Sudan University of science and Technology (sust) icon

Sudan University of science and Technology (sust)


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جامعة السودان للعلوم و التكنولوجيا

Sudan University of science and Technology (SUST)

كلية الدراسات الزراعية

College of Agricultural Studies (CAS)


ABSTRACTS


المؤتمر العالمي للزراعة العضوية

قاعة الصداقة - الخرطوم, السودان

6-7 ابريل 2010


International Conference on Organic Farming (ICOF)

Friendship Hall, Khartoum, Sudan

6 – 7 April 2010



  1. ORGANIC AGRICULTUAL POLICIES



Sudan within the Global View of Organic Farming


Saifeldin M. El-Amin

College of Agricultural Studies, Sudan University of Science and Technology


Abstract:

Organic farming is boosting fast worldwide due to the growing consumers awareness to safe food, being environment friendly and paying higher economic returns compared to conventional products. The potential contribution of organic farming to feeding the world maybe far higher than many had expected. Reported data for 2007 showed that 32.2 million hectares are certified, according to organic standards. Oceania has the biggest share in land under organic management (37%), followed by Europe (24%), Latin America (20%), Asia (9%) then North America (6%) and the smallest share, if any, for Africa (3%) which had the highest number of organic producers (44%)followed in descending order by Asia (19%), Latin America (18%), Europe (17%), North America (1%) and Oceania (1%). With its vast grazing lands, Australia continues to account for the largest certified organic surface area, (12.02) million ha, followed by Argentina (2.78), Brazil (1.77), USA (1.64), China (1.55), Italy (1.15) and India (1.03) million ha. The countries with the highest increase of organic land in 2007 were India, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Poland, UK, Uganda, Germany, Tanzania and Dominican Republic. Uganda came on top of the ten countries with the highest number of organic producers (206803) in 2007 followed by India, Ethiopia, Mexico, Tanzania, Italy, Peru, Greece, Zambia and Austria. Available evidence suggests that organic practices are delivering sharp increases in yields, improvements in the soil and a boost in the income of Africa's small farmers who remain among the most impoverished people on earth. Globally, Africa scored the highest rate of increase in organically managed land development. Within 7 years, organically managed land increased from 52 601 ha in 2000 to 875 370 ha in 2007. Countries like, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia started to show within the top ten countries of the world on data of many aspects of organic farming. For Sudan, traditional farming is the dominant form of agricultural production and most products are from the rain fed sector where use of chemicals is uncommon. Organic farming using manures was historically the conventional practice. The fertile land in river basins made available by recurrent floods viz Toker and Gash deltas could be recommended as organic areas. According to (IFOAM, 2007 ), Sudan has 56324 ha of organically managed land of which 55324 ha is fully converted to organic.


Key words: organic farming, organic producers, countries, Africa, Sudan.


^ Organic Agriculture in Sudan

Elhag Makki Awouda

National Committee of Organic Agriculture


Abstract:

The paper will discuss role and achievements of the National Committee of Organic Agriculture. The potentials and current situation of organic agriculture in Sudan are reviewed and the running organic farming projects in different States are highlighted. The main directives in the Sudanese Standard of Organic Agriculture are pointed out. The complete lack or gabs in legislations for organic production in Sudan, besides the absence of national or international offices of inspection and certification bodies are focused.


^ Legislations to Promote and Regulate Organic Agricultural Production in Sudan


Saeed M. Suliman

Sudanese Agricultural Council

ABSTRACT

Interest in organic agriculture and its products has widely grown in the world, mainly because of the increasing environmental and health hazards associated with the intensive use of chemicals in agriculture. Sudan, in spite of its high potential of organic agricultural production along the banks of the Nile, rivers, and the seasonal streams, has not been able to export organic agricultural products. Inability to export organic agricultural products is mainly due to lack of legislations to promote and regulate organic agricultural production and hence, the absence of the authority to issue approval certificates for such exports. It is high time to issue such legislations to promote and regulate production and export of organic products from Sudan. The suggested legislations will be a good addition to the previously issued laws in the field of agriculture. The suggested legislations are to promote and regulate organic agricultural production in Sudan by reserving certain suitable areas where the use of chemicals is to be prohibited. The legislations are to allow certain independent organization to issue certificates for export of organic products and set up a committee to execute the legislations. The proposed document is to be revised and approved by the relevant authorities.


