P<0.01) and SCA by environment (P<0.001) interactions mean squares were significant for MSVD severity mean score indicating that the disease pressure was higher under artificial infestation. Additive gene effect was preponderant for MSVD severity mean score, total leaf count, plant aspect and ear aspect whereas, the expression of other traits was influenced by non-additive gene effect. GCA effects revealed that inbred lines TZEI-7 and TZEI-22 were resistant to MSVD and could be good combiners for grain yield in addition to TZEI-31 and TZEI-157. Hybrids TZEI-4*TZEI-22 and TZEI-4*TZEI-31 showed resistance to MSVD as revealed by their SCA effects and heterotic values. TZEI-7*TZEI-157, TZEI-31*TZEI-157, TZEI-22*TZEI-157 and TZEI-4*TZEI-22 had positive and significant SCA effect, mid-parent heterosis and high parent heterosis for grain yield. The narrow sense heritability estimated for MSVD severity mean score, total leaf count and plant aspect were 55.3, 40.44 and 36.37 % respectively, while broad sense heritability ranged from approximately 54 to 84 % for all the measured traits. MSVD severity mean score correlated negatively and significantly (P<0.01) with total leaf count, plant height and 100-grain weight. Response to selection can be achieved for MSVD resistance combined with high grain yield if selection is based on MSVD severity mean score, total leaf count and plant aspect. Total leaf count, ear leaf area, plant height and 100-grain weight correlated significantly (P<0.001) and positively with grain yield. Promising hybrids TZEI-4*TZEI-22, TZEI-22*TZEI-157, TZEI-7*TZEI-157 and TZEI-31*TZEI-157 identified in this study should be further tested in multi-locations across Ghana to determine their stability and adaptability.