Open Access Original Research Article

Quantitative Analysis of Cassava Products and Their Impacts on the Livelihood of Value Chain Actors: Case of the Centre Region of Cameroon

Folefac Tanya Fonji, Carine Nono Temegne, Francis Ajebesone Ngome

Annual Research & Review in Biology, Page 1-14
DOI: 10.9734/ARRB/2017/34163

This study was carried out to analyze the trend of cassava (Manihot esculenta) products and impacts on the livelihood of value chain actors in the Centre Region of Cameroon. Thus, surveys were carried out in 2016, in six localities (Yaounde, Bafia, Obala, Ngoumou, Mbankomo and Mbalmayo) of the Centre Region with the aid of structured questionnaires. Three hundred value chain actors mainly producers, processors, transporters, marketers and consumers of cassava and cassava-based products were selected through a multi-stage random sampling technique and interviewed in markets. However, some producers and consumers were interviewed in their farms, restaurants and at home. Data collected were analyzed using IBM SPSS 20. The results indicated that different cassava products were available at different levels of the value chain. Bobolo/baton, flours, tubers, cassava leaves, cassava cuttings, starch, mitoumba/mintoumba/ntoumba, garri/gari, and water fufu were the main products sold. Meanwhile, tubers, bobolo, leaves and flour were observed as the most consumed products. About 87% of producers had farm sizes ranging from 1-5 Ha and 13% had farms greater than 5 Ha. The main sources of planting material were from neighboring farms (65%), friends (19%), seed farms (9%) and donations (7%). Approximately 90% of plant material used were local cassava varieties and 10% were improved varieties. The main difficulties encountered in cassava production were infertile soils (15.73%), unavailability of quality seeds (14.61%), pests and diseases (12.36%) and the remainder were other constraints. At the marketing level, constraints such as poor transport facilities (31.51%), scarcity of conservation or storage facilities (19.18%), price fluctuations (16.44%) and poor marketing channels (15.07%) were noted among others. In the transformation sector, difficulties registered were, poor mechanization, poor transport facilities, scarcity of fuel wood and raw material. Thus, mechanization is recommended to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the cassava value chain in the region.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effects of Cyfluthrin Insecticide on Agrotis ipsilon Immature Stages Development with Respect to Different Temperatures

Amany Ramadan Ebeid, Mohamed Ahmed Gesraha, Wafaa Loutfy Abdou

Annual Research & Review in Biology, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/ARRB/2017/35076

Toxicity effects of Cyfluthrin insecticide on Agrotis ipsilon (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) immature stages were studied with respect to temperature thresholds and thermal requirements for each stage. The bioassays were carried out by applying the recommended concentration, its half and its quarter at four constant temperatures (15, 20, 25 and 30°C). The LC-values of Cyfluthrin were estimated, and the LC25 values were applied for each tested temperature as sub-lethal concentration. Results revealed that, the LC50 values at 30°C were highly toxic to all treated individuals than other tested temperatures, followed by that at 20°C then at 25°C, while the least LC50 value was recorded at 15°C. The mean estimated thermal units and Zero of development were 37.66, 106.39, 31.88, 151.70 & 238.33 degree days (DD), and 13.30, 12.53, 8.30, 8.04 and 11.37°C for eggs, larvae, prepupae, pupae and total immature stage, respectively. The developmental period of the examined stages was decreased with increasing temperature.

Open Access Original Research Article

A Study of the Early Disturbances in Vascular Hemostasis in Experimentally Induced Metabolic Syndrome

I. A. Skoryatina, S. Yu. Zavalishina

Annual Research & Review in Biology, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/ARRB/2017/34936