^ Towards a National Organic Agriculture Program in the Sudan

Kamal E-Siddig & Abdelmagid Elmubarak

Agricultural Research Corporation

Abstract

The formal organic sector in the Sudan remains relatively underdeveloped and statistics concerning its status are often difficult to find. However, the traditional agricultural subsector, which is a de facto low external input system, offers a huge potential for the development of organic agriculture. Serious steps towards the adoption of organic agriculture began in 2001 with the inception of the Organic Agriculture Program (OAP), funded by the Arab Authority for Agriculture Investment and Development (AAAID) and implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MOAF). The Sudanese Society for Organic Agriculture (SSOF) organized a series of workshops between 2004-2006 to create awareness about organic farming among producers, consumers and policy makers. The Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) supports a project to promote the exports of organic bananas from Sudan and Ethiopia to the Middle East and Europe. The Sudanese Standards and Meteorology Organization (SSMO) have also been instrumental in pursuing some organic agriculture-related activities. In spite of all these initiatives, the country still lacks national policies and regulatory frameworks for organic agriculture. The government, through the Agricultural Revival Program (ARP), is committed to promoting organic farming in the country. However, the instruments are inadequate and not well integrated. Inadequate research, extension services and manpower especially on production and marketing information and input supply have hindered promotion. Organic product legislation, standardization, certification and infrastructure are also major issues of policy concerns. A policy in the form of a National Framework is a necessity for the organic sector to flourish and realize its potentials. The Framework is to outline key approaches and strategies to promote organic farming in the country. Formulation of National Standards of Organic Agriculture Production and Processing will be an important step to help organic producers, promoters and certifiers to contribute to organic production and processing. The Framework is to advocate establishing organic famers’ groups and pilot activities in areas of high potentials. Development of organic markets, both internal and external, should be seen as crucial to promotion of organic farming.


^ Assessment of Potentialities of Organic Agriculture in Sudan Within The last Five years


Saada N. A. ELmahi 1and Saifeldin, M. El-Amin2

1Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Research Institute (MAPRI), National Centre for Research.

2College of Agricultural studies, Sudan University of Science and Technology.


Abstract: Over the last five years, a common understanding on organic agriculture as a sustainable mode of production has strongly grown among the Sudanese community. Furthermore, the importance of this type of production is progressively enhanced amongst researchers and academicians. In July 2005 a study on the potentialities of Sudan in organic agriculture was conducted, to assess the situation and acceptance of the concept amongst stakeholders, individuals and institutes. The study indicated that the concept of organic agriculture is fully accepted by the targeted groups The importance of organic agriculture in achieving self sufficiency, rural development and its contribution to the reduction of cost of production were ascertained. Most of the organizations (71.4%), are dealing with the definition of organic agriculture under the name of sustainable agriculture, and 46.7% were adopting and supporting or promoting traditional agriculture as a non-certified organic agriculture system. Some of them adopted the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods. The study also showed that no regulations were in vogue in Sudan, and the existing agricultural legislations had no effect on organic production especially in the storage, processing and the transfer stages. But, 75% of the available legislations supported the marketing of agricultural organic products. The lack of a strategic plan to develop organic agriculture in the Sudan was also apparent. One of the constraints was the absence of an authorized body to register and certify the Sudanese organic products, albeit that most of the products are produced traditionally and naturally using no or low synthetic inputs. It was revealed that 72% of the productive institutions employed organic fertilizers, 36% used herbicides and 57% adopted the IPM methods, while 25.8% were using organic substances and the same percent using chemicals. Main constraints facing the adoption of organic production in Sudan are defined as, lack of awareness and know–how, weakness of agricultural extension and lack of coordination between the relevant agricultural institutions. Currently, assessment of the situation is reassessed within same institutions using the same questionnaire samples with few modifications. This paper aims at studying the progression in the organic agriculture movement in Sudan and the development occurring during the last five years. This will be achieved by surveying targets from academic and research institutes. The results are be compared by the one achieved five years ago.



