Universities’ Leadership Compliance with the National Universities Commission’s Benchmark on Minimum Academic Standard and Its Impact on Quality of Nigerian University Education | Chapter 02 | Perspectives of Arts and Social Studies Vol. 2

This study investigated the level of Nigerian Universities’ leadership compliance with the National Universities Commission’s benchmark on minimum academic standard, and its impact on the quality of Nigerian university education. This is consequent upon the observations of some stakeholders in university education, that the failure of universities’ leadership to comply with the National Universities Commission (NUC) benchmark on minimum academic standard, has been the major problem of quality decline in Nigerian university education. Descriptive research of survey design was employed in the study. The population consisted of the staff members from public universities in south-west Nigeria, while the sample consisted of 50 members of staff each from 3 federal and 3 state universities. The finding revealed a moderate level of universities’ leadership compliance with the NUC benchmark on minimum academic standard. The finding was compared with the table on quality of Nigerian university education. A significant relationship was established between universities’ leadership compliance with NUC benchmark and quality of Nigerian university education, and no significant difference was established between the federal and state universities’ staff assessment of leadership compliance with the NUC benchmark. Based on these findings, conclusions were drawn and recommendations made. Quality can only be acquired when set standard are achieved, but may be difficult where funding is inadequate. The moderate level of universities’ leadership compliance established by the study was an indication of leadership failure to comply fully with NUC benchmark on minimum academic standard. This confirmed the stakeholders’ observation that the failure of leadership to comply fully with NUC benchmark on minimum academic standard has been a major problem of quality decline in Nigerian university education. However, this finding may not have been unconnected with the poor funding pattern of government. The non-significant difference established between the assessment of the federal and state university staff, on Nigerian university leadership compliance with NUC benchmark on minimum academic standard is an indication that ownership status has no impact on universities’ leadership level of compliance. Conclusively, Nigerian universities’ leadership should not only give a total compliance to NUC benchmark on minimum academic standard, but improve upon it, by attaining a level higher than the set standard in order to improve on the quality of its education. The government should increase on its budgetary provision for university education as “without good budgets, there are no school.”

Author(s) Details

Dr. (Mrs) Ibijola, Elizabeth Yinka
Department of Educational Management, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria.

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Prevalence of Psychosomatic Symptoms among Traumatized Palestinian Adolescents in the Gaza Strip | Chapter 01 | Perspectives of Arts and Social Studies Vol. 2

Aims: To estimate the prevalence of psychosomatic symptoms among traumatized Palestinian adolescents in Gaza Strip. 

Methods: The study sample consisted of 380 adolescents randomly selected from secondary schools in Gaza Strip, of whom 171 were boys and 209 were girls between 15-18 years. Data was collected using a socio-demographic checklist, the Gaza Traumatic Events Checklist, and the Psychosomatic Symptoms Scale. For statistical analysis, questionnaire data was normally distributed, for this reason independent t-test was used to investigate differences between two groups. Associations between continuous variables were measured by the Pearson’s correlation coefficient test. One-way ANOVA post hoc Tukey was used to investigate differences between more than two groups.

Results: The most common reported traumatic events due to the war on Gaza were: watching mutilated bodies and wounded people in TV (92.3%), and hearing shelling of the area by artillery (89.4%). The mean number of traumatic events experienced by Palestinian adolescents was 14. Boys reported significantly more traumatic events than girls. Adolescents from family with monthly income less than 150 US $ experienced more traumatic events than the other groups. Mean psychosomatic symptoms was 48.19, digestive system symptoms was 19.97, cardiovascular symptoms was 10.23,  respiratory system symptoms was 3.82, urogenital system symptoms was 2.98,  skeletal musculature symptoms was 5.29, and skin symptoms was 7.34. Boys scored more in total psychosomatic and skin symptoms. There was a significant relationship between traumatic experiences and psychosomatic symptoms.

Conclusion: Palestinian adolescents experienced significant traumatic events due to the war on Gaza Strip which were significantly associated with developing psychosomatic symptoms. Such findings highlight the urgent need for establishing community mental health school based programs to help adolescents with such symptoms and increase awareness about their nature and management. Also there is need for conducting training courses for teachers and school counsellors to increase their knowledge about general mental health problems in schools and ways of dealing with such problems. Also, training courses for primary care and hospital physicians, who might attribute to physical causes, and liaison between physical and mental health services.