The unique characteristics of the early changes in vascular haemostasis during the development of metabolic syndrome are still unclear. This study aimed to examine the development of vascular dysfunction in experimentally induced metabolic syndrome. The study used 61 male Wistar rats aged 2.5-3 months. Thirty-two rats were given ad libitum access to 10% fructose dilution for drinking, while the remaining 29 control group rats were not given the fructose dilution. The study period was 8 weeks. We used biochemical, haematological, and statistical methods for investigation. The experimental rats received fructose, and we observed a deteriorating trend in their plasma lipid composition within 2 weeks. At the end of 4 weeks, it had further deteriorated, and it progressively worsened until the end of the experimental period. At the end of 2 weeks, there was significant reduction in the plasma antioxidant activity and rise in the levels of plasma lipid peroxidation products in the experimental rats. This effect persisted throughout the experimental period. At the end of 4 weeks, we observed imbalances in the metabolites; the plasma levels of arachidonic acid peaked by the 8th week; in addition, thromboxane B2 levels rose by 37.3% and 6-keto-prostaglandin F levels reduced by 21.8%. This was accompanied by an increase in endothelin-1 and decrease in the total nitric oxide metabolites by 20.2% in the experimental rats. At the end of 2 weeks, there was a reduction in the anticoagulant and fibrinolytic activities of the vessels of the experimental group rats; this effect increased with time. By 4 weeks, the vascular regulation of platelet aggregation in response to collagen, adenosine diphosphate and ristomicin had weakened in the experimental rats. Under experimental conditions of fructose ingestion, there was evident progressive weakening of antiaggregatory, anticoagulative, and fibrinolytic abilities of the vascular endothelium due to the inhibition of the production of prostacyclin, nitric oxide, antithrombin III, and tissue activator plasminogen in the vessels with a simultaneous increase in the body mass of the rats and the development of biochemical abnormalities that were characteristic of metabolic syndrome.

Open Access Review Article

Emergence of Bio/Agro-Terrorism in Kenya

Njiruh Paul Nthakanio, Wakhungu Jacob

Annual Research & Review in Biology, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/ARRB/2017/34167

The growing use of biological toxins, biotechnology and bio-engineering may have, by commensurate measure, contributed to bio-terrorism under what is called agro/bio-terrorism. Agro-products finally end up on the tables as food or on the shelves as medicine, and thus any form of their contamination by agro-terrorism will be a huge blow to food, pharmaceutical and medical sectors. This study explores emergence of agro/bio-terrorism in Kenya. Growing threats of terrorism lead the Government to legislate the Anti-terrorism Act of 2012. The act is expected to guard against the occurrence of agro-terrorism that can disrupt the food supply system of Kenyan population through "malicious use of plant or animal pathogens that can cause devastating diseases in the agricultural sector. In the past years, Kenya has suffered a number of epidemic plant and animal disease attacks that mimic agro-terrorism. These include Coffee Berry Disease of 1980s, Rift Valley Fever, Necrotic Lethal Maize Mosaic Virus among others. The methods known for execution of agro-terrorism include dissemination of pathogens in the fields by business competitors, movement of plant and animal material during strives and through food and seed imports. The current advances in genetic engineering of various microorganisms have produced very dangerous microorganisms that are classified among the group of weapons of mass destruction. The Government of Kenya has put in place strong regulatory bodies such as Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service, Kenya Medical Research Institute and Directorate of Veterinary services that can advise against dangers of agro-terrorism. However, these agencies will still need to be empowered to increase their responsiveness to any form of danger from agro-terrorism.

Open Access Review Article

The Protective Effects of Safranal against Diabetes Mellitus and Its Complications

Mohammad Samini, Fereshteh Bafandeh

Annual Research & Review in Biology, Page 1-6
DOI: 10.9734/ARRB/2017/35478

The increasing incidence of diabetes mellitus in all over the world is considered as a serious threat for human health. Oxidative stress is responsible for occurrence of diabetes by generation of oxygen free-radical, glycosylation of non-enzymatic protein, auto-oxidation of glucose, impaired glutathione metabolism, alteration in antioxidant enzymes, and formation of lipid peroxides. Oxidative stress also causes systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, impaired secretion of pancreatic β cells and impaired glucose utilization in peripheral tissues. Recently, antioxidants have been focused as a therapy for diabetes. The present study has been designed to gather experimental in vitro and in vivo investigations on the anti-diabetic effects of safranal; however, the application has not fully understood. This review indicated the anti-diabetic effects of safranal related to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.