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Zou C.Q.,Key Laboratory of Plant Soil Interaction | Zhang Y.Q.,Key Laboratory of Plant Soil Interaction | Rashid A.,Pakistan Academy of science | Ram H.,Punjab Agricultural University | And 16 more authors.
Plant and Soil | Year: 2012

Aim: Zinc (Zn) fertilization is an effective agronomic tool for Zn biofortification of wheat for overcoming human Zn deficiency. But it still needs to be evaluated across locations with different management practices and wheat cultivars, since grain Zn concentrations may be significantly affected by locations, cultivars and management. Materials: Field experiments were conducted over 3 years with the following four Zn treatments: nil Zn, soil Zn application, foliar Zn application and soil + foliar Zn application to explore the impact of Zn fertilization in Zn biofortification of wheat. The experiments were conducted at a total of 23 experimental site-years in China, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Pakistan, Turkey and Zambia. Results: The results showed that foliar Zn application alone or in combination with soil application, significantly increased grain Zn concentrations from 27 mg kg-1 at nil Zn to 48 and 49 mg kg-1 across all of 23 site-years, resulting in increases in grain Zn by 84 % and 90 %, respectively. Overall, soil Zn deficiency was not a growth limiting factor on the experimental sites. A significant grain yield increase in response to soil Zn fertilization was found only in Pakistan. When all locations and cropping years are combined, soil Zn fertilization resulted in about 5 % increase in grain yield. Foliar Zn application did not cause any adverse effect on grain yield, even slightly improved the yield. Across the 23 site-years, soil Zn application had a small effect on Zn concentration of leaves collected before foliar Zn application, and increased grain Zn concentration only by 12 %. The correlation between grain yield and the effectiveness of foliar Zn application on grain Zn was condition dependent, and was positive and significant at certain conditions. Conclusion: Foliar Zn application resulted in successful biofortification of wheat grain with Zn without causing yield loss. This effect of Zn fertilization occurred irrespective of the soil and environmental conditions, management practices applied and cultivars used in 23 site-years. Foliar Zn fertilizer approach can be locally adopted for increasing dietary Zn intake and fighting human Zn deficiency in rural areas. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2010.3.1.1-4 | Award Amount: 2.62M | Year: 2011

WAHARA will take a transdisciplinary approach to develop innovative, locally adapted water harvesting solutions with wider relevance for rainfed Africa. Water harvesting technologies play a key role in bringing about an urgently needed increase in agricultural productivity, and to improve food and water security in rural areas. Water harvesting technologies enhance water buffering capacity, contributing to the resilience of African drylands to climate variability and climate change, as well as to socio-economic changes such as population growth and urbanisation. To ensure the continental relevance of project results, research will concentrate on four geographically dispersed study sites in Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Zambia, covering diverse socio-economic conditions and a range from arid to sub-humid climates. The project emphasizes: i) participatory technology design, i.e. selecting and adapting technologies that have synergies with existing farming systems and that are preferred by local stakeholders, yet tap from a global repertoire of innovative options; ii) sustainable impact, i.e. technologies that combine multiple uses of water, green and blue water management, and integrated water and nutrient management. Using models, water harvesting systems will be designed for maximum impact without compromising downstream water-users, contributing to sustainable regional development; iii) integration and adaptability, i.e. paying attention to the generic lessons to be learned from local experiences, and developing guidelines on how technologies can be adapted to different conditions; and iv) learning and action, i.e. a strategy will be developed to enable learning and action from successes achieved locally: a. within a region, to upscale from water harvesting technologies to water harvesting systems, and b. across regions, promoting knowledge exchange at continental scale.

Mumba C.,University of Zambia | Samui K.L.,University of Zambia | Pandey G.S.,University of Zambia | Hang'ombe B.M.,University of Zambia | And 3 more authors.
Livestock Research for Rural Development | Year: 2011

A cross sectional study was carried out to assess the viability of smallholder dairy farming in six provinces of Zambia. Data used to achieve this objective were obtained from 157 smallholder dairy households using a questionnaire and review of secondary sources of data. These results showed that the average price of milk received by the farmer was ZMK 2002.05 (USD 0.43) per litre. The average cost of production was at ZMK 828.20 (USD 0.18) per litre, representing 42.1% of the price received. The returns per litre were at ZMK 1173.85 (USD 0.25), representing 57.9% of the average price of milk. These results suggest that smallholder dairy farming is viable in Zambia and plays a major role in rural development and poverty reduction. Western Province recorded the highest profit, however, one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that there was no significant difference (P<0.05) in arithmetic means of unit profit in all the six provinces studied. There was a significant difference (P<0.05) in arithmetic means of the cost of production in Lusaka and Western Provinces only. These estimates are important in issues relating to farm-level decision-making, policy and government program analysis, performance analysis, and resource allocation to smallholder dairy farming. Source