Author(s) Details

Thabet Abdelaziz
School of Public Health, Community Mental Health Department and Child Institute, Al Quds University, Palestine.

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Study on Soil Morphology, Classification, Suitability and Capability Classes of Selected Arable Crops on a Toposequence in Adamawa State, Nigeria | Chapter 14 | New Perspectives in International Plant and Soil Research Vol. 1

The study on soil morphology, classification, suitability and capability classification was carried out on Dabora-Yelwa toposequence with the view of improving soil management practices and increase the productive capacity of the farmers of the study area. Soil sampling units were delineated using GIS and the study area was categorized into 3 different slope positions on the toposequence and each slope position was recognized as a sampling unit. Two soil types were identified and classified into Typic Plinthustalfs (Yelwa and Sangba’a respectively) and Psammentic Paleudalfs (Dabora). Generally, structural development increased along the slope from upper slope to the lower slope position. Capability classification in the upper slope resulted in class C3 (IIIse) with limitations in texture and erosion hazards while the soils at the lower slope resulted in class C2 (IIsw). Suitability classification indicated that these soils were moderately suitable for sorghum at the upper slope while maize was marginally suitable with limitation in drainage. Measures such as land leveling, afforestation and use of cover crops will reduce the effect of erosion at the upper slope position.

Author(s) Details

Mr. S. A. Gisilanbe
Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Taraba State University, Jalingo, Nigeria.

S. A. Musa
Department of Soil Science, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, Nigeria.

I. J. Lebbiso
Department of Agriculture, Collage of Education, Hong, Nigeria.

S. S. Bilayabu
Department of Soil Science, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, Nigeria.

Mrs H. D. Ali
Department of Soil Science, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, Nigeria.

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Infiltration Models Validation in a Sandy Loam Soil in Zing, Taraba State | Chapter 13 | New Perspectives in International Plant and Soil Research Vol. 1

Predicting the infiltration characteristics for soils is crucial for proper management and sustainable use of soil and water resources for prevention of soil erosion. The study was carried out to evaluate the infiltration models by measuring the field infiltration rate on sandy loam soils in Zing. Kostiakov, Modified – Kostiakov and Horton infiltration models were evaluated by comparing the measured and predicted infiltration rate of the soils. Fifteen infiltration runs were made by ponding water into double ring infiltrometer which was used to carry out the measurements. Parameters were developed from measured infiltration data and laboratory analyses of soil samples. Horton and Kostiakov models with an RMSE (0.0372 and 0.0365) and the R2 value of 0.999 and 0.998 respectively, closely predicted the measured infiltration rate, and can as well stimulate infiltration under the field conditions.

Author(s) Details

Mr. H. J. Philip
Department of Agronomy, Federal University, Gashua, Yobe State, Nigeria.

Mr. S. A. Gisilanbe
Department of Agronomy, Taraba State University, Jalingo, Nigeria.

A. T. Gani
Department of Soil Science and Land Resources Management, Federal University Wukari,Taraba State, Nigeria.

T. W. Joram
Department of Soil Science, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria.

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Response of Improved Rainfed Rice Varieties to Low Soil Nitrogen | Chapter 12 | New Perspectives in International Plant and Soil Research Vol. 1

Nitrogen is one of the major essential plant nutrients and a key input required for better crop yields and therefore scarcity of nitrogen fertilizer has been a major constraint to rice production particularly in developing countries. Low soil fertility prevalent in farmer’s fields has led to low rice yields and the ever escalating fertilizer prices have made this important input unaffordable to most smallholder farmers who have limited resources for purchasing the required inputs. There has been concerted efforts to identify rice varieties that are tolerant to low soil nitrogen since varieties differ in their ability to impact productivity and some varieties can perform well under low nitrogen input.The Mwea Upland rice (MWUR) varieties have been bred under low fertilizer input environment while other authors have indicated that the New Rice for Africa (NERICA) gives high yields under low input conditions. There is therefore need to identify the superior rice varieties that are adaptable to low soil nitrogen levels. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the effects of different rates of nitrogen fertilizer on improved upland rice varieties and to identify the low input adaptable varieties. Field studies were conducted at Alupe in Western Kenya under rainfed upland conditions between August 2012 and April 2013. The experimental layout was split plot factorial in a Randomized Complete Block Design with three replicates. The main plot treatments were four rates of nitrogen fertilizer levels which were; 0 (control), 40, 80 and 120 kg ha-1 applied as calcium ammonium nitrate (26% N) in two equal splits; 21 days after sowing (DAS) and at panicle initiation (46 DAS). Sub-plots consisted of four MWUR varieties namely MWUR 1, MWUR 2, MWUR 3, MWUR 4; and four NERICA varieties namely NERICA 1, NERICA 4, NERICA 10 and NERICA 11. The parameters measured included plant height, tiller number, filled grain ratio percentage and yield components. In the study, nitrogen treatment showed significant effect on plant growth and the measured parameters increased significantly with increase in nitrogen level. MWUR varieties studied were more adaptable to low nitrogen conditions as compared to NERICA varieties. The NERICA varieties recorded higher yield at high nitrogen levels as compared to MWUR varieties. However, NERICA 4 gave higher yield as compared to other NERICA varieties regardless of the nitrogen level. Results from our study suggest that MWUR 1 and 2 and NERICA 4 were more tolerant to low nitrogen as compared to MWUR 3 and 4 and NERICA 1, 10 and 11, because of higher height, more tiller number, higher filled grain ratio percentage and higher yield component as compared to the other studied varieties and may be suitable for soils low in nitrogen.

