Vocational Education Needs of Cucumber Farmers for enhancing Productivity in Ikwerre Local Government Areas of Rivers State (Published)
This study examined the vocational education needs of cucumber farmers for enhancing productivity in Ikwerre local government areas of Rivers State. The population of the study comprised of 108 registered cucumber farmers in the study area. The study adopted a census study as the entire population was used. Three research questions were formulated to guide the study. Data were collected using well validated and structured questionnaire and interview. The reliability coefficient (r) of 0.81 was established using test-retest method. Data were analyzed descriptively using Mean and Standard Deviation with criterion mean value of 2.50 and above, while z-test was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The findings showed that farmers need vocational education for good knowledge in selection of site, mulching techniques, identify good seed variety and determine the need for soil treatment among others. The study also showed that cucumber farmers need vocational education to be skillful on the removal of old and diseased cucumber plants from the field, apply foliar herbicides to control disease infections. Based on the findings the study recommended that Rivers State government should direct the vocational education centers to integrate the identified skills in commercial cucumber production enterprises into skill acquisition centers for training youths for employment and retraining farmers for competency on the job. Cucumber farmers in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State should also be encouraged and motivated to enroll into Vocational Education centers in the state to learn the skills needed in commercial cucumber production for sustainable living.
Efficacy of Combining Varietal Resistance with Organic Fertilizer Application in Reducing Infestation of Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus L.) By Insect Pests in the Niger Delta (Published)
Efficacy of combining varietal resistance with organic fertilizer application in reducing infestation of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) by insect pests was studied during the early cropping season of 2013 at the Teaching and Research Farm, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Port Harcourt located in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Three varieties of C. sativus (Starke ayres, Bakker brother and Griffaton) were used for the experiment. Poultry manure (PM) was applied at four rates (4.2t/ha, 8.3t/ha, 16.7t//ha and 33.3t/ha); an inorganic fertilizer NPK 15:15:15 was applied at the recommended rate (0.3t/ha) and a control plot was also included. The fertilizers were broadcast and mixed thoroughly with soil to ensure even distribution as soon as the beds were ready and PM was allowed to cure for 14 days before sowing the cucumber seeds. Plant spacing of 50cm x 50cm and planting depth of 2-3cm were adopted with 20 plants sown per plot. The experiential land area was 18m x 14m and each treatment plot measured 2.0m x 1.5m. The experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) and each treatment was replicated three times. Parameters studied included days to 50% germination and flowering, number of undamaged and damaged fruits and their corresponding weights and insects which were collected each week for three consecutive weeks (HVT 1, HVT 2 and HVT 3, respectively). The insect species were mainly in the order Coleoptera followed by Diptera, Homoptera and Orthoptera in a decreasing order. The major species collected were Epilachna chrysomellina F., Cheilomenes sulphurea Oliv., Kanahiiphaga aeneipenni Lab., Aulacopora vinula Eric., Aulacophora africana Weise, and Dinorettix africana Bol. Others included Lagria villosa F., Diopsis sp., Locris erythromela Walker, Chrysolagria sp., Lema calcrata Dalm., Planiseta sp., Coenochilus nr ventricosus Gyril, and Monolepta nigeriae Bryant. Organic manure (PM) or inorganic fertilizer (NPK 15:15:15) had no significant effect on days to 50% germination and flowering. Poultry manure applied at the rate of 33.3t/ha increased the number both of the undamaged and damaged fruits and their corresponding weights followed by plots treated with 16.7t/ha PM and the least number of fruits and weights were recorded in untreated plots (control). Higher numbers of insect pests were collected from C. sativus treated with 33.3t/ha PM and NPK. Stark ayres variety treated with 33.3t/ha PM had the highest number of fruits (155.85g) followed by Bakker brother treated with 16.7t/ha PM (142.89g) and the least was recorded in Griffaton variety that received no treatment (control). Fruit weight and number were in the order harvest 2> harvest 1> harvest 3 (HVT2>HVT1>HVT3). The study suggests that fertilizer application may lead to increased crop productivity but it may also intensify pest infestation in cultivated cucumber.