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Food and Health / The Benefits Of Beans: 9 Reasons Why YOU Should Eat Beans
« on: February 10, 2014, 01:42:23 PM »
The benefits of beans are so numerous that we can't say enough in praise of a beans diet. Healthy beans are so outstanding that only green vegetables come close as a valuable food source. Beans are so loaded with nutrition and taste that we've listed nine reasons below to devour huge quantities of beans – beginning today.

Beans & Protein

Thanks to a relentless campaign from food industries, we have a highly exaggerated idea of the amount of protein that is needed by our bodies. In fact, we only need a small percentage of the amount we usually get. If you staunchly refuse to believe this statement, consider mother's milk, which contains only 1.6 grams of protein per 1/2 cup, less than one half the protein of cow's milk. The greatest growth time of our lives is when we are babies, so if we needed huge amounts of protein wouldn't mother's milk, the "perfect food", provide it?

In fact, there are serious dangers to high protein diets.  Two examples are: osteoporosis and kidney disease.  The bone thinning disease of osteoporosis is an epidemic in the United States and high amount of protein have unquestionably played a huge part in this explosion. High protein diets cause calcium to be lost in the urine. This calcium does not come from the meat – it comes from our bones. Animal products create uric acid which makes our blood acidic. Calcium is the mineral that is most needed by the body to fight acidity – and in its valiant attempt to protect itself, the body pulls this needed calcium from the bones, the most abundant source we have.

Further, if we eat more protein than the human body can use, it is broken down and excreted which overworks the kidneys by increasing the amount and flow of urine. The "nephrons", which are the kidneys filter units, gradually die off in the process.

So, yes, we need protein – but not a huge amount of it and the best advice is to stick to plants. A variety of plant foods provides all the protein we need and, contrary to a popular myth, we don't need to 'combine' those proteins in any special way to get all eight amino acids that the body doesn't produce. That notion began with an influential book, Diet For A Small Planet. The author, Frances Moore Lappe, later recanted, admitting she was in error. If only all errors were so readily admitted!

Fiber And Beans

There are two kinds of fiber. The first is "insoluble" fiber, alias 'roughage', which can't be used by the human body. Instead it moves on through, carrying out waste products and toxins. The more insoluble fiber we have, the less likely we are to retain foods inside our bodies which keeps them from putrefying. Yes, that's a gross thought but that doesn't make it any less true.

"Soluble" fiber becomes gooey and helps to process fats, lowers cholesterol and slows the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. Many have reported a lower cholesterol score just from consuming more fiber.

Quite simply, fiber is what makes you feel full! Obviously, if we feel full we will eat less and be more satisfied, our appetite will be more easily controlled and we will either lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Fiber, Beans And Weight Loss

The most popular theory of dieting and weight loss for decades has revolved around calories. Experts have loudly proclaimed that there is an immutable formula for calories in, calories out but, in fact, all calories are not the same because some calories require much more digestion than others. The harder your body has to work to digest those calories, the less of them will be absorbed. The difference between a spoonful of sugar and a spoonful of beans is startling. In fact, if you'd like to reduce your calorie "price" by 10%, add an extra 14 grams of fiber. This means that if you eat 2,000 calories per day, and add 28 grams of fiber to your meals, those calories will only "count" as 1600. Cool!

It's easy to get 30, 40, 50 or more grams of fiber a day. There are four foods that supply lots of healthy fiber …

* Beans
* Vegetables
* Fruits
* Whole grains

… and in that order, with beans being the best source of fiber. Set a target of at least 40 grams per day. Beans have approximately 15 grams of fiber per cup.

Fiber, Beans & Blood Sugar

Scientists rate how quickly foods release their natural sugars into the bloodstream using a number called the glycemic index or GI. Foods on the low end of the glycemic scale release their natural sugars slowly over a period of time. Probably most resident in the western world have experienced the famous 'sugar high' and researchers are positive that sugar – literally – acts like a drug on the human system. In fact, some scientists have compared sugar to heroin!

Low glycemic foods, on the other hand, release their sugars more slowly and steadily, acting a constant source of energy. These foods don't send your blood sugar skyrocketing only to crash soon after, causing your appetite to return and often making snacks irresistible.

And, if you're overweight, your body tissues are most likely more sensitive to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood sugar.

What makes a food low or high on the glycemic scale? It's about the carbohydrate molecules of the substance. With low-GI food, the molecules are stacked and dense and have been compared to a stack of logs waiting to be burned in the winter fireplace. When the agents of digestion in your body – your enzymes – go to work on these logs, it takes a long time to burn them and that's why your blood sugar isn't much affected.

High GI carbs are more like branches or twigs, with their molecules spread apart and surrounded by space. Your enzymes quickly break them apart, releasing all their sugar into the blood at more or less the same time.

Guess who's the undisputed champion of the low GI food groups? That's right: legumes – beans, peas, lentils – with green veggies being a close second, calorie for calorie.

A Beans Diet And Leptin

A few years ago, it was discovered that a hormone named "leptin" [its name comes from the Greek word 'leptos' which means 'thin'] controlled the human appetite. There was an incredible excitement over this discovery and the dieting world hailed The Answer for all overweight folks. Unfortunately, leptin from outside sources has thus far been a huge flop.

Leptin is made by our body's fat cells. When the cells realize there is enough nourishment available, [meaning you're not starving yourself by dieting!] they release leptin into the bloodstream which has two important effects:

* Your appetite declines …
* Your metabolism is boosted  and thus calories are consumed more quickly …

Plant based, low-fat foods help to keep leptin levels high – while fatty foods, like animal products, suppress your leptin supply. And guess what? Beans are only 2-3% fat which means they raise your leptin levels and reduce appetite, while causing your metabolism to work harder and faster.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Amount: 4 ounces
Calories: 306
Fat grams: 20
Protein grams: 23
Fiber in grams: 0

Amount: 8 ounces [twice as much as the beef above]
Calories: 227 [discount by 10%-30% due to high fiber content]
Fat grams: .09
Protein grams: 17.9
Fiber in grams: 15

= = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Nutrients & Beans

Beans are loaded with nutrients that our bodies crave:

B Vitamins: are necessary for healthy brain and nerve cells, for normal functioning of the skin, nerves and digestive system.

Calcium:  for strong bones and teeth and to help keep the body more alkaline, rather than acidic.

Potassium: helps reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.

Folate: a B vitamin that our bodies don't produce yet dry beans are our single best source of this important vitamin which helps protect against heart disease and cancer.

These Healthy Beans Are Inexpensive

Beans are cheap! In fact, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the grocery store that is a bigger bargain than beans, peas and lentils. Yesterday I bought an entire pound of black eyed peas for $1.29. Granted, I normally pay more than that because I almost always buy organic beans. But even those babies are only about double the price of the ones grown with chemicals. Considering their nutritional punch, there simply is nothing in the store that is a better buy than beans. Check out the dried beans and lentils in your store and see for yourself. And if you can buy them in bulk, the way I do, they're even cheaper.

A Huge Variety Of Beans

There are all kinds of beans available for most any palate … unless you're one of those unfortunates that really detest beans. Sorry about that.