  1. SOILS and NUTRITION



Updated knowledge on organic matter dynamic in soil


Fabrizio Adani and Gabriella Papa

Gruppo RICICLA – Dipartimento di Produzione Vegetale –Università degli Studi di Milano – Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milano


Development of soil organic matter (SOM) depends on several factors which have to operate over a long period of time. Transformation of plant detritus and the selective preservation of recalcitrant organic compounds into recalcitrant humid substances that would then form the slow carbon pool have been regarded as an important mechanism for SOM stabilization. Nevertheless, authors clearly demonstrated that the conventional SOM fractionation into humic acid (HA), fulvic acid and humin does not offer explanation in terms of the residence time of carbon in soil nor dose it elucidate the carbon turnover rates. Recent findings indicated that the mechanisms contributing to stabilization of SOM against microbial degradation include selective preservation of recalcitrant compounds, physical and/or chemical interactions with soil minerals and metal ions, spatial inaccessibility due to occlusion of OM into clay micro-aggregates and formation of hydrophobic surfaces. However long term stabilization of organic carbon may imply not yet understood complex mechanisms involving chemical association and physical sequestration with the mineral components of soil. Our recent experimental results showed that OM stabilization in soils begins with photosynthesis, in which CO2 is fixed in plant organic compounds that are successively returned to soil as plant residues or ammendants which are preserved in soil at least in part, because of their chemical and physical characteristics. Ascertaining the existence and identity of bio-macromolecules that are intrinsically resistant to biodegradation are of paramount importance to evaluate how inherent recalcitrance play significant roles in the stabilization of organic matter in soil. The term ‘recalcitrance’ is used to describe the phenomenon by which plant tissues exhibit the natural resistance against microbial and enzymatic deconstruction, and mechanism for resisting this assault are comprised of both chemical and structural elements. In this paper recent findings on C preservation in soil and the mechanisms involved are discussed.


^ Evaluation of Maturing and Nutrient Content of Farmyard Manure Composted with Chicken Manure


Elamin A. Elamin; Niemat E. Hamed

Department of Soil and Environment Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Shambat, University of Khartoum – Sudan

Abstract:

The stage of maturity and nutrient contents of farmyard manure (FYM) composted with 1 and 0.05% chicken manure (CHM) were investigated during the summer seasons of 2005-2006. Treatments were arranged in a completely randomized design with three replicates. Samples were collected and chemically analyzed. The analysis included crude fiber, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, copper, iron, manganese contents and pH at an interval of 15 days for a period of four months. The stage of maturity of FYM was measured by the biodegradation of crude fiber contents and the odor, which decreased significantly after four months. Moreover, total viable count of bacteria and the kind of bacteria at different stages were observed. Results showed that nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese and sodium contents increased significantly in treated FYM. A significant increase in nitrogen in the composted material was noticed in the 2nd week in FYM treated with 0.1% CHM. Phosphorus content increased significantly up to the 8th week in the FYM treated with CHM compared to the control. The P content decreased significantly up to the 12th and the 14th week. The significant increase in calcium content was noticed in the 8th week. Magnesium content increased up to the 9th week and significantly declined after the 10th week. Potassium content in treated FYM significantly decreased with time compared to the control. Copper content increased significantly up to the 10th week in FYM treated with 0.1% CHM compared to other treatments. The iron and manganese content increased significantly up to the 8th week in treated FYM. The pH of the compost decreased slowly, then after 10 weeks increased due to ammonia accumulation. The highest total viable count of bacteria was observed in the 2nd week in the FYM treated with 0.1% CHM compared to other treatments. Different bacterial isolates viz Bacillus, Corynebacterium, Micrococcus, Proteus and Streptococcus spp were obtained at mesophilic, thermophlic and cooling down stages. It was observed that the compost opening time was best after three months when its volume decreased, its colour turned black and it became crumbly with earthy smell and yielded drops of water when tightly squeezed