Author(s) Details

Dr. P. A. Sikuku
Department of Botany, Maseno University, P.O.Box 333 Maseno, Kenya.

Dr. J. M. Kimani
Kenya Agricultural Research Institute-Mwea-Tebere, P.O.Box 298-10300, Kerugoya, Kenya.

Dr. J. W. Kamau
EAAPP PCU, P.O.Box 30028 – 00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

S. Njinju
Kenya Agricultural Research Institute-Mwea-Tebere, P.O.Box 298-10300, Kerugoya, Kenya.

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Towards Understanding Nutrient Transport in Celosia argentea L. | Chapter 11 | New Perspectives in International Plant and Soil Research Vol. 1

To better understand nutrient transport in vegetable, a pot experiment was carried out at the nursery site of the Department of Crop Production, Federal University of Technology, Minna (9°36’ N, 6°33’ E) Niger state, Nigeria. The study aimed at determining the effect of age of celosia plant at harvest on the yield and nutritional composition of the plant as well as the concentration of nutrients at different leaf positions. The experiment was a 3 x 3 factorial combination of three harvest periods (5, 7 and 9 weeks after sowing) and three leaf positions on the mother plant (upper, middle and basal) arranged in a completely randomized design. Harvested leaves were analysed for the nutritional composition. The results showed that the whole plant fresh weight, varied significantly (p<0.05) with the age of plant at harvest, having the maximum and the minimum values at 9 weeks after sowing (266.19 g/pot) and 5 weeks after sowing (96.12 g/pot) respectively. The leaf fresh weight and leaf dry weight followed the same trend with the whole plant fresh weight. Crude protein and Na reduced significantly (p<0.05) with the age of the plant with the highest values recorded at 5 weeks after sowing. Zn was highest at 7 weeks after sowing. K and Vit. C content were significantly higher at 9 weeks after sowing. Ca was highest at 9 weeks after sowing but there was no significant difference in the value obtained at 9 and 5 weeks after sowing. Higher values of Fe were obtained at 7 and 9 weeks after sowing. The Mg content was not significantly affected by the age at harvest. The middle leaves had significant higher content of Mg and Vit. C when compared to the basal leaves but there was no significant difference between the values obtained in upper and middle leaves. Significant (p<0.05) higher values of Ca, Fe, and crude protein were recorded in the basal leaves. There was no significant difference in the values of K, P, Na, Fat and Zn obtained at the different leaf positions.

Author(s) Details

O. A. Adediran
Department of Crop Production, Federal University of Technology, P.M.B. 65, Minna, Nigeria.

Z. Gana
Department of Crop Production, Federal University of Technology, P.M.B. 65, Minna, Nigeria.

J. A. Oladiran
Department of Crop Production, Federal University of Technology, P.M.B. 65, Minna, Nigeria.

H. Ibrahim
Department of Crop Production, Federal University of Technology, P.M.B. 65, Minna, Nigeria.

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Optimizing Nitrogen Application in Onion (Allium cepa L.): Influence of Rate and Time of Topdressing on Growth, Yield and Quality | Chapter 10 | New Perspectives in International Plant and Soil Research Vol. 1