For instance, my least favorite bean is the kidney bean. I don't dislike it, I just prefer other kinds and fortunately there are a myriad of choices. These are just a few that are quite popular in the US:

* kidney beans
* soy beans
* garbanzo beans
* adzuki beans
* lima beans
* red lentils
* green lentils
* brown lentils
* black beans
* black eyed peas
* broad beans
* red beans
* butter beans
* fava beans
* great northern beans
* haricot beans
* mung beans
* navy beans
* pinto beans
* yellow split peas
* green split peas
* white beans

Versatile, Healthy Nutrition

It's impossible to even guess how many bean recipes exist on this planet. One thing is for sure – the number is in the hundreds of thousands and most likely the millions. If I assigned you the task of listing 100 different bean recipes, you could certainly do it. So in an effort to reinforce their versatility, here are some major headings:

Bean Main Dishes: beans are in stews and casseroles; they're baked with meat; in some cultures, like that of Mexico, they're unique dishes that are served constantly [think tacos, enchiladas, chalupas]; cattle drives moved across American eating huge pots of beans at every meal; Indian tribes ate beans for thousands of years.

Vegetarian Bean Main Dishes: vegetarians like me frequently fix main dishes without meat, using beans as the filling ingredient, rather than animal products. I frequently make chilis with beans and baked beans are common. With a salad and crusty bread, they're yummy!

Baked Beans: are the most famous bean dish and they're baked with all kinds of different ingredients: onions, garlic, barbecue sauce, cranberries, mushroom, pineapple – even Dr. Pepper and beer.

Bean Salads: everyone has eaten cold beans in salads. I recently ate a cold bean, mandarin orange and purple onion salad that had me threatening mayhem to the person of the hostess if she didn't hand over the recipe. :-)

Bean Soups: there are bean soups in cultures all over the planet from Cuban black bean soup to Mexican spicy soups to French Canadian pea soup and my favorite, our American Senate Bean Soup.

Bean Dips: are a favorite of most people and are quite popular at all kinds of social gatherings and surely go well at a Super Bowl party with a huge bowl of chips.

Chili With Beans: chili without beans is simply a total flop. Actually, the beans are more important than the meat because there are meatless chilis but virtually no chilis without beans. Some folks cook the beans and meat in a separate pot and mix them together when served.

Bean "Breads": beans have become so popular that there are many bean flours available these days, and they can be used like grain flours to make bread, pasta, muffins and loaves.

Bean Desserts: while not as common, there certainly are bean desserts. Asians often eat a red bean ice cream [which I've never eaten, but definitely will the first chance I get] and there are other goodies like a Pinto Bean Pie and an orange garbanzo cake.

If the benefits of beans can't persuade you to give this delightful food group and try, then consider this: beans are tasty! There are a bazillion bean recipes available for you to try and simple experimentation might lead you to find healthy beans that you truly enjoy.

Rade Agro Allied Company Limited (RC936188), built upon a modest beginning and foundation laid by Rade Farms, which started with a focus on Poultry- basically rearing birds for festive seasons. Thereafter the Company gradually expanded into production of table eggs followed by the acquisition of a farm property with the objective of commencing commercial farming and processing.

Rade Farms has added fish production and processing as part of its strategy of building an integrated agriculture/agricultural processing enterprises. Commencing with Fish production in 2008, the Company, currently with staff strength of twelve (12), now adds value through smoking and packaging of fish/Seafood products for the local market in Nigeria. It aims at exploring the export market in the nearest future.

Rade Agro Allied Company Limited, an integrated Agricultural Company with Farms in two locations in Owode LGA of Ogun State requires:

Job Title: Farm Supervisor – Crop Production

Location: Ogun State


The ideal Candidate will be responsible for production of high value crops in greenhouses as well as all aspects of crop production such as soil cultivation, sowing, planting, pruning, harvest, crop protection, climate control, post harvest handling etc.


OND or Equivalent qualification in Agriculture or Natural Sciences

Minimum of 2 years experience in Crop production in open field and Greenhouse as well as pest management will be added advantage

Application Closing Date
31st January, 2014

Method Of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should send their CVs to:

Pest and Disease Management / Control of Root Rot Diseases of Cassava
« on: January 23, 2014, 01:17:00 PM »

Cassava is cultivated in almost all the districts of Ghana and it is the number one staple food crop for majority of Ghanaians. Cassava is also fast becoming an important crop for industries because of its high starch content. Diseases and pests cause severe yield losses in all production districts where susceptible cultivars are grown. The major diseases of the crop in Ghana continue to be African Cassava Mosaic Disease (ACMD), Cassava Bacterial Blight (CBB) and Cassava Anthracnose (CAD).

Root rot diseases of cassava are gradually becoming important in the major cassava producing regions of the country with high yield losses due to rots being reported regularly by farmers and Agriculture Extension Agents. Complete crop failure due to root rots have been observed in farms in different regions of the country.

Rotten roots are not suitable for food or any processed product such as ‘gari’ or flour.

Severe yield losses due to root rots affect cassava supply to urban markets and weakens food security of rural communities. Root rots of cassava leave farmers poor.

This small guide introduces farmers and extension agents to root rot diseases of cassava and how they can be controlled using simple measures to increase production by rural poor farmers.

Causes of root rot diseases

Most farmers think root rot of cassava is a problem when the crop is cultivated in water logged soils or on land that becomes flooded at certain times of the year. It is true that water logged soils are not good for cassava production because they promote rots. There are however, other causes of root rot in cassava.

Several of the reported root rot outbreaks in recent years occurred in well drained soils with no history of flooding. These rots are often caused by microorganisms (fungi and bacteria). Lately, a large parasitic mushroom has been found to be causing severe root rot of cassava in some parts of Volta, Central, Ashanti and Eastern regions of the country.

Common symptoms associated with cassava root rot diseases

Leaves of plants affected by root rot diseases become brown and wilt (lose water) even in the wet season.

Defoliation (loss of leaves) often follows the wilting stage.

Storage roots of affected plants may be swollen and are often coloured when cut open.

Rotten roots may be soft and give out offensive odour particularly in infections involving bacteria.

Shoot or stem dieback may be observed.
Stems may become weak at the base and lodge.
Affected plants finally die.

Methods of spread of root rot diseases

Root rot caused by some microorganisms require water to spread. Some reproductive or infective units of disease causing fungi have to swim to reach a new host.

Plant debris left on fields after harvest are often contaminated with disease causing fungi and are good sources of spores for infecting new plants.

Diseases are also transmitted through wounds by using contaminated farm tools such cutlasses and hoes.

Characteristics of the new parasitic mushroom (Polyporus sulphureus) root rot disease of cassava

The Polyporus root rot disease is a very devastating disease of cassava that has been found in Ashanti, Central, Eastern and Volta regions. In areas where the disease is found, all local cultivars have been identified as susceptible and 100% yield loss on fields have been observed or reported. Conditions favouring the growth and spread of this fungus in the four regions can be found also in Western, Greater Accra and Brong-Ahafo regions. Farmers in these regions must therefore, be on the look out for this parasite and report its presence to Agricultural Extension Agents of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture who operate in farming communities in the districts.

Hot spot areas for Polyporus root rot disease are in the Sabadu and Avemedra areas in the Kpando District of the Volta region and the Gomoa and Awutu-Bawjiase Districts of the Central region.

The bright yellow fruiting body of the parasitic mushroom can be found developing on other plants even in the absence of cassava plants. The parasite has also been found growing on yam (another important staple food in Ghana). The Polyporus cassava root rot fungus has a wide host range and can grow on other plants for several years but prefers cassava when it is present. The first sign of the disease on cassava is the presence of its bright yellow or dark brown fruiting body growing on an infected plant 

 Bright yellow fruiting bodies of the parasitic mushroom (Polyporus sulphureus) growing in the absence of cassava plants. The fruiting bodies are not growing unaided. Digging the soil around its base will show that the fruiting body is firmly growing attached to the main root of a host plant.

 Bright yellowish brown fruiting body of Polyporus sulphureus (the root rot causing mushroom) growing on a young cassava plant.