^ Residual and Cumulative Effect of Filter Mud Applications on Sugarcane Production and on Soil Chemical Properties


Elsayed, T.M.1 , Babiker, H.M.2 , Abdelmalik, E.M.2 , Mukhtar, N.O.3& Montange, D.4

1Industrial Research, R&D section, Kenana Sugar Company, PO 2632, Sudan

2Dept. of Soil and Water Science, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Gezira, Sudan

3Gezira Research Station, ARC, Sudan

4CIRAD PERSYST Department, TA B78/01, 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France


Abstract: Filter mud (FM), a thick mud-like finely pulverized organic material, is an agro-industrial waste of sugarcane mills that consists of the precipitated impurities contained in the juice cane and is removed by filtration during the sugarcane processing. It is a rich source of plant nutrients thus is used as a fertilizer in several countries in the world. To investigate the residual and cumulative effect of filter mud applications on sugarcane yield and quality and on soil chemical properties, a field experiment was established in the year 2005 at the Kenana Research Farm for three consecutive seasons. Five treatments i.e. 0, 10, 30, 100 dry tons FM ha-1 and the standard chemical fertilization dose were included in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications. Sugarcane variety CO6806 was used. Results showed that, in the first season the addition of 30 and 100 tons FMha-1 resulted in cane yields comparable to those obtained from plots receiving the standard chemical fertilization dose (165 kgNha-1+ 55kgPha-1) In the second season, the highest yield was obtained from treatment residual 100 tons FMha-1. In the third season despite there was no significant difference in cane yield between the filter mud treatments, but there was an increase in the cane yield with the increase of FM dose. In all seasons high sugar quality was obtained and chemical analysis of soil showed a concurrent increase in organic carbon, total N, total and available P with the increase of FM concentrations.


^ Effects of Chicken Manure as a Component of Organic Production on Nutrients Contents of Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) fruits


Mohamed A. Abbas1, Saifeldin M. El-Amin 2and Elamin A. Elamin3

1Faculty of Agriculture, University of Upper Nile

2Dept. of Hort., College of Agric. Studies, Sudan University of Science and Technology

^ 3Dept. of Soil and Env. Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Khartoum


Abstract:

The experiment was conducted at the College of Agricultural Studies Sudan University of Sciences and Technology farm Shambat during the growing seasons 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008. Different levels of chicken manure (10 m3, 15 m3 20 m3 Fedd-1.) chicken manure compared with urea (? Kgfedd-1) plus super phosphate (125-62.5 Kg), respectively. Egg plant black beauty cultivar was used. Tissue analysis showed that fruits from plots treated with chicken manure had higher levels of total N%, NH4-N%, P, K, Ca, Mg and less NO3-N% and Na.


Potential Production and Application of Biofertilizers in Sudan

Gadalla A. Elhassan1, Migdam E. Abdelgani2, Awad G. Osman 2,

Somaya S. Mohamed 2 and Belgees, S. Abdelgadir 2

1College of Agricultural Studies, Sudan University of Science and Technology

2National Research Center, Khartoum, Sudan


Abstract: This paper reviewed the research efforts made in Sudan by different institutes and researchers on biofertilization, namely symbiotic and free living nitrogen fixating, phosphate solubilizing microorganisms, mycorrhiza and composting of agricultural and animal residues. It also discussed the techniques and methods of production of Rhizobium inoculants, non-symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria, P-solubilizing bacteria, and compost. The paper showed field results of the biofertilizers treatments in different crops and in different parts of Sudan. Commercialization of Rhizobium inoculants was discussed. The paper concluded that there are great potentials for production, commercialization and application of biofertilizers in Sudan. The paper also delineated prospects of future research on biofertilizers in Sudan.



