Organic matter and nutrient losses via run-off (March/December, 2016) in Urban Agriculture of Kabul, Afghanistan

 

Zikrullah Safia, Ghulam Mohammad Bahramc, Mohammad Alem Alem

 Kabul, bowl like capital city of Afghanistan is located at elevation of 18, 00 m a s l. with the current population of 4.2 million. The constructed areas have been encircled by urban fields. Climate is highly continental; rainfall always contributes water as a supplemental irrigation to agricultural crops. Sedimentations in streams, water courses, and in Kabul River are often observed. Urban fields have been regularly used for fresh vegetables and cereals in the rotation for food and feed production. Agriculture productions rely on fertilizers, but use of night soil and city bio-wastes are in abundance. Torrential rainfall is often observed as a main source of soil erosion. The run-off degrades environment by contamination of surface water, underground water, Kabul River and other low laying water bodies. A study on “Organic matter and nutrient (NPKC) losses via run-off in the Urban Agriculture (UA) of Kabul”, was conducted (March-December, 2016) to quantify soil and nutrient losses via run-off in urban areas of Kabul. Four endemic crops of Kabul Province were planted in the rotation. The results showed neglect erosion according to the universal soil loss

equation. The total Monthly average soil losses in two farms (n= 30) were 2.52 kg ha-1. Maize and wheat plots had higher soil losses (19.30 and 18.52%), respectively. Barley and millet had lesser

soil losses (15.37, and 12. 49%), respectively. Control plots of both farms showed 17.65% soil

losses. The average total N, P, K losses were neglected due to low rainfall and short period of study, statistically the variation of soil losses under different cropping system was not significant (p >0.05).

Lastly, based on our findings, few recommendations have been suggested to scientists, farmers and policy makers.

Keywords: Run-off, Soil erosion, Kabul urban area, Afghanistan.

 

INTRODUCTION

Kabul is one of the largest city and the national capital of Afghanistan, located in a narrow valley along the Kabul River, overlooked by the Asmai and Sherdawaza mountain ranges, in the east-central part of the country. Kabul is an old city with a history of more than 3000 years. The city was for centuries a way-station and a major trading center at the trade routes between South and Central Asia (see figure 1). Kabul, one of the highest capitals in Asia, with its current population of 4.2 million (CSO. 2014/2015) is located at 18.00 m a s l. Kabul’s soil has developed under arid and semiarid climatic condition. Unplanned use of city bio-wastes and sewage water for irrigation remained always main sources of

nutrients imbalance in the urban soil (Safi et al., 2010). The elemental overloaded sewage waters increases the materials toxicities in the soil during irrigation which degrades the environment. Despite of economic losses, leaching of nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, and ammonium contaminate surface and underground water. It is reported that Kabul basin is indicating deposits including sand, silt and clay which have been imported from the surrounded mountains originated by carbonates, marls, sand stones and from melted magma karsts. Ground water in some places of Kabul city is affected by sedimentation which contained toxic materials such as NO2, NO3, Bo2 and other soluble contaminants (Initial Environmental Examination., 2011; Mohummad et al., 2014). The 10.8% contaminated wells of Kabul with nitrate can be good example (Houben. 2005). Leaching of nitrate, phosphate and ammonium in the vegetable production areas were reported high too (Safi et al., 2011). Contamination of Kabul River in the low laying area of Peshawar with some toxic elements was also reported. (IUCN, Pollution and the Kabul River, 1994). This can be solved by study of the current ongoing farming system and applying different practices such as soil and crop management, soil erosion control will increases soil productivity. Chaudary and Shafiq reported that crop management is one of the best ways of soil erosion control (Chaudhry and Shafiq, 1986). The practice of good cultivation combination, optimum sowing method, use of mulching; disclose crop cultivation and precise use of chemical and organic fertilizers may enhance soil protection.(Safi, et. al. 2016; Khan, et. al. 2007).

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Transformation of Kabul based Universities from using Classic Content Management System to Web Content Management System

Transformation of Kabul based Universities from using Classic Content Management System to Web Content Management System

Key issues and challenges

Researcher: Siddiqullah Barikzai

Year: 2016

Abstract

The aim of this research is to find problems and challenges resulted from using Classic Content Management System (CCMS) and replacing it with Web Content Management System (WCMS) in Kabul based universities. The study found answers to the following questions: Do stated universities have necessary facilities such as electricity, ICTs, and the Internet? Are faculty administrators, instructors, and student ready to use WCMS? What problems and challenges have resulted as consequence of using CCMS? Finally, which of these two systems are cost-effective, quick, efficient, and more reliable?