Onion (Allium cepa L.) is an important commercial vegetable crop grown by small-holder farmers in Kenya for both local and export markets. The national average production is low and quality is highly compromised due to use of low yielding varieties and poor agronomic practices. Field experiments on the influence of nitrogen and time of application on growth, yield, and quality of onion bulbs were conducted in 2014 and 2015 at the National Agricultural Research Laboratories. The experiments were laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with a split-split arrangement and replicated three times. Nitrogen (N) was applied as Calcium Ammonium Nitrate at five levels including, 0 (control), 26, 52, 78 and 104 kg N ha-1. These were applied at four different times of applications at three, six, nine and twelve weeks after transplanting. Two onion varieties popularly grown in Kenya were used, the Red Creole and Red Tropicana F1 hybrid. Nitrogen and time of application showed significant differences in all parameters studied except bolting. Nitrogen at 104 kg N ha-1 applied at 6 weeks gave the best results with regard to plant height, number of leaves, bulb ratios, bulb diameter, average bulb weight, yield and marketable yield. Six weeks after transplanting was the best application time with regard to most parameters and maturity of the crop. Yields increased linearly with increased N rates but declined by over 23% with late application at 12 weeks. High rates resulted to thick necks and increased split bulbs especially with late application at 9 and 12 weeks. Red Tropicana F1 hybrid was the best performing variety with regard to most parameters especially total and marketable yield. Nitrogen applied at the right time improves growth, increases yield and improves quality. Since the yield response was linear in both seasons, higher rates should be evaluated to get the optimal rate. Time of application equally affected growth, crop maturation and yield as well as yield components with late application negatively affecting these parameters. From this observation it is apparent that sufficient N is required early in the season. When it is deficient in the juvenile stage, rapid growth is restricted, resulting to loss of yield and poor quality bulbs. Thus it is essential that an optimum level of N is supplied early for maximum yield and improved bulb quality. The predicted optimum time of N application from this study was six weeks after transplanting. Nitrogen at 104 kg/ha applied at 6 weeks after transplanting gave the best growth, yield and quality of bulbs. Application of too much N late in the season (9 and 12 weeks) increased split bulbs and neck sizes. Excessive application late in the season (as farmers do) should be discouraged and avoided in the regime for best results. This shows that an optimal rate applied at the right time (4R’s of nutrient management) optimizes the efficiency of fertilizer use for good yields and hence profitability. Although hybrid seed was expensive, the yield obtained was high and quality was fairly good. The Red Tropicana F1 hybrid obtained maximum yield of 30,533 kg/ha at 104 kg N/ha applied at 3 weeks while the Red Creole obtained a maximum yield of 24,674 kg/ha with the same level applied at the same time. To improve production and marketability, Kenyan farmers should adopt the hybrids.

Author(s) Details

M. W. Gateri
National Agricultural Research Laboratories, Institute of Crops Research, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, P.O.Box 14733-00800, Nairobi, Kenya.

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Effect of Bagging Time on Fruit Yield and Quality of Red Pitaya (Hylocereus spp.) Fruit in Vietnam | Chapter 09 | New Perspectives in International Plant and Soil Research Vol. 1

The experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of bagging time on fruit yield and quality of Red Pitaya H14 cultivar. The experiment consisted of control (without bagging), bagging fruit after 7 days anthesis, bagging fruit after 15 days anthesis by net screen-green bag (NS-GB) with bag size 320 x 260 mm and was designed in Randomized Complete Block Design with three replicates. Number of fruit, fruit quality, yield and fruit damage were recorded. Results indicated that bagging fruit after 7 days anthesis markedly improved flesh fruit weight, fruit edible rate percentage, total soluble solid than the control treatment. Moreover, agging fruit after 7 days anthesis clearly reduced 10-20% fruit crack, fruit sunburn, fruit fly and fruit blemished as compared to control treatment. It was concluded that bagging fruit after 7 days anthesis had positive effect on enhancing fruit quality (total solube solid increase 15% as compared untreated control) and reduced fruit from insect pest and diseases for red pitaya cultivar under field condition in Cao Bang province, Vietnam.

Author(s) Details

Nguyen Minh Tuan
Department of Agronomy, Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry, Quyet,Thang Commune, Thai Nguyen City, Vietnam.

Nguyen The Hung
Faculty of Environment, Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry, Quyet,Thang Commune, Thai Nguyen City, Vietnam.

Nguyen Quoc Hung
Fruit and Vegetable Research Institute, Ha Noi, Vietnam.