  1. PRODUCTION

Field Management during the Conversion from Conventional

To Organic Agriculture


Mohammad Yousri Hashem

Dept. of Economic Entomology and Pesticides. Fac. Of Agriculture, Cairo University Center of Organic Agriculture in Egypt (COAE)


ABSTRACT


Organic farming wants to follow the laws of nature. Does it mean that organic farms must be as close to natural systems as possible? Within the organic movement one will find farmers who focus on natural farming, and others who take a purely commercial approach. The majority of organic farmers probably is somewhere in between these two extremes. Most farmers will expect to get sufficient production from the farm to make a living. For them the challenge is to follow the principles of nature as defined in the different standards to achieve a high productivity.

The conversion from a conventionally managed farm to organic farming should not only improve the farm ecosystem, but also assure the economic survival of the farm. Therefore, the adjustments which are required on the farms for a conversion and the related risk assessment have to be analysed carefully.

Step by step conversion is possible as long as the different production units are clearly distinct and organic products cannot get mingled with conventional ones. Products can be certified after the farm has finished a conversion period, during which all the relevant standard requirements must have been met from the beginning. For certification of annual crops, the standards ought to be met at least for 24 months prior to the start of the production cycle, i.e. before planting or sowing the crop. For perennial plants at least 36 months of fully organic management are required before the first harvest.

The changes in the conversion period concern technical aspects:

Production techniques: New farming methods need to be introduced and applied. These concern soil management, nutrient management, weed management, pest and disease control, animal husbandry, fodder cultivation etc. In order to be successful, the necessary know-how has to be acquired. The farmer will need to exchange information with experienced organic farmers, attend trainings, test methods and observe their effect, read publications etc.

In order to improve the conversion process and to overcome the possible obstacles, the present situation of the farm should be analysed carefully.


^ Organic Rice Standards and Experiment of Duck and Rice Farming in Jiangsu Province, China


Ronggang Li

Agricultural Expert of China Administration of Planning and Agriculture Economy Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry, Sudan Agricultural Committee of Jiangsu, China. Principal agronomist


Abstract:

In this paper, local organic rice standard of Jiangsu province, China are introduced. Standard, requirements of production environment of and technical rules for production including production techniques, processing, packaging, transportation and storage, fertilizer management and pest, disease and weed control are described. One of the best ways of organic rice production is rice and duck farming. In order to popularize this good farming system, a field experiment with a total area of 6666.7 m2 was conducted in Northern Jiangsu province, in 2002. Ducks’ roles in weed, pest and disease control and in soil fertility were assessed. Economic benefits of rice and duck farming, rice and crab mixed farming, and conventional rice farming were analyzed and compared. Results showed that weeds, especially broad-leaved, were adequately controlled by ducks. Ducks displayed good control of insect pests, such as rice plant hoppers, rice leaf roller; yellow rice borer and striped rice stem borers. Economic benefits of the duck-rice mixed farming depends on sale price. Compared with rice and crab mixed farming, rice and duck mixed farming had lower economic returns. For extensive popularization, more detailed experiments including rice variety selection, duck population density, mixed farming with rice, duck and fish, biological pest and disease control methods should be conducted.

^ Key words: organic rice standard, rice and duck mixed farming, fertilizer, pest and disease control.


Organic Agriculture in Tunisia Achievements and Promises


Mohamed Hedi Kahouli

Organic farming Consultant

Organic agriculture has been introduced in Tunisia by private initiatives since the 90ties. Official interest to organic agriculture has been expressed by decreeing the first law on organic agriculture in 1999. Since then this official step has been followed by the implementation of an integrated institutional and legal frame in order to ensure a harmonious development of the organic sector.