The research results indicate that all administrators, instructors and students agree that CCMS is incapable to fulfill their needs; therefore, it has to be replaced with WCMS. However, it is important that all necessary equipment (such as stable electricity, ICTs, fast internet) which WCMS needs has to be provided before converting CCMS to WCMS. In fact, this modern system is faster, efficient, economical, and more reliable than CCMS.

Keywords: CCMS, WCMS, ICTs, Open Source, Kabul based universities.

Introduction

Nowadays WCMS has become an essential part of an institution and it makes a strong impact on the image of it (Shaik, 2005).

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are just as essential for modern society as electricity and water networks. Modern everyday life would be absolutely unthinkable without ICTs. It reduces costs, improve processes, boost innovation, and increase productivity. It also makes the public sector leaner, faster and more citizen-friendly.Most universities in the world use WCMS for leading their administrative, teaching, learning, and service delivery purposes. A WCMS is a computer application that allows publishing, editing and modifying content, organizing, deleting as well as maintenance from a central interface. It provides procedures to manage workflow in a collaborative environment (Arnold, 2003).

To read more: http://www.hedp.af/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Transformation-of-Kabul-based-Universities-from-using-Classic-Content-Management-System-to-Web-Content-Management-System.pdf


Bacterial community and fermentation patterns associated with ensilage process of wilted

Bacterial community and fermentation patterns associated with ensilage process of wilted

Wali Ajmal

Animal Science department, Agriculture Faculty, Sheikh Zayed University, Afghanistan

Abstract

Aims: To assess the variation in bacterial communities and determine the effects of wilting,

storage period and molasses inoculant on the bacterial community and fermentation pattern of

oats silage.

Methods and Results: Fermentation pattern, colony counts and denaturing gradient gel

electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles were determined. The lactic acid content was higher than acetic

acid in all silages; however the lactic acid to acetic acid ratio decreased with storage time. This

alteration from lactic to acetic acid was not prevented even with a combination of wilting and

molasses inoculant. The DGGE analyses suggest that facultatively heterofermentative lactic acid

bacteria (Lactobacillus Lactis, Lactobacillus brevis and Lactobacillus pentosus) were involved in

the shift to acetic acid fermentation.

Conclusions: Lactic acid can dominate the fermentation in oat silage with sufficient wilting and

molasses inoculant prior to ensiling. Storage continuation may lead to high levels of acetic acid

without exclusive changes in the bacterial community.

Significance and Impact of the Study: The bacterial community looks stable compared to

fermentation products over the course of long storage periods in oat silage. Acetic acid

fermentation in oat silage can be a result of the changes in bacterial metabolism rather than

community structure.

Keywords: agriculture, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, microbiota, silage, Oat.

Introduction:

Silage is formed by bacterial activity and other chemical changes in green forage stored in the

absence of air. Silage is fermented, high-moisture stored fodder which can be fed

to cattle, sheep and other such ruminants or used as a biofuel feedstock for anaerobic digesters.

It is fermented and stored in a process called ensilage, ensiling, and is usually made

from grass crops, including maize, sorghum or other cereals. There are increasing attempts to

develop a suitable ensilage process, because the feeding of well-preserved silage is expected to

improve the productivity of livestock in the tropics (Ohmomo et al. 2002).

To read more: http://www.hedp.af/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Silage-article.pdf


Evaluation of milk composition for fat and bacteriological quality of raw pre-processed and pasteurized milk in Nangarhar Province

Evaluation of milk composition for fat and bacteriological quality of raw pre-processed and pasteurized milk in Nangarhar Province

Ahmad Farid Rawan

Pre-Clinic department, Veterinary Science Faculty, Nangarhar University, Afghanistan

Abstract

Milk has been part of the human diet for millennia and is valued as a natural and traditional food, consumption of raw milk is associated with many serious human diseases. To determine the bacteriological quality of raw milk, total 150 raw milk samples from three different areas (Serkhrod, Behsod and Jalalabad city) and 40 pasteurized packed milk (Tarang, Every day, Milk pack and Qudrat) were collected from local market. Experiment 1, boiling, alcohol tests and water adulteration for hygienic quality of raw milk, gerber tests for fat concentrations of raw and pasteurized milk were performed. Experiment 2, methylene blue tests were performed to determine the bacteriological quality of raw milk. Water adulteration percentage was higher 2.5% in Jalalabad city milk samples (P<0.05). Fat concentrations in raw milk were 3.8%, 3.7% 4.2% and in pasteurized milk 6%, 6.2%, 3.4% and 5.9% respectively. Milk bacteriological quality (Excellent, Good and fair) of Jalalabad city milk was 50%, 26%, 24% in Behsod region 46%, 30%, 24% and in Serkhrod region 60% (P<0.05) , 26% and 24% respectively. Overall results shows that pasteurized milk has exogenous fat substances. Serkhrod region milk has excellent bacteriological quality compare to other two districts.