 The fruiting body of P. sulphureus develops rapidly and can reach a size of 30 cm or more in few weeks. The fruiting body darkens as it matures.

 The fruiting body of the parasitic mushroom (P. sulphureus) growing on a woody host plant. The fungus can attack several tree species and kill them eventually.

Root rot at harvest

At harvest, yield losses due to the parasitic mushroom can be very high. Figures 5 and 6 show rotten roots which is all the harvest from fourteen month old affected plants. Yield losses of this nature are common in endemic areas of the disease. Farmers cultivating susceptible cultivars of this kind can experience 100% yield loss in disease hot spot areas.

An attacked fourteen month old plant with all storage roots rotten in a farm in an endemic area in the Volta region.

A harvest of rotten roots from a single plant attacked by the Polyporus root rot fungus. The bright yellow structure is the developing fruiting body of the parasitic mushroom.

Control of root rot diseases of cassava

Control of root rot diseases can be achieved through effective farm management practices. Cassava is the most cultivated food crop in the country and is planted in backyards even in the cities and as such the use of chemicals in the control of cassava diseases is not recommended. The measures discussed below when applied singly or in combination as a field situation may determine can help control root rot diseases of cassava.

Site and land selection

Select a site that is not prone to flooding or is not water logged at any part of the year.

Avoid farming very close to rivers and streams that are likely to overflow their banks in the rainy season. It is common to find farmers who have limited access to land cultivating cassava in valleys that are subjected to flooding in good rainy days.

Water logged soils are poorly aerated and cassava roots developing in such soils will suffer from rots not necessarily due to diseases. Roots of plants growing in water logged soils are not healthy and can easily be attacked by diseases. A sandy loamy soil that is well drained is a good soil type for cassava.

Some of the organisms or agents that cause root rot diseases of cassava such as certain types of fungi require some amount of water to allow them swim to effect new infections. This is one of the reasons why root rot diseases of cassava are common in poorly drained soil.

The soil should be fertile enough to give a good healthy crop. Avoid planting in soils that are poor in nutrients. Efforts must be made to improve soil fertility by the addition of inorganic or organic fertilizers whenever possible. A good example of organic fertilizer is poultry manure. What must be kept in mind is that a healthy plant is not easily attacked by diseases but when even attacked it is able to fight the disease better.

Do not cultivate cassava on land that has a history of root rots and other major diseases. This information can be obtained from neighbours farming close to the land. If the only available land has a history of rots, then good disease management practices must be maintained if good yields are expected.

Use disease resistant or tolerant varieties

Improved cassava varieties with resistance or tolerance to certain important diseases and pests (that are also high yielding) have been developed and released by a number of Agricultural Institutions. It is therefore important to report any disease situation that is affecting your yields to Agricultural Extension Agents who operate in your communities. Ask questions on the availability of resistant materials and how to obtain them. It is always advisable to start your farm with disease resistant varieties if they are available. This helps you among other things to obtain higher crop yields.

Use healthy planting materials

Avoid using planting materials from fields with visible signs of root rot diseases even if the stems look healthy.

The structures of disease causing fungi that give rise to new attacks or infections called spores are microscopic and planting materials from farms with visible root rot attacks are likely to carry several of these spores to new farms.

· The Ministry of Food and Agriculture must institute and maintain policies that will check movement of cassava planting materials from defined endemic areas with observed and reported cases of devastating diseases into new districts. The current uncontrolled free movement of planting materials to and from any part of the country promotes spread of diseases.

Practise good farm sanitation

Collect plant debris (stems and roots) with fungi together and burn to destroy particularly after harvest.

Rotten roots and plant debris bearing fruiting bodies of disease causing fungi  must be destroyed by burning to reduce the spread of root rot diseases. Disease severity on farms can be reduced through destruction of debris that carry spores into the next planting season.

In Polyporus endemic areas it is good for a farmer to do regular field monitoring particularly after the first rains following the long dry season. This is the time the fruiting bodies of the parasitic mushroom starts to develop on susceptible cultivars. The young fruiting body can be hand picked as soon as they appear, kept in polythene bags and destroyed by burning. This practice does not allow the fruiting body to develop to produce spores that are the reproductive units of the parasite.

Regular field inspection to remove and destroy few plants showing disease symptoms such as patches of fungal growths, wilting and defoliation (that may be symptoms of root rot and other diseases) by burning reduce spread of diseases on farms. This practice called roguing can be an effective disease management strategy if regular inspections are well planned and followed.

Plant debris after harvest bearing the fruiting body of the root rot fungus. The leathery fruiting body after harvest can persist for over a year and are good sources of spores for new attacks in the following seasons crop.

Early harvesting

Some root rot causing organisms actively degrade storage roots when they are well developed and harvesting is delayed. Early harvesting therefore, prevents or reduces the incidence of rots of this nature on farms.

Practise crop rotation

Continuous cropping of cassava on the same piece of land contributes to increase in incidence and severity of diseases including root rots. It is generally effective to rotate cassava with cereals to help reduce the levels of inoculum (spores etc.) on fields. It is advisable not to plant cassava continuously for three years on the same piece of land particularly in localities where high cassava disease pressures exist.

Practise land fallow

Fallowing of land after five or more years of continuous cassava cultivation for a period of three to five years is a good measure that can reduce incidence and severity of diseases. When practised properly, it can help eliminate a disease from a locality or reduce its incidence and severity significantly. The absence of host plants from a field deprive pathogens or disease causing organisms of their nutrient resulting in decline of pathogen populations. In localities where increases in human population is exerting strong pressures on available farmland, this practice will not be a popular option.

Clean farm equipment

Farm equipment such as cutlasses, hoes and ploughs used on fields with root rot history must be cleaned immediately after use before being used on a second farm. This reduces the spread of soil borne diseases from farm to farm.

Avoid planting cassava as the first crop after clearing woodlands or forests

Crops that are not susceptible to pathogens that infect cassava particularly cereals must be planted as the first crops just after clearing forests or woodlands. Attacks by fungal pathogens particularly parasitic mushrooms can be prevented through this practice. Woody stumps left in farms after clearing woodlands may serve as hosts or reservoirs to fungal and other pathogens that attack cassava. Stumps must be removed or destroyed.

Host range

Pathogenic organisms causing root rot diseases of cassava particularly fungi can attack a wide range of crops. Some root rot fungi of cassava can attack soybean and sunflower. The Polyporus root rot mushroom can attack a number of crops including yam and citrus.

Care should therefore, be taken in the selection of crops for rotation or intercropping with cassava as a measure to control root rot diseases.

Agric Jobs Vacancy / Supply Chain Officer in an Agro-Allied Company
« on: November 19, 2013, 02:47:57 PM »
A leading Agro-Allied Company in Nigeria as a result of its strategic market expansion, requires the services of dynamic, self motivated and result oriented candidates for the vacant position;

Job Title: Supply Chain Officer

Candidate for this position must be able to plan
Inventory operation from carriage inward to cycle time process.
Overseeing the ordering and packaging process.


The right candidate for this position must possess first degree in any of the social sciences or numerical studies with (3) years experience.