Muma J.B.,University of Zambia | Pandey G.S.,Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust | Munyeme M.,University of Zambia | Mumba C.,University of Zambia | And 2 more authors.
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2012

A cross-sectional study was performed in Southern and Lusaka provinces of Zambia between March and September 2008 to estimate Brucella seroprevalence in cattle kept by smallholder dairy farmers (n = 185). Rose Bengal test (RBT) was used as a screening test followed by confirmation with competitive ELISA (c-ELISA). We investigated 1,323 cattle, of which 383 had a history of receiving vaccination against brucellosis and 36 had a history of abortion. Overall seroprevalence was 6.0% with areas where vaccination was practiced having low seroprevalence. Age was associated with Brucella seropositivity (P = 0.03) unlike cattle breed (P = 0.21) and sex (P = 0.32). At area level, there was a negative correlation (Corr. coeff = -0. 74) between percentage of animals with brucellosis vaccination history (vaccination coverage) and level of brucellosis; percentage of animals with history of abortion (Corr. coeff. = -0.82) and brucellosis vaccination coverage. However, a positive correlation existed between brucellosis infection levels with percentage of animals having a history of abortion (Corr. coeff. = 0.72). History of vaccination against brucellosis was positively associated with a positive Brucella result on RBT (P = 0.004) whereby animals with history of vaccination against brucellosis were more likely to give a positive RBT test results (OR = 1.52). However, the results of c-ELISA were independent of history of Brucella vaccination (P = 0.149) but was positively associated with history of abortion (OR = 4.12). Our results indicate a relatively low Brucella seroprevalence in cattle from smallholder dairy farmers and that vaccination was effective in reducing cases of Brucella infections and Brucella-related abortions. Human exposure to Brucella through milk from smallholder farmers could result through milk traded on the informal market since that milk is not processed and there no quality and safety controls. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

Mumba C.,University of Zambia | Pandey G.S.,University of Zambia | Samui K.L.,University of Zambia | van der Jagt C.,Dutch Netherlands Development Organisation SNV Zambia | Muliokela S.W.,Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust
Livestock Research for Rural Development | Year: 2013

Market access has been identified as one of the foremost factors influencing the performance of small scale producers in developing countries (more particularly in least developing countries). Therefore the objective of the study was to assess the minimum relative costs for establishing a standard and viable milk collection centre (MCC) so as to boost milk production and create market access among the scattered small scale dairy farmers in Zambia. Data used for the assessment was purposively obtained from 19 out of the 25 active dairy cooperative-owned milk collection centres in Zambia. Findings indicated that all the milk collection centres in Zambia are run by farmers in the form of a dairy cooperative (one-tier cooperative market model). In order to be able to operate sufficiently and efficiently, the cooperative needs to pay a salary to a minimum of 4 workers (manager, milk receiver cum cleaner, driver and watchman) depending upon volume of milk it is handling. This is the minimum human resource required at the beginning, but as the business grows, more human resources and other requirements would be needed. In addition, the cooperative-owned MCC needs to pay for electricity, water, fuel for transportation of milk and to run the generator. In order for a milk collection centre to be viable and sustainable in Zambia, a minimum of 500 litres of milk will be needed to be supplied by farmers every day in the initial stages of establishment. A margin of 20-25% should be retained by the cooperative as commission for its operational costs during these initial stages. When the milk volume and cooperative membership increases, this margin should slowly come down to 15-19% in order to encourage dairy development and ensure more income generation by the farmers and group investment. In addition to the milk collection centre building, a borehole, cooler tank, generator, lactoscan, milk cans, weighing scale and buckets will be required. Thus, the relative costs of establishing a standard and viable milk collection centre was estimated to be US$ 116,500. Availability of land is not a problem in Zambia and the Government is very supportive to provide free land for such community owned development work. These estimates are cardinal for the government, donors and other stakeholders in issues relating to interventions and resource allocation to the smallholder dairy farming subsector. There is need for the Government and donors to firmly support dairy cooperative development through technical and financial schemes, particularly in establishment and support of milk collection centres in form of a grant. Source

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