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Short-Term Effects of Boiler Ash on Soil Microbial Population, Organic Carbon, Nitrogen Mineralization and Cowpea Biomass | Chapter 08 | New Perspectives in International Plant and Soil Research Vol. 1

Recycling boiler ash through the soil given their neutralizing capacity and phyto nutrient concentrations can also result in deterioration of soil quality parameters such as soil microbial biomass, communities, organic carbon and nitrogen mineralization, which in turn affects crop health, productivity, and soil sustainable productivity. The objective of this study was to assess modifications in soil pH, soil electrical conductivity, soil microbial population, organic carbon, nitrogen mineralization, and cowpea performance at 30, 60, and 90 days after planting in boiler ash (BA) alone, mixtures of BA with soil and poultry dropping (PM). The experiment was a completely randomized design conducted in a screen house for 90 days. The result shows that following a 30, 60 and 90 days’ incorporation period, BA alone or in mixtures with soil or PM significantly (p<0.5) increased soil pH and microbial activity but inhibit fungal growth and had little effect on cowpea biomass growth. The concentration of total organic carbon and NH4-N increased but NO3-N decreased relative to the un-amended soil. The effects were however found to be time and mixture ratio-specific. These results demonstrate that with proper selection of application rates, amendment of soils with BA may increase soil carbon, improve nitrogen mineralization and crop productivity and has the potentials to inhibit pathogenic fungi but unlikely to disrupt other microbiological processes in soil environments. Based on the conducted trial it can be stated that dumped boiler ash (100% BA) stabilize overtime and improved soil pH, microbial population, organic carbon and nitrogen mineralization. When mixed with soil or poultry droppings, organic C and N, N-supplying power (N mineralization), pH and microbial population in soil also increased, but the magnitude of increase varied with ratio of mixture. Our findings suggest enormous potential for the use of cowpea to reclaim abandoned ash ponds for agriculture and that soil quality and fertility can be improved with boiler ash.

Author(s) Details

Dr. R. A. Ezema
Department of Agricultural Technology, Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo, Nigeria.

T. E. Omeje
Department of Agricultural Technology, Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo, Nigeria.

S. E. Onuoha
Department of Agricultural Technology, Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo, Nigeria.

Lilian Nnamani
Department of Agricultural Technology, Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo, Nigeria.

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Response of Growth and Yield of Pineapple (Ananas comosus) on Spent Mushroom Substrates and Inorganic Fertilizer in South – South, Nigeria | Chapter 07 | New Perspectives in International Plant and Soil Research Vol. 1

Introduction: Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a perennial crop and can be cultivated any time of the year, so long as soil moisture is available. The production of pineapple in south – south of Nigeria is constrained by low soil fertility due to continued cultivation without replenishment of the soil with any soil amendment materials. This has also led to reduction of crop yields in the region. Soil amendments are substances used for correcting the acidity or alkalinity of the soil which was as a result of high rainfall associated in the region.

Aim: The experiment on pineapple (Ananas comosus) was conducted in 2013 at the Teaching and Research Farm of Faculty of Agriculture, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria using soil enrichment materials. The experiment was aimed at comparing the best soil enrichment material that can enhance the production of pineapple in southern part of Nigeria.

Study Design: The experimental design used was a randomized complete block design in three (3) replications. 

Methodology: The soil enrichment materials used for the study were spent mushroom substrate (SMS), and inorganic fertilizer (NPK 15:15:15) and no treatment as control. The growth and yield attributes measured in the field included plant height, number of leaves, leaf area, length of leaves, number of fruits and fruits weight.

Results: These attributes increased significantly due to application of the soil enrichment materials which led to continuous supply of nutrients as against the control (no treatment) which gave lower values in all the growth and yield parameters measured. The results of the trial on growth parameter showed that spent mushroom substrate gave a significant difference (P<0.05) against the inorganic fertilizer used. On fruit production, it was observed that spent mushroom substrate and inorganic fertilizer did not show any significant difference (P>0.05), though a higher fruit yield of 6.7 (12.42 kg/plot) was obtained in SMS than in inorganic fertilizer (NPK 15:15:15) which had 6.0 (9.87 kg/plot).

Conclusion: Therefore, farmers in South-South of Nigeria are advised to plant pineapple using spent mushroom substrate more than inorganic fertilizer (NPK 15:15:15) as soil enrichment material for better growth and increase in yield.

Author(s) Details

J. A. Orluchukwu
Department of Crop and Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Port Harcourt, P.M.B. 5323 Choba Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

O. M. Adedokun
Department of Crop and Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Port Harcourt, P.M.B. 5323 Choba Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

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