The promotion and development of the organic agriculture has been considered as an main component of a global development policy which contributes to the improvement of the national commercial balance and the social conditions of the farmers, and ensure the sustainability of the natural resources.

The area of organic agriculture has grown from 300 ha in 1977 to 58000 ha in 2004. The leading organic products are olive oil, dates and product of natural plants as per the exported quantities and returns

The Presidential objective to double the area of organic agriculture has been the leitmotiv to enhance the organic achievements during the period 2004-2009 at level of production and exports. These achievements backed by presidential support have shaped the public commitment and became the backbone of a national strategy for the period 2010-2014.

The main pillars of this strategy are:

  1. Extending the organic agriculture area to up 500000 ha and diversify the productions by 2014.

  2. Ensuring the permanent presence of Tunisian organic products in local and international markets,

  3. Doubling the organic productions in the horizon of 2016,

  4. Supporting the research programs and supervision of the organic sector.



In conclusion, Tunisia is one of the rare countries recognized by EU as one from which European importer does not need administrative authorization to import from.


^ Legume Crops as Potential Food and Feed Bio-Products: A Review on Biological Nitrogen Fixation in Alkaline Clay Soils.

S. A. M. Hamid

Department of Agronomy, Sudan University of Science and Technology

Legumes are regarded as highly plastic crops. They are grown traditionally in the Sudan; with relatively low inputs and without using agrochemicals, to produce food and feed bio-products with high economic values. In the last two decades; following the ever–increasing demand, legumes crop production was extended towards the Central Clay Plain of the Sudan. Legumes are known to be nitrogen demanding crops, since their end products are very rich in protein. As they belong to the Family Fabaceae they are capable of biological N2–fixation. The biologically fixed nitrogen is the main source to meet the high nitrogen demand, and to achieve high yields. However studies conducted at the Department of Agronomy, Sudan University of Science and Technology on faba bean, harricot bean, chichtpea, fungrek, pea, and clusterbean demonstrated poor degree of nodulation. The poor nodulation was mainly attributed to poor aeration, of the heavy–textured Shambat clay soil. While the alkaline pH of the soil hindered the synthesis of the enzyme nitrogenase which plays a key role in the process. Heat – treated compost was tried to improve the physical and chemical properties of soil, but the results were not encouraging. To improve the efficiency of biological N2–fixation, application of properly treated organic material to the alkaline heavy–textured soils is strongly recommended. Properly treated organic material is to improve soil aeration and neutralize the alkaline pH. Moreover, it will enhance mobilizations of the soil nutrients.


^ Organic Certification of Local Products: Gum Arabic Company's Experience inCertificating and Documenting Crop of Gum Arabic


Hassan. I. Ali1; H. H. Elrayah1; M. M. Osman2 and M. I. Abdelkareem3

1Marketing Department, the Gum Arabic Co., Ltd., Khartoum, Sudan.

2Sudan University of Science and Technology.

3Food Processing Research Centre, Shambat. Khartoum North.


Abstract:

Organic agriculture is an integrated system to maintain a sustainable environment by preventing the use of fertilizers and chemical pesticides.

Sudan produces about 80% of the world gum Arabic production as a natural, chemical and GMO free. However, it can not be considered as an organic product till a certain procedure to be followed under the supervision of third party.

Certification of Sudanese products as organic started at the beginning of this millennium, and already have been applied for some products e.g. sesame, hibiscus sabdarrifa and Gum Arabic, according to organic laws and legislations of Europe for the products imported from third world countries.

Therefore, this paper is trying to highlight the efforts taken by the Gum Arabic Company (GAC), Sudan for certifying an amount of 5.5 thousands metric tones of both varieties of ^ Acacia Senegal (Hashab) and A. seyal (Talha) as 100% organic according to European laws and American Standard for organic agriculture. Steps and all requirements to be followed in order to acquire the grand certificates are shown.



