Scientifica
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Acceptance rate14%
Submission to final decision107 days
Acceptance to publication13 days
CiteScore5.300
Journal Citation Indicator0.710
Impact Factor3.2

Woody Species Composition, Structure, and Status of Regeneration in Pugnido Forest, Gambella Region, Western Ethiopia

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Research Article

Postharvest Practices, Perceptions, and Knowledge of Mycotoxins among Groundnut Farmers in the Adamawa, Centre, and North Regions of Cameroon

In many parts of the world, including Cameroon, mycotoxin contamination of groundnuts remains a major constraint affecting their use as food. Understanding the contributing factors is an essential intervention to reduce contamination and people’s exposure to these harmful toxins. The aim of this research was to identify the factors associated with the knowledge, perceptions, and postharvest practices of groundnut farmers in three production basins in Cameroon. Data were collected through surveys and analyzed using descriptive methods and logistic regression models. The results show that groundnut farmers are little aware of the existence of mycotoxins (12%) and totally unaware of the existence of aflatoxins (100%). Only 7.1% of these farmers are aware of the effects of mycotoxins on consumer health. After evaluation, the large majority of farmers scored poor marks for knowledge (86%) and practice (98.7%) in the management of mould and mycotoxins in groundnuts. Knowledge of mycotoxins was positively associated with the level of education [OR = 3.42; (95%-IC: 1.00–16.00); ] and region [OR = 4.49; (95%-IC: 1.09–20.3); ]. Farmers’ good practices were linked to their production experience [OR = 6.06, (95% CI: 0.91-18.4), ]. The use of mouldy groundnut for feed was associated with age [OR = 3.34, (95% CI: 1.14–10.2), ], sex [OR = 0. 43, (IC-95%: 1.14–1.05), ], marital status [OR = 0.35, (IC-95%: 0.14–0.79), ], and production region [OR = 0.27, (IC-95%: 0.13–0.56)]. In conclusion, groundnut farmers had insufficient knowledge of mycotoxins, no knowledge of aflatoxins, and suboptimal handling and storage practices for this commodity. This contributes to increasing the risk of exposure for the population and requires mitigation measures, including awareness campaigns on mycotoxins, specifically aflatoxins, and capacity building for farmers in terms of storage and postharvest management of foodstuffs.

Research Article

Adaptation of Research Project Requirement at Pharmacy Undergraduate Studies: Students’ Perception, Attitude, and Experiences

Objective. To determine the final year pharmacy undergraduate students’ attitudes toward research after completing a research project. Methods. A research project was introduced in the final year of the PharmD program in January 2022. After a period of one year, in Janurary 2023, students submitted their final research to the faculty members. The survey was conducted from 1st March to 30st April 2023 using a study tool that contained items asking students’ demographic, their research perceptions, attitude and experience, and also motivation/barriers faced during the research project. Descriptive and t-test statistics were utilized to compare the means of subgroups at a level of significance, i.e., . The data were also analyzed using Goodman and Kruskal’s gamma and Mann–Whitney U test. Results. Majority of the students (93.8%) agreed regarding the significance of research in the pharmacy profession. Students were found to have their projects a worthwhile learning opportunity (94.2%). Students’ motivation to execute research project stems from mandatory curriculum courses, improving clinical or hospital pharmacist training and fulfilling research skills (90%). Barriers hindered include lack of training, time, and patient follow-up (approximately 70%). Conclusion. The current study's finding was concluded with the fact that research is a valuable component of a well-rounded education and can enhance a pharmacist's skills. However, they need a combination of formal education and practical experience to pursue a profession in pharmacy.

Research Article

Ecological Insights, and Fin Fish Diversity in Carps Spawning Grounds: Case Studies from the Surma River and Tanguar Haor, Bangladesh

This study aims to provide a thorough ecological understanding of fin fish diversity within carp spawning grounds in the Surma River and Tanguar haor. Over two spawning seasons, this research investigates ecological factors impacting fin fish diversity and abundance in carp spawning grounds of the Surma River and Tanguar haor, emphasizing water quality, habitat features, spawn availability, and environmental influences. Fish spawn samples were collected with eight “Savar nets” at chosen sites and reared in a fiberglass tank at the mini hatchery for species identification. The representative spawn samples were examined under a microscope for preliminary species identification before rearing. The study found that both the Surma River and Tanguar haor offer ideal conditions for carp spawning due to factors such as water quality, natural food availability, habitat suitability, and favorable climatic conditions. The study identified 39 fish species under the 10 fish groups from both locations, with a higher percentage of carp species (31.42%) in the Surma River in 2021 compared to 2022 (22.50%). In Tanguar haor, the percentage of carp species was 7.55% and 6.50% in 2021 and 2022, respectively. The Surma River’s ecological indices (2021-2022) indicated decreased diversity, likely due to environmental degradation, while Tanguar haor showed lower diversity possibly attributable to multiple environmental stressors. The dominant carp species, Labeo calbasu, Labeo bata, and Labeo gonius, were identified in both the Surma River and Tanguar haor. The spawning distribution varied among different locations, with some sites showing a presence of carp species, such as Hajipur in the Surma River and Alam Duar in Tanguar haor. The findings highlight the importance of hydrological and environmental parameters in shaping carp spawning habitat distribution and abundance, contributing to aquatic biodiversity conservation and resource management.