Application Closing Date
26th November, 2013

Method of Application
Interested candidates should forward their application and CV to:

Food and Health / How Ginger Can Help You Get Fit
« on: November 19, 2013, 11:59:25 AM »

For many of us, the first images that come to mind when we think of ginger are of sushi or gingerbread cookies. We may not realize what a powerful cleansing agent ginger can be for our bodies internally. Ginger root, in its natural form, has antibacterial, antifungal, an anti-inflammatory properties, –which means it’s great for keeping our intenstines healthy and for healing illnesses and imbalances.
Ginger has been used in Chinese medicine to treat everything from diarrhea to asthma to nausea to arthritis. It can also help to alleviate pain and reduce joint swelling without the side-effects of over-the-counter painkillers.
To learn more about the role ginger can play in fitness and health, we spoke with fitness model and health expert Owen McKibbin. Owen is a widely respected voice in the wellness industry and has graced the cover of Men’s Health Magazine 19 times! He is also founder of McKibbin Fitness – a unique online personal training site that has workouts for every body type and plenty of inspiration and fitness philosophy to boot.
In this interview, Owen shares several powerful tips for how ginger can help us stay healthy and fit throughout the holiday season (and beyond)

(1) do you personally use ginger powder in your diet? Do you have a favorite   
 dish to use it in or just throw it in a smoothie?

Good question. That depends on what time of the day it is. In the morning I use it with smoothies; my favorite is mixing it with papaya and/or banana. Those are definitely my go-to preferred smoothie fruits. In the nighttime, I prefer the ginger in a warm tea or cold elixir.
You’ve created some great and easy recipes for using ginger powder.

(2)How does including ginger in our diet work to keep the body healthy?

First of all, ginger is a major antioxidant and fortifies your immune system.
It also is a proponent of healthy digestion. So if I have a cheat day (that’s a day where I let myself eat whatever I feel like), I will sometimes do a ginger flush. I will use that warm ginger tea or elixir to negate the effects of the cheat day. It really does wonders. By 7:00 or 8:00, an hour or two after I’ve had the tea, my body is good as new.
 “If you are overweight, MOTIVATE.”

(3)This sounds so simple, but many people find it hard to put into action. How would you recommend people wanting to lose weight (instead of gain weight) this holiday season to start?

First of all, you have to get something done before happy hour. If you have made it to happy hour, and the drinks start flowing without any physical activity, you are not winning. Typically, this doesn’t have to be long. Whether its 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 20 minutes in the morning… it doesn’t have to be an hour of cardio.
One of the great things about my new online personal trainer website is that we have great workouts that are designed to give you a great workout in a minimal amount of time.
These workouts are combination moves. They target massive muscle groups or your entire body to reflect natural and athletic movement. They do not focus on individual muscle groups or isolate areas on your body. You cannot spot reduce.
By using these short, but significant workouts, you are making little deposits into the fitness bank. Over time they will start adding up. Hopefully, one day you will be able to live off the interest when the habit becomes incorporated into your lifestyle.
(Another great hint: Around the holiday season, since it’s usually cold and you are eating frequently, you can use the ginger to cleanse in between meals. A little tea or elixir can really help to keep your body in line.)

(4)What’s the easiest way for people not familiar with ginger to use the ginger powder in their diet or health routines?

The easiest way to introduce you to Wakaya’s amazingly potent brand of ginger is slowly. The Wakaya ginger is so pure and concentrated, I would start out with the tea.

Green Tea for the mornings because it has a higher caffeine content, and Chamomile Tea, which is caffeine-free, for the evenings. You can cut it with honey or agave nectar and lemon. By integrating it methodically and consistently, you can also have a better chance of making it a recurring habit. A healthy one, too.
I often brew hot tea at night and put it in a thermos in the refrigerator at night. In the morning you have a cold elixir for the entire day. Squeeze a lemon in there or spice it up with cayenne to really kick-start your metabolism and digestion.

(5)Many people assume that all they have to do to lose weight is exercise and don’t realize how important eating right is in staying healthy. Can you explain why both are important to a healthy body/mind and give some suggestions on how to do this with our busy lifestyles?

Think of it this way: You don’t have a house, you have a property. If that house has a nice coat of paint on it, but the landscaping is awful, it doesn’t show very well.
Can you get in shape just working out and not eating well? Yes, it is possible; but few can do it and even fewer can maintain it.
The most healthy and permanent way is to create a lifestyle of moving around and trying to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. I try to preach the “stay away from rice, potatoes, bread and pasta” rule. If you do have to have a high glycemic food, try to get the most natural form. For rice, brown rice. For bread, I really like Ezekiel bread, and so on.

You can have the fastest car in the world. If you throw sugar in the gas tank, it’s not going to run right. Although the human body is more adaptive, the concept still rings true.
We all want to feel better and look better. If you plug some tweaks here and there, you can make significant change without drastic measures. I am not a fan of crash diets. They are not habit forming and not very healthy either. You don’t have to eat like a monk, you only need to create a sustainable habit change.
Often times what I find is that portion control is the main problem. If you cut portions down to a doable size and don’t overindulge, that sometime solves the problem right there.

(6)What is your favorite use for ginger powder? Would you be willing to share a simple recipe with our readers that they can try at home?

I’m not skilled enough in the kitchen to use it creatively in cooking yet. I’m still just a guy, and a single parent, too, so I haven’t had a chance to create my masterpiece soufflé yet.
Sometimes I season steaks with it. But to be honest, I can think of hundreds of ways I still would like to try it, but haven’t had a chance yet. Ginger is such a versatile ingredient, as evidenced by the many different cultures and cuisines that use it. I think it would probably taste good even just on a pizza. Never heard of that before, but I bet it would be good.
Also, if you feel people around you getting sick, create a tea with honey and lemon with an extra dash of Wakaya Perfection Ginger to knock that cold out of you before it even gets started.

How to's / Maturity Signs and Harvesting of Banana
« on: November 16, 2013, 03:56:14 PM »
Maturity Signs of Banana:

1. The dwarf bananas are ready for harvest within 11 to 14 months after planting while tall varieties take about 14 to 16 months to harvest.
2. Fruits usually mature in 120 to 140 days after flowering.
3. The fruit bunch is harvested when the ridges on their surface changes from angular to round.
4. The dried parts of flowers at the top of fruit drop off easily.
5. The top most leaf starts drying as the bunch matures.
6. Colour of fruits or fingers changes from dark green to pale green.

Harvesting of Banana:

1. The trunk is lopped with a sickle or hatchet over half-way through the stem.
2. The bunch will not fall to the ground but hang on, and injury is avoided. The bunch is held and its penduncle is served.
3. About 30 cm of the stalk must be left to make handling easy.

Crop Diseases / Pest and Diseases of Coconut
« on: November 16, 2013, 03:41:02 PM »
Pests of Coconut:

I) Rhinocerous Beetle:

Black beetle with a pointed horn, damages damages developed leaves and flower branches. Beetle lay egg in manure pits and decaying matter.


1) Hook out beetle from affected crown.
2) Spray 0.1% BHC or Chlordane places of beetle.
3) Fill the leaf axibs with 5% BHC or Chlordane dust with equal propotion of sand.

II) The Red Palm Weevil:

Reddish brown weevil lays eggs on the stem in a cavity scooped out by its grubs. Feed on soft tissue inside the trunk.

Control Measures:

1. Destroy the attacked drying and dead palms.
2. Inject pyrethrin piperonly butoxide (pycocone E) or Carbaryl (Sevin) in the trunk of infested tree abvoe the infection 10 ml of pyrocone E or 20 gm of 50% Sevin in one L of water per palm.                             
III) Rat:

It is a serious pest and the damage is 5 to 10%.


1) Fixing GI sheets to stem 18" length..
2) Poison baiting with Zinc Phosphate.