  1. PROTECTION



^ Effective Microorganisms in Agriculture

Yoshitaka Fukugauchi

EM Research Organization, Inc., Okinawa, JAPAN


Effective Microorganisms (EM) is a collection of microorganisms that do the work of revival. It has been shown to be perfectly safe for people and the environment. We can say that EM is another indication of hado technology. This important breakthrough in sustainable technologies is resolving a broad variety of environmental problems. EM was recently used by all countries impacted by the Tsunami Wave Disaster in curbing the spread of pathogen diseases. The World Health Organization’s prediction that more deaths would occur from the spread of these diseases than from the disaster itself never materialized. EM was also recently used in cleaning up the polluted inland seas of China and Japan, where marine life and vegetation have significantly returned. EM Technologies are quietly making history around the world. Effective Microorganisms has been used in agricultural applications since 1982. Farmers have documented the benefits on 6 continents, demonstrating that EM Microbial Inoculants can work in all soil types, all farming systems, and all climates on Earth. Today, EM is used in over 120 countries in all sorts of farming systems from row crops to orchards to composting to solid and liquid waste management. Whether conventional, organic, or sustainable, any farm can benefit from using EM to improve the efficiency of their operation. EM is approved for use without restrictions on Certified Organic operations.


^ Integrated Weed Management Tactics in Organic Farming

Babiker, A.G.T.

College of Agricultural Studies, Dept. of Plant Protection, Shambat Khartoum North


Global concern about the impact of conventional farming practices on environmental quality; human health and farming sustainability have been translated into changes in public policy, research priorities and market opportunities. Low in-puts and organic farming systems are favoured. Areas under organic farming are on the increase in many of the developed countries where demands for organic crops and livestock products has gown by over 20%. Weed management is a focal point in all farming systems, but is of prime concern in organic farming. Exclusion of herbicides could lead to situations where weed interference with crops rises to unacceptable levels unless intensive mechanical and hand labour are made available. Reliance on mechanical and hand labour is undesirable. Frequent cultivation reduces soil quality and crop health. Furthermore, soil disturbance brings new weed seeds to the surface and may enhance soil nitrogen mineralization, a condition conducive to weed germination and emergence. Hand labour, on the other hand, has high opportunity costs. To minimize requirements for cultivation multifaceted weed management strategies that are site specific and adopt a holistic approach aiming to optimize the whole cropping system are to be developed. Information on weed abundance, community composition and ecological characteristics in conjunction with agro-ecosystem analysis create the basic knowledge for selection and evaluation of tactical options. Adoption of tactics that can be directed at seed, vegetative and generative phases of weeds life cycles, ensures long-term regulation of weeds populations. However, diversity of the ecophysiological, morphological and phonological characteristics of the dominant weed species necessitates employment and integration of different management tactics to minimize future weed problems. Conventional methods of weed management can be used to reduce the soil seed-bank before initiation of the transition from conventional to organic farming. Fields with low initial seed-banks densities at the start of the transition period are more suitable for transition than those with high initial weeds seed-bank densities. Traditional tactics, in vogue, in organic agriculture for weed management, beside mechanical cultivation, thermal techniques and hand labour include crop rotation and cover crops. New innovate methods based on improvement in farm equipment and computer based information technologies are under evaluation in the developed countries. Cultivator guidance systems that use electronic sensors and computers to adjust the location of cultivation tools may give rise to new generations of machines that can operate at high speeds close to crop rows with minimal chance of crop damage. The combination of electronic sensors and computers with new weed cutting-technologies may lead to development of machines that tackle weeds within crop rows.

Keywords;- Organic farming, Weeds, Weed control tactics, Eco-system, viability


^ The Decisive Role of IPM in Organic Production

Asim Ali Abdelrahman

College of Agricultural studies, Sudan University of Science and technology


ABSTRACT

The main application of chemicals in agricultural production is in the from of pesticides and fertilizers. Productions without fertilizers usually lower the yield and probably the quality to variable degrees. Pesticides, in addition to lowering both yield and quality, could lead, sometimes, to a complete failure of the crop. IPM is the only available solution, organic production is to be pursued. Many examples of successful production without using pesticides have been recorded in Sudan during the last century. Successful programmers of adapting one or more of the IPM components are cited. The potentialities of cultural control, biological control and host-plant resistance are discussed.