Research Article

Rheological and Biological Properties of Adhesive Skin Secretions from Eupsophus vertebralis (Anura: Alsodidae)

Skin secretions from Patagonian ground frogs, Eupsophus vertebralis, have previously been reported as a potent proteinaceous adhesive with potential biomedical applications. Here, we conducted a rheological analysis indicating the mechanical robustness of these secretions, with a storage modulus ranging from 1 to 10 Pa. In addition, antimicrobial and cytotoxicity assays were performed, revealing no antimicrobial activity against both the Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The cytotoxicity results were intriguing, as three samples showed no harm, and one exhibited a severe cytotoxic effect on the human cell line MG63. These properties, as indicated by these preliminary results, reinforce their potential for practical applications in the industrial and medical sectors.

Research Article

Effects of Complex Fertilizers on the Properties of Grey Forest Heavy Loamy Soil

The study’s main aim was to evaluate the effects of complex mineral fertilizers on the complex properties of heavy loam soils in the grey forests of Russia in terms of applying individual soil nutrition components from experiments with fodder beets. This study employed a rigorous and systematic approach to accomplish the defined goal. Specifically, the research was conducted within a seven-field crop rotation system, with fodder beets serving as the primary experimental crop. In addition, a model experiment resembling a vegetation trial was undertaken, incorporating seven distinct schemes involving various types of fertilizers. This design facilitated the evaluation of the effectiveness of each fertilizer type. The study results demonstrate that complex fertilizers impact the soil’s chemical and biophysical parameters. Soil acidity decreases through the use of complex, high-nitrogen fertilizers. Major chemical nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) in plant biomass and soil also have a high degree of transition. It is explained by the effects of combining elements on the destruction intensity of the crystalline lattice in the basic structures of potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen. There is also evidence that complex fertilizers can improve humus quality and replenish its reserves. All the aforementioned impacts of complex fertilizers on the crop contribute to the high productivity and yield of forage beet. The results of the study may help optimize the fertilization process, improve the quality and quantity of agricultural products, as well as increase soil fertility, and reduce the negative impact of agrochemicals on the environment.

Research Article

Intercropping Maize with Faba Bean Improves Yield, Income, and Soil Fertility in Semiarid Environment

Continuous adoption of improved maize varieties in the last three decades has changed farm landscapes from heterogeneity to maize homogeneity in semiarid areas of Ethiopia. This has substantially decreased maize productivity. Recently, farmers have integrated faba bean into maize-based farming systems aimed at increasing productivity. Yet, there is limited information on the effects of maize-faba bean intercropping on productivity and land-use efficiency. We studied the effects of maize intercrops with two faba bean varieties (Gora and Moti) at three different densities (25, 50, and 75%) of the recommended sole faba bean (250,000 plants ha−1) on yield, economic return, and some soil fertility indicators in Tigray, northern Ethiopia. Randomized complete block design with three replications was used for the experiment. The intercrops revealed that a significantly higher total grain yield, economic revenue, and land equivalent ratio (LER) over the sole cropping. Intercrops also showed higher soil organic carbon and total nitrogen compared to the preplanting soil and sole maize. Maize intercropped with the Gora faba bean variety at a density of 50% increased the total grain yields, economic return, and LER, respectively, by 13, 42, and 38% over the sole maize. The intercrop also increased soil total N by 55 and 22% compared to the preplanting soil and sole maize, respectively. Intercropping maize with faba bean significantly improved crop yield, income, land-use productivity, and some soil fertility indicators than either the sole maize or faba bean crop in the semiarid region of northern Ethiopia.

Scientifica
 Journal metrics
See full report
Acceptance rate14%
Submission to final decision107 days
Acceptance to publication13 days
CiteScore5.300
Journal Citation Indicator0.710
Impact Factor3.2
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