1) Bud Rot:

Caused by Phytophthom palmivora. It is a fetal disease affecting palms of all age group. However, young palmsare: more affected. The symptoms of the disease are yellowing of one or two young leaves, surrounding the spindle. The spindle withers and drop down. The tender leaf basis and the soft tissues of the crown rot into slimy mass of decayed material emitting a foul odour. The disc is more rempan during the monsoon, when the atmospheric temp, is low and .the humidity is high.   -

Control Measures:

1% Bordeaux paste should be applied on the grown after removing the affected tissues and a through cleaning. The treatment would should be given a protective covering till the next normal shoot emerges. As a prophylactic measures all the healthy palms in the vicinity of the diseased one should be sprayed with 1% Bordeaux mixture.

Root Wilt:

The disease has been prevalent in Kerela for nearly 100 years, and is believed to have made its appearance after the great floods of 1882 recently, it has spread in seven districts of Kerala and parts of Tamil Nadu. Out of 7,50,000 ha of coconut nearly 30% of the area is affected by this disease and the annual loss from Kerala alone is estimated around 240 million nuts. The visual diagnostic symptoms are yellowing and marginal necrosis of the leaflets. Yield is reduced considerably. The nuts are smaller and the Kernel is thin, oil content is reduced. The exact cause of the malady is not known though the association of fungi, bacteria and viruses have been implicated. To reduce the loss, due to this disease, the following measures are recommended.

1) Removal and burning of severely diseased uneconomic palms yielding less than 10 nuts/palm/Year.
2) Application of N.P.K. fertilizers are recommended doses and 1 kg MgS04 per palm/year and organic matters.
3) Irrigation during summer months.             
4) Planting hybrid of Chowghat dwarf orange x WCT in disease affected areas.
5) Control of leaf rot which is usually noticed on root (wilt) affected palms by fungicidal sprays.

Agric Jobs Vacancy / Animal Nutritionist in an Agro-Allied Company
« on: November 16, 2013, 01:32:21 PM »
A leading Agro-Allied Company in Nigeria as a result of its strategic market expansion, requires the services of dynamic, self motivated and result oriented candidates for the vacant position;

Job Title: Animal Nutritionist

The preferred candidate must have field and laboratory experience in analysis of animal feeds and feedstuff. Five years experience and a masters degree will be an added advantage.

Application Closing Date
26th November, 2013

Method of Application
Interested candidates should forward their application and CV to:

Morison Industries Plc, is a public limited company quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange under the Healthcare Sector. The company became a public quoted company in 1978 when it became listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The company has its head office at 28/30 Morison Crescent, Oregun Industrial Area, Ikeja Lagos, Nigeria. The Company formerly known as J. L. Morison, Sons and Jones (Nigeria) Limited was incorporated in Nigeria on 29th June 1955 after having operated as a small agency for overseas manufacturers in Nigeria from 1947.

Morison Industries Plc is recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Agricultural Sales Representatives

Location: Lagos

HND/B.Sc in Agricultural or Biological related courses from a recognized institutions
Should have 2 years post NYSC cognate experience.
Candidates must have flair for marketing, Strong analytical skills, drive and interest in taking on new tasks, well organized and result oriented; and Ability to work under pressure with less supervision.

Attractive and competitive within the Industry standard.

Application Closing Date
26th November, 2013

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should send their applications with current CV to: with position applied for as subject of e-mail.

Note: Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Agric Jobs Vacancy / Pen Attendants In Ogun State
« on: November 04, 2013, 10:58:15 AM »
Administration & Office Support.

Minimum Qualification:
High School (S.S.C.E).
Required Experience:
Entry Level.
Available Slots:
Application Deadline:
2 weeks from now.

An agricultural firm seeks the services of a qualified candidate for the position:

      Egg Picking
      Livestock Birds rearing
      Serving feeds to the birds
      vaccinating the birds
      Any other duties assigned by the line supervisor.

Qualification and Requirements:
      A minimum qualification of SSCE.

You can also apply to this job from your e-mail box by sending your CV to


Location: Port Harcourt

1.) Job Title: Sales Supervisor


    * B.Sc degree or its equivalent from a reputable institution.
    * Minimum of 1 year (post NYSC) working experience.

2.) Job Title: Production Supervisors


    * HND in Catering & Hotel management or B.Sc in Food Science and Technology.
    * Minimum of 1 year (post NYSC) working experience.

3.) Job Title: Electricians


    * OND/WAEC/City & Guild.

4.) Job Title: Assistant Manager / Personal Assistant


    * Minimum of B.Sc degree or its equivalent from a reputable institution.
    * Minimum of 3 years working experience in a related position.

5.) Job Title: Account Officer/Audit Assistant


    * B.Sc Accounting or its equivalent.
    * Minimum of 3years working experience.

6.) Job Title: Store Keepers


    * B.Sc Accounting or its equivalent.
    * Minimum of 2 years working experience.

22nd October, 2013

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should forward their applications and CV's to:

Human Resources Manager,
P.O. Box 8192,
Federal Secretariat,
Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Latest research / BT Sweet Corn Can Reduce Insecticide Use
« on: October 21, 2013, 04:31:33 PM »
Since 1996, corn containing a gene that allows it to create a protein that is toxic to certain insects, yet safe for human consumption, has been grown in the United States. However, most of this "Bt corn" has been used for animal feed or processed into corn meal, starch, or other products. Although varieties of sweet corn (corn on the cob) have existed since the late 1990s, relatively few acres have been planted.

Due to pressure from activist groups, some grocery stores have refused to carry Bt sweet corn. However, a new study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology suggests that Bt sweet corn is better for the environment because it requires fewer pesticide applications than conventional corn.

"Our data suggest that using Bt sweet corn will dramatically reduce the use of traditional insecticides," the authors wrote. "Based on the performance of Bt field corn, growers should realize increased profits and there will be less risk to nontarget organisms, including natural enemies that help suppress pest densities."

The study, "Multi-State Trials of Bt Sweet Corn Varieties for Control of the Corn Earworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)," analyzed the performance of Bt sweet corn, comparing its rate of infestation and marketability to genetically identical varieties that lacked Bt proteins. In 2010 and 2011, sweet corn trials were conducted in New York, Minnesota, Maryland, Ohio and Georgia, locations that differ in climate, management practices and pest pressure. The authors found that for pest management of the corn earworm, Bt sweet corn consistently performed better than its non-Bt counterparts, even those that were sprayed with conventional insecticides.

"Across multiple states and multiple years, Bt sweet corn performed better and required fewer sprays to meet market standards," said Cornell entomology professor Anthony Shelton. "One of the most spectacular examples occurred in New York plots in 2010: the Bt sweet corn had 99 to 100 percent marketable ears without any sprays and, even with eight conventional insecticide sprays, the non-Bt corn had only 18 percent marketable ears. This wasn't much better than the 6 percent marketable ears produced in the plots that received no sprays at all."

The authors predict that growers could realize increased profits with Bt sweet corn because of lower inputs and higher marketability, while simultaneously conserving populations of beneficial insects that keep damaging pests at bay.

"The use of Bt vegetables could significantly reduce the use of conventional insecticides and, in turn, reduce occupational and environmental risks that arise from intensive insecticide use.

« on: October 21, 2013, 03:58:43 PM »

Dandani Farms was established in May 2006 and was registered as a limited liability company in May 2007 and presently have 60 people in employment. The company is focused mainly in egg and broiler production.
 The company headquarters is located in Warri and the farm locations are in Orerokpe, Agbara-Otor and Otefe all in Delta state

 Dandani Farms Nigeria Limited – Warri (Nigeria)
 The production manager is responsible for managing the production operations to ensure the achievement of production targets within specified quality, environmental standards and budget. To ensure production meets the indent and overheads and manning levels are within agreed budgets.

we have opening for a Broiler Production/Processing Plant (including hatchery/incubator/slaughtering/defeathering/evisceration/packing/cold storage) facility in Warri, Delta State, Nigeria. Our capacity is 10,000 broilers per week at peak production.
Qualification: HND/BSC in any engineering/agric related course. Post-graduate traing in poultry operations and processing will be an added advantage
Experience: Not less than 10 years operating a broiler farm and poultry processing/packaging plant
Skills: Business Planning and management, budgeting and financial controls, cash flow analysis, maintenance planning and management, Production planning and analysis, use of basic IT packages (Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint), Effective communication.