Keywords: Raw milk, fat concentration, Methylene blue, pasteurized milk and bacteriological quality

Introduction

According to the FAO census of 2003 there are some 3.7 million heads of cattle, the total production of milk is not enough to meet the demands of dairy products. Milk is the lacteal secretion of the mammary glands of a mammal, obtained by the complete milking of healthy cows which contains not less than 8.25% milk solids-not-fat, and less than 3.25% milk fat. The food value of milk depends upon its milk fat and milk solids-not-fat content (Yitayal, 2003).

To read more: http://www.hedp.af/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Research-Report-by-Ahmad-Farid-Rawan.pdf


Inspection of the imported food products and internally produced food products form the point of sanitation and quality

Inspection of the imported food products and internally produced food products form the point of sanitation and quality

Mohammad Mehdi Moheghi (Animal Science/Herat University, Afghanistan)

Abstract: This research had done on Export and Internal products which use by Afghan people. Tests on eggs showed that the internal eggs have better condition because of good weight, shell size, Albumin and yolk, and also there is no report of Salmonella. Tests on milk showed that the internal milk is good at high percentage of fat, Protein, Carbohydrates but there is always adulteration in these milks like adding water and starch. The research on water showed that there are hardness, No3, No2, P, some kinds of Bacteria but no Arsenic in tap, well and mineral water.In meat test we had found that, both import frozen meat and daily slaughter had the same condition of total bacteria and Coliforms but the percentage was normal, with no Salmonella. Results showed that import apple had high Bricks in refract meter than Herati apple.Tests of sausage and tuna products of our country and the external samples had no coliforms but high percentage of total bacteria. Keywords: Analysis, Eggs, Water, Meat, Milk, Sausage

I. Introduction

Afghanistan had passed too many years of war, after world union helps the situation of Afghanistan get better and the people started to think of rebuilding and production, but unfortunately the most important cities started to import the first necessary materials from other countries. There is no good quality control that it case some health problems. These may be case abuse of Afghanistan assets. The quality control of food products can help both internal and external products to have better human health. The important products in human feeding are consist of oil, rice, meat and…which are important because of quality and price.(Mitchell, 2004[1]) Whereas we know 80% of income in a family is use to get food materials, there must be economize of money and other harms in health. The Afghanistan companies are trying to get the highest level in production, the result of this research shows that government must be careful of import products and people must use the Afghan products. The important goal of this research is relationship of industry, people and university population.The relation of University and industry future voucher. This can make a better quality in teaching and practice field for students. We can show the result to people which they know all about food materials.

To read more: http://www.hedp.af/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/N1002017782.pdf

 


Development of new methods for interactive mineral exploration with UAV in inaccessible areas of Afghanistan

The geological extension of the Alburz sulphur deposit depicted by hyperspectral remote sensing and GIS: Development of new methods for interactive mineral exploration with UAV in inaccessible areas of Afghanistan

*1 Gholam Farooq Khpalwak, 2 Gerhard Bax, 3 Ahmad Khalid Mowahed

1 Mininig Engineering Department, Balkh University, Ministry of Higher Education, Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan

2 Visiting Professor at Mininig Engineering Department, Balkh University, Ministry of Higher Education, Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan

3 Mathematics Department, Balkh University, Ministry of Higher Education, Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan

Abstract

Our study has shown that even a relatively inexpensive UAV has great potential for detailed geological investigations in partly inaccessible terrain. Obtained still imagery, preferably in raw format, can be post-processed to achieve high resolution mosaics, and through overlapping imagery a digital photogrammetric analysis is possible. Due to the present poor security situation at the Alburz site, we decided to do field work in another area, which exposes similar rocks from the same stratigraphic level. Parallel to our own field documentation we examined and analysed freely available space borne imagery from different sensors covering larger, adjacent areas. We examined also pre-processed HyMap data registered on-board an air borne platform over vast areas of Afghanistan. In these data it was possible to independently identify our small gypsum deposit but not the Alburz sulphur deposit itself. None of the methods enabled us to detect further outcrops of sulphur or gypsum layers in the vicinity of along strike.