Influence of Argel (Solenostemma argel Del. Hayne) Soil Applications on Flowering and Yield of Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.).


Tagelsir I.M.Idris1, Asma M.A.Ibrahim1 Elfatih M.Mahdi2 and Awad K. Taha3

1Department of Horticulture, Sudan University of Science and Technology.

2Department of Horticulture, University of Khartoum.

3Department of Plant Protection, Sudan University of Science and Technology.


Abstract

This study was conducted in two successive seasons in the Northern State to investigate the influence of soil applications of argel (Solenostemma argel) dry leaves on flowering and yield of the dry date Barakawi cultivar. Treatments were arranged in a complete randomized block design with 5 replications. Argel treatments were 0, 37.5 g once (1X1), 37.5 g twice (1X2), 37.5 g thrice (1X3), 75 g once (2X1) and 112.5 g once (3X1). Argel treatments enhanced flowering and yield parameters of date palm and improved the physical characteristics of the fruits. The significance of the results is discussed.


Keywords: Argel (Solenostemma argel Del. Hayne), Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.), Flowering, Yield.


Is an “Organic Product” Necessarily Safe?

Abdelgadir. A. Osman

College of Agricultural studies, Sudan University of Science and technology


Abstract:

Pesticide hazards to human health as well as environment can not be overemphasized. In fact, pesticides are perceived by many people as the most dangerous class of chemicals and have been pointed at as “bad” as opposed to any “organic” product which is natural and therefore inherently safe. Is this conclusion accurate? Is “organic” or natural necessarily mean safe? Contrary to what most people believe, "organic" does not necessarily mean "pesticide-free" or "chemical-free". In fact, under the laws of most States in the United States, organic farmers are allowed to use a wide variety of natural chemical sprays and powders on their crops. Until recently, nobody looked into these claims because natural chemicals (such as organic pesticides), were assumed to pose little risk to man. However, when the studies were conducted, the results were somewhat surprising. It was found that many of the natural chemicals studied are carcinogenic. Nicotine, an organic natural product from Nocotina spp., that has been used as a commercial insecticide for over 80 years, is a neurotoxin and is readily absorbed through the skin and can also be absorbed through the respiratory tract and the alimentary canal. It seems that consumers, farmers and researchers made the same, dangerous mistake by assuming that all "natural" chemicals were automatically better and safer than synthetic ones. However, the notion was proven to be wrong. In fact, many naturally occurring compounds are found to be equally or more dangerous than synthetically produced chemicals. It is therefore critical that we become more cautious in our acceptance of "natural" products as being safe and harmless.



  1. Food Technology



Organic Food Processing in Sudan; Funny Concept, Yet Feasible


Abdel Halim R.Ahmed


Ex. Director, Food Processing Research Centre, Khartoum North, Sudan


Abstract:

To use the term organic on a food product, the ingredients of such product should comply with standards specified for any activity involved in the chain of this product (e.g. farming, preparation and /or processing handling, packing …etc). Food processors may add an organic line to their existing non-organic operations as long as they stick to what is known as "Split operation". The question that stretches its tongue to Sudanese food processors is that do they guarantee organic crop chain to allow them go into production of processed organic products for regional or international markets. Chains of crops such as mangoes, tomatoes, potatoes, sesame, karkadeh, mint, coriander, fennel, gum arabic and some other ones may gain momentum if an appropriate organic farming is introduced to make them available for organic processing. The latter can then be easily monitored for organic food processing certification. This paper highlights some of this subject.


^ Effect of Spearmint Oil on Storing Ability and Processing Quality of Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Tubers


Hind A. ELbashir, Abdul Halim. R. Ahmed, Kahil S.Yousif* & Saifeldin M. El_Amin**




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