 1. Managing the production team and ensuring zero mortality of birds as well as zero number of birds that fall short of specified minimum weight.
 2. Managing the manufacturing process within defined safety and quality standards.
 3. Adherence to Production plan and ensuring that production targets are met.
 4. Achievement of production budgets,with minimum wastage of raw materials,ingredients and packaging materials.
 5. Implement & foster a continuous improvement environment.
 6. Adherence to site and business protocols. from:
 7. Consolidate the activities of all production supervisors in order to ensure smooth operation for production and responsible for any emergencies that occur at that Plant.
 8. Ensuring that all produced waste from the processing plant are properly managed with the aid of the rendering plant with zero impact on the environment.
 9. Ensuring that all raw materials and logistics arrangement, including consumables in the processing plant and utilities systems are available at all times.
 10. Reporting status and progress to business owner weekly in pre-agreed format.
 11. Ensuring that all process machinery/equipment meet the required performance requirements, including co-ordinating the execution of planned preventive maintenance task to ensure equipment performs as required, as well as managing the review of the equipment deficiencies and taking corrective action.
 12. Co-ordinating the Preparation annual budget, reporting monthly budget performance and ensuring operation is within the budget.

Remuneration, which includes housing and transportation, is very attractive.

If you are interested in being considered for this position, do send your CV to

Production / Commercial Egg Production and Processing
« on: October 21, 2013, 02:30:47 PM »
            Introduction and Overview of the Poultry Industry: The poultry industry is vertically integrated, which means the industry has a tremendous amount of control of their products.  It is distinctly different from many other animal industries.  In that egg producers own and manage nearly every aspect of their business (e.g., rearing of birds, feeding, housing, husbandry, and marketing of their product) and are capable of meticulously monitoring the entire process.  Poultry producers usually do not own the primary breeding stock (i.e., the parent lines supplying their operation), these birds are purchased from primary breeders.

Raising Layers (Leghorns): The purpose of this section is to provide a general overview of a typical layer cycle in terms of chick placement, vaccination schedules, lighting, heating/cooling, feeding, molting, and removal of layers.  Keep in mind, there are a number of ways to rear laying hens.  It would be very unlikely that any two companies rear layers exactly the same way.  However, all companies use a slight variation of the typical rearing program detailed in this section.   Management differences for rearing layers may be accounted for by economics (breed selected, vaccination package and decision when to molt), producer preference (breed and strain selected), and/or geography (breed selected and vaccination package).

Hatching and Placement: Egg producers purchase their layer stock (i.e., day old leghorn chick) from an egg-type hatchery.  Hatcheries deliver chicks to the producer within one to two days of hatching. At arrival, chicks are either placed in typical layer pens or reared in a pullet house.  At the hatchery, chicks are vaccinated according to the producer’s specifications.  For details regarding a typical vaccination schedule see Table 1.

Lighting and Temperature: Lighting and temperature conditions for a typical layer production period are shown in Tables 2, and 3 respectively.  For those chicks reared in layer cages, a biodegradable mat is generally placed in the pen.  The mat allows chicks to better locate feed while also providing time for the chicks to slowly adjust to the wire mesh floor.  Within a week, the biodegradable mat is removed or degrades into the litter pit.  A single layer cage may occupy as many as fifty chicks, but as they mature, cage density is lessened.  Chicks placed in pullet houses are reared on a floor covered with absorbent materials, such as pine shavings.  During the first week, pullet chicks are usually beak trimmed.  Pullets started on the floor remain there for approximately 10 to 15 weeks and then move to a layer facility.  In either case, from chick placement through approximately 16 weeks of life, the pullets are fed according to body weight gain and/or age.  The goal is to raise a strong and healthy bird that can support egg production.  As noted in Table 2, daily light exposure (photoperiod) begins to increase at Week 16.  This increase in light exposure triggers hens to begin laying eggs.  If the laying hen has not reached proper body weight (usually 3 lbs.) by Week 18, egg production will cease very quickly, following the onset of the laying period.  Hence, it is important for the young laying hen (pullet) to attain the proper body weight that will support egg production.  In tandem with light manipulation, the diet is also altered in order to support egg production.

Feeding: It is assumed that layers, unlike birds raised specifically for meat, regulate their feed intake.  Layers are generally reared on full feed (ad libitum).  The feed is offered to birds via the chain system.   The chain system transports feed into the metal feeder at precise times during the day.  In general, 2 inches of feeder space is allotted per pullet and 2.5 inches or more for each adult laying hen (Animal Care Series, California Poultry Workshop, 1998).   Table 4 illustrates the dietary protein and energy recommendations based on age in of typical layer.  Young birds are fed a high protein diet (20 percent) during the first few weeks of life.  This level continuously decreases until it reaches approximately 12 to 15 percent protein during egg production.   In addition to monitoring dietary protein, producers must closely examine other ingredients.  During the laying phase, lysine, methionine, calcium, and phosphorus are precisely monitored to support maximum egg production.

Egg Production: As shown in Table 2 and Table 4, producers begin to photostimulate and manipulate the diet around 18 weeks of age in order to support egg production.  Minor nutrients have also been manipulated such that calcium levels in the diet are approximately five to seven times greater than phosphorus levels.  When a flock (group of hens) first enters egg production, the rate of egg lay will be around 10 to 20 percent.  This means that 10 to 20 percent of the hens are laying eggs at 18 to 22 weeks of age.  The flock quickly reaches peak egg production (90 plus percent) around 30 to 32 weeks of age.  Post-peak egg production (after 30 to 32 weeks of age) continually decreases to approximately fifty percent around 60 to 70 weeks of age.  At this point an economic decision must be made by the producer; fifty percent production is near the "break-even" point for egg producers (e.g., feed cost = market price of eggs).  When the flock reaches 50 percent production, producers commonly decide to molt the flock in order to achieve a higher level of egg production.  As a rule of thumb, it takes approximately 10 weeks from the beginning of a molting program to be back at 50 percent production following the molt.  Post-molt egg production will increase such that peak egg production reaches about 80 percent.  Peak production following a molt is short-lived and the flock generally returns to 50 percent production by 100 to 110 weeks of age.  Many producers (one-third to one-half) will induce a second molt, this is the same process that occurred at 60 to 70 weeks of age.  The second molt is commonly dictated by the current egg prices and the availability of replacement pullets.  As previously stated, once flock egg production falls below fifty percent, an economic decision is made whether to molt the birds or the hens to a spent-hen processing facility.  The majority of hens are between 100 and 130 weeks of age when they reach the end of their egg production cycle.  The time span between 100 and 130 weeks of age can be accounted for by management decisions.  Thus hens may be molted a second time and then sent to a spent hen facility (120 to 130 weeks of age) or sent directly to a spent hen facility following the first molt (100 to 110 weeks of age).  After the flock vacates the layer house, the house is stripped of all organic matter and sanitized before another flock enters the house.

Egg Collection: In layer facilities, there are two primary methods of egg collection, a) in-line facilities, and b) off-line facilities.  In either case, hens lay eggs onto an angled wire floor which rolls the egg toward the  front of the cage (floor angle is generally eight to ten degrees) onto a nylon belt.  The belt transports eggs out of the house either to the egg processing facility or to a storage cooler.  Since the processing facility and cooler remove eggs from the house, based on hourly demand, eggs may reside on the belt for as long as 12 to 14 hours, but most are collected within a few hours post-lay.  The first type of layer facility is the in-line facility.  In this facility, eggs move directly from the layer house to the egg processing facility.  Once the eggs enter the egg processing center, within minutes to 12 to 14 hours post-lay, they are washed (detergent solution near 100o F, pH 11.0 that removes soil), visual inspected (checked for eggshell problems, cracks, and blood spots), and then graded for packaging.  Following packaging, eggs are moved to a cooler room (40-45o F), where they await shipment to retail outlets.  Egg producers commonly deliver eggs to retail outlets within one week of lay.  The second type of layer facility is the off-line facility.  This facility functions nearly identical to the in-line facility except that the eggs are transported out of the house directly to an egg cooling room.  In this method, the eggs remain in the cool room for approximately two to three days, and then they are transported to an egg processing facility via a refrigerated truck.  These eggs are treated identically as those from the in-line operations. 

Table 1. A typical vaccination schedule for leghorns1.

Week of Vaccination                Type of Vaccination
Day old                                Marek's
15 days                                (1/2 dose)   Infectious Bursal
20 days                                (1/2 dose)   Infectious Bursal
25 days           Bronchitis, New Castle, Infectious Bursal (Typical Brand name Combo Vec. 30)
30 days           Bronchitis, New Castle, Infectious Bursal (Typical Brand name Combo Vec. 30)
49 days           Bronchitis, New Castle, Infectious Bursal (Typical Brand name Combo Vec. 30)
10 Weeks           Fowl Pox and Laryngotracheitis (commonly referred to as LT)
12 Week           Combo Vac 30
13 Week           Avian Encephalomyelitis (commonly referred to as AE)
16 Week           New Castle

 Table 2.  Lighting program for the leghorn.

Age                                                        Amount of Light (L) and Dark (D)
0 to 3 Days                                           22(L):2(D)
3 days to 1 Week                                   20(L):4(D)
1 to 2 Week                                           18(L):6(D)
2 to 3 Week                                           16(L):8(D)
3 to 8 Week                                           14.5(L):9.5(D)
9 Week                                                   14(L):10(D)
10 Week                                                  13.75(L):10.25(D)
11 Week                                                   13.50(L):10.50(D)
12 Week                                                   13.25(L):10.75(D)
13 Week                                                   13.0(L):11.0(D)
14 Week                                                   12.75(L):11.25(D)
15 - 17 Week                                           12.5(L):11.50(D)
18 Week                                                   13.50(L):10.50(D)
19 Week                                                   14.5(L):9.5(D)
20 Week                                                   15(L):9(D)
21 Week                                                   15.5(L):8.5(D)
22 Week                                                   15.75(L):8.25(D)
23 Week                                                   16(L):8(D)
24 Week                                                  16.25(L):7.75(D)
25 Week throughout production cycle   16.5(L):7.5(D)

Table 3. Temperature control during a layer cycle.

Week                               Temperature (F)

1                                              90
2                                              85
3                                              80
4                                              75
5                                              70
6 throughout layer cycle              70
Table 4.  General Feeding Guidelines for Layers.

Nutrient           Starter            Grower              Developer            Pre-Layer              Layer
                       0-6 wks           6-8 wks             8-15 wks              15-18 wks
Protein%          20.0                   18.0                 16.0                          14.5                    15.0                                                                                                   
Met.Energy,   1325-1375       1350-1400        1375-1425             1350-1400         1300-1450

Latest research / The Real Reason to Worry About HoneyBees
« on: October 21, 2013, 01:55:36 PM »

Honeybees should be on everyone's worry list, and not because of the risk of a nasty sting, an expert on the health of those beneficial insects said at the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society.

Set aside the fact that the honeybee's cousins — hornets, wasps and yellow jackets — actually account for most stings, said Richard Fell, Ph.D. Despite years of intensive research, scientists do not understand the cause, nor can they provide remedies, for what is killing honeybees.

"Some estimates put the value of honeybees in pollinating fruit, vegetable and other crops at almost $15 billion annually," Fell said. "Without bees to spread pollen from the male parts of plants to the female parts, fruit may not form. That would severely impact consumers, affecting the price of some of the healthiest and most desirable foods."

Farmers use honeybees to pollinate more than 100 different fruit and vegetable crops around the country in an approach known as "managed pollination." It involves placing bee hives in fields when crops are ready for pollination.

"The biggest impacts from decreased hive numbers will be felt by farmers producing crops with high pollination requirements, such as almonds. Consumers may see a lowered availability of certain fruits and vegetables and some higher costs," explained Fell.

He discussed the ongoing decline in honeybee populations in the U.S. and some other countries — a condition sometimes termed colony collapse disorder (CCD). Although honeybees have been doing better in recent years, something continues to kill about 1 in every 3 honeybees each year. He spoke at a symposium on the topic. Abstracts of other presentations appear at the end of this press release.

"There is a good bit of misinformation in the popular press about CCD and colony decline, especially with regard to pesticides," Fell said. He is an emeritus professor of entomology at Virginia Tech, and an authority on colony decline in bees. "I think it is important to emphasize that we do not understand the causes of colony decline and CCD and that there are probably a number of factors involved. Also, the factors that trigger a decline may be different in different areas of the country and at different times of year."

Some of the leading theories about the cause of CCD include the use of certain pesticides, parasites, diseases and overall hive nutrition. Beekeeper and other organizations are pushing to stop the sale of certain neonicotinoids, insecticides that some regard as the main culprit of CCD. However, Fell said that would be premature. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reviewed the situation and concluded that there is no scientific evidence that the neonicotinoids are causing serious problems with bee colonies.

Honeybees are not the only species of bee that can be used in managed pollination. If colonies continue declining, Fell believes that there will be an increase in the use of other species, including the bumble bee and alfalfa leafcutter bee. There are, however, measured declines in these species' populations as well. In addition, they are not as easily managed for pollination as the honeybee.

"The major advantages of using honeybees are ease of movement, both in and out of orchards or fields, as well as the ability to manage colonies for higher populations. Honeybee colonies can be moved from one crop to another in a single season, something that cannot be done easily with bumble bees or solitary bee species such as the alfalfa leafcutter bee," explained Fell. "If we can gain a better understanding of the factors causing honeybee decline, we may be able to apply this knowledge to protecting other species."

Input Supply / History of Amaranthus creuentus
« on: October 17, 2013, 12:54:55 PM »
Botanical Name: Amaranthus creuentus
Other Common Names: African spinach, Calaloo

History and Background of Crop
Thousands of years ago, grain amaranth was domesticated as a cereal. Now, vegetable amaranth is a widespread traditional vegetable in the African tropics. It is more popular in humid lowland areas of Africa than highland or arid areas. It is the main leafy vegetable
in Benin, Togo, Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

Common Uses

Amaranth is consumed as a vegetable dish or as an ingredient in sauces. The leaves and tender stems are cut and cooked or sometimes fried in oil. Amaranth dishes are usually eaten with a main dish of cereal grains or tubers.

Discovery Cycle Professionals (A Division of Discovery Cycle Limited) is a global network of experienced academics and consultants assembled to provide world-class knowledge-based services globally. Discovery Cycle Professionals has diverse experience across different professional fields and offers a wide-range of multi-disciplinary professional services.

Discovery Cycle Professionals is recruiting to fill the vacant position of:

Job Title: Agricultural Expert

Location: Abuja

Job Description: 
o   Plan, organise, and manages all Agricultural bid documents.
o   Plan and direct the management programme of every Agricultural-related project.
o   Supervise the maintenance of farm facilities, machinery, and equipment.
o   Prepare budget estimates and recommendations for all Agricultural projects and operating supplies.
o   Plan and implement a wide variety of Agricultural research programmes and experimental project.
o   Set up and adapt research methods and procedures to suit Agricultural related activities.
o   Select, train, and supervise staff.
o   Facilitate diverse training sessions.
o   Purchase farm supplies and equipment.
o   Collect samples and record various kinds of research data.
o   Prepares periodic project review reports and research reports.
o   Maintain appropriate files and record for all reports and data.
Idea Generation
o   Developing independent ideas to ensure organisation s vision is actualised
Skills/Physical Competencies:

o   Research skills
o   Project management skills
o   Presentation skills
o   Analytical skills
o   Transferable skills
Behavioral Qualities
o   Proactive identification and elimination of inefficiencies
o   Continual self and subordinate development
o   Goal and quality oriented

o   Minimum of ten (10) years professional experience in relevant fields, including consultation experience as relates to present assignment
o   Advanced University degree (Ph.D./Masters or equivalent) in Agricultural Science or any other related field;
o   Advanced IT Skills: high proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office packages;
o   General business interest and awareness;
o   Self-motivation and commitment
o   Excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
o   Excellent organisational and time management skills;
o   Strong analytical, numeracy and problem-solving skills;
o   Leadership qualities and effective team working skills;
o   Ability to use initiative;

Application Closing Date
23rd October 2013

Method of Application
Interested candidates should send CVs to:

Fishery Management / The Bullhead Catfish
« on: September 12, 2013, 10:02:29 AM »
 Five species are caught on hook and line in Minnesota: channel catfish, yellow bullhead, brown bullhead, black bullhead and the flathead. The first four species are very closely related; the flathead is a more distant cousin. All catfish have eight barbels (four on the upper jaw and four below), which are sensitive to touch and along with much of the rest of their bodies are covered by taste buds. All species have spines in the dorsal and pectoral fins that can injure a careless angler

 All three species of bullhead are popular game in Minnesota prairie regions, where bullhead are plentiful and other species are scarce. These small catfish are easy to catch and require no sophisticated equipment. They are often caught below low-head dams, where all three species may congregate in dense writhing masses.

 These hardy fish are also important for their use in urban ponds, where they are stocked to provide fishing for kids, the handicapped and others who have limited mobility. In many of these small, poorly oxygenated ponds, other fish cannot survive. 

Bullhead are important to commercial fishermen, who harvest about 1 million pounds a year. All three species make up the commercial catch, though the DNR is considering ways to steer commercial fishermen toward the black bullhead, to leave the larger yellow and brown bullheads for hook-and-line anglers. 

Bullhead are managed with possession limits that are extremely liberal but prevent unregulated commercial fishing. Otherwise, it is important to maintain good water quality, which favors yellow and brown bullhead over the smaller black bullhead. Fish managers would like to increase the average size of bullhead. Since these fish are caught for the pan, not for sport, catch-and-release regulation are inappropriate. As mentioned before perhaps flathead catfish or some other predator can control bullhead numbers, allowing the surviving fish to grow larger. Otherwise, fish toxicants might be used to the same effect. Either approach, however, would be of use only on small bodies of water. 

Beyond that, catfish species differ greatly in their size, their sporting appeal, and the ways they are managed

Poultry / Hot Weather Management of Poultry
« on: September 11, 2013, 08:10:02 PM »
Hot Weather Management of Poultry         Hot weather can have a severe impact on poultry performance. Production efficiency can be affected long before the temperature reaches a level at which survival becomes a concern.
Table1 is a general guide to the reaction of adult poultry to various temperatures. Heat stress begins when the ambient temperature climbs above 80oF and is readily apparent above 85oF. When a bird begins to pant, physiological changes have already started within its body to dissipate excess heat. Even before the bird reaches this point, anything that you do to help birds remain comfortable will help maintain optimum growth rates, hatchability, egg size, egg shell quality, and egg production.

 Table 1. Heat Stress and        Ambient Temperatur 55o to 75oF   

Thermal neutral zone. The temperature range in which the bird does not need to alter its basic metabolic rate or behavior to maintain its body temperature.            

     65o to 75oF   Ideal

     temperature range.            
         75o to 85oF 

 A slight reduction in feed consumption can be expected, but if nutrient intake is adequate, production efficiency is good. Egg size may be reduced and shell quality may suffer as temperatures reach the top of this range.            

         85o to 90oF   

Feed consumption falls further. Weight gains are lower. Egg size and shell quality deteriorate. Egg production usually suffers. Cooling procedures should be started before this temperature range is reached.          
         90o to 95oF 

 Feed consumption continues to drop. There is some danger of heat prostration among layers, especially the heavier birds and those in full production. At these temperatures, cooling procedures must be carried out.          

 95o to 100oF 

 Heat prostration is probable. Emergency measures may be needed. Egg production and feed consumption are severely reduced. Water consumption is very high.    
       Over 100oF   

Emergency measures are needed to cool birds. Survival is the concern at these temperatures.   

Methods of Heat Loss.   During the summer months, when daily temperatures regularly reach the mid- to upper 90s, it becomes critical for the birds to dissipate body heat to the surrounding environment. Poultry do not sweat and therefore must dissipate heat in other ways to maintain their body temperature at approximately 105oF. Body heat is dissipated to the surrounding environment through radiation, conduction, convection, and evaporation
(Table 2). The first three avenues are known as sensible heat loss; these methods are effective when the environmental temperature is below or within the thermal neutral zone of the bird (55o to 75oF) (Figure 1). The proportion of heat lost through radiation, conduction, and convection depends upon the temperature difference between the bird and its environment. The bird loses heat from surfaces such as wattles, shanks, and unfeathered areas under wings. To maintain body temperature by sensible heat loss, the bird does not need to drastically alter its normal behavioral patterns, feed intake, or metabolism. The purpose of poultry house ventilation is to maintain a high enough air velocity or a low enough temperature in the house that the birds can maintain body temperature by sensible heat loss. Once the environmental temperature reaches approximately 77oF, the method of heat loss begins shifting from sensible to evaporative heat loss, as shown in Figure 1. Dissipation of body heat by the evaporative process requires the bird to expend energy by panting (hyperventilation), which begins to occur at about 80oF.   

Table 2. Methods of Sensible and Latent Body Heat Loss   

 Heat Loss Method  Direction of Heat Flow   Definition        Sensible Heat Loss Methods   Radiation   Flow of thermal energy without the aid of a material medium between two surfaces    All surfaces radiate heat and receive radiation back; the net radiation heat flow is from higher to lower temperature surfaces.   Conduction   Thermal energy flow through a medium or between objects in physical contact.    Direction of energy transfer depends on a temperature gradient; heat moves from areas of higher to lower temperature.   Convection   Heat flow through a fluid medium such as air; thermal energy moves by conduction between a solid surface and the layer of air next to the surface, and the thermal energy is carried away by the flow of air over the surface.    Energy transfer to the air depends on temperature and movement of air across the skin surface; heat is transferred to air moving across the skin surface if the air is at a lower temperature than the skin.   Latent Heat Loss Method   Evaporation  The transfer of heat when a liquid is converted to a gas; when water is converted from a liquid to a vapor, heat is utilized.    Energy transfer is influenced by the relative humidity, temperature, and air movement; heat is transferred from the animal's body to water, turning it to water vapor.

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