Keywords: remote sensing, UAV, hyperspectral data, HDR, DTM, Afghanistan

1. Introduction

The Alburz sulphur deposit is situated in Late Cretaceous alum-gypsum beds and strongly altered siliceous-carbonate rocks that are exposed in the core of an anticline situated 50 km WSW of Mazar e Sharif in northern Afghanistan. Some of its characteristics are described in http://www.mindat.org/loc-30575. html, but to our knowledge no detailed study has been carried out. Like for many other known or suspected mineral occurrences in Afghanistan, the access to the site is limited due to lack of road infrastructure and poor security in these often remote areas. During our project security did not allow us to perform field work in the Alburz area, and we decided to test our remote sensing technology about 100 km eastwards along geological strike in the same stratigraphic horizon, where instead of sulphur gypsum is exposed. The results of these studies were published in Bax et al. (2016).

The geology of Afghanistan has in very few places been mapped in detail during the last decades, as many parts of the country have been inaccessible for traditional mapping techniques due to on-going armed conflicts. Even with improved security, vast areas remain inaccessible because of rugged terrain and a still very coarse road network.

Recent map compilations [1] and the investigation of other geological data have however shown a great wealth of mineral resources in Afghanistan. The whole country is covered with geological maps at the scale of 1: 250 000 available from (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/afghan/), where the distribution of depicted rocks units is entirely based on Russian (northern part) and German (southern part) field work. See [2] and [3] for an overview.

To read  more: http://www.hedp.af/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Group-Research-Report.pdf


Assessment of Adaptation and Cultivation Methods

Assessment of Adaptation and Cultivation Methods of Three Local Varieties of Bean in Kabul Climatic Conditions

Wakil Ahmad Sarhadi1, Mohammad Shoiab Ahmadi2, Mohammad Zarif Sharifi3, Farid Ahmad Sherzai

4 1, 2, 3Department of Agronomy, Agriculture Faculty, Kabul University, Karti-sakhi Jamal Mina 4Department of Biotechnology and Seed Production, Agriculture Faculty, Kabul University, Karti-sakhi Jamal Mina

Abstract: Pulses are essential for fulfilling basic human and animal needs, such as food, fodder, fiber, and energy. The main challenges of agriculture in Afghanistan are improper management, institutional policies and strategies problems, lack of researches activities, lack of funding and continuous war. Cereals and pulses are widely recognized the important elements in national economy, gross domestic product (GDP) as well as food security. The main objectives of this research were to compare the yield, yield components, morphological and agronomical characters of three types of local beans under Kabul climatic conditions. In this research three local beans with different cultivation methods (using fence and maize as stand and without stand) were studied. Based on the results, all varieties were adapted in Kabul climatic conditions but Watany Beyara Dar and Capsuly 45 Roza showed well adaptation and performed high yield than the others. Capsuly 45 Roza is a good choice for farmers with short growth period and high yield capacity. The farmers can cultivate it twice a year. Using stick or iron bars as stand for bean plants plays a useful role in increasing of the yield, which has been used in this research and the results were significant. Keywords: Agriculture, Pluses, Sustainable Development, Bean, Stand

1. Introduction

Phaseolus vulgaris, the common bean (also known as the string bean, field bean, flageolet bean, French bean, garden bean, green bean, haricot bean, pop bean, or snap bean), is a herbaceous annual plant grown worldwide for its edible dry seed. The major producers in the world are: Brazil, India, China, Mexico, Myanmar, and United States (6). Its leaf is also occasionally used as a vegetable and the straw as fodder. Its botanical classification, along with other Phaseolus species, is as a member of the legume family Fabaceae, most of its members acquire the nitrogen they require through an association with rhizobia, a species of nitrogen-fixing bacteria (13). In terms of its nutrition components, dry edible beans are nutrient-rich foods; they contain a variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients while providing a moderate amount of calories. Beans provide protein, fiber, folate, iron, potassium and magnesium while containing little or no total fat, trans-fat, sodium and cholesterol. Because of their high concentration of health-promoting nutrients, consuming more beans in the American diet could improve overall health and also decrease the risk of developing certain diseases, including heart disease, obesity and many types of cancers. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming 1.5 cups of beans per week to take advantage of these potential health benefits (1, 3).

To read more: http://www.hedp.af/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Group-Research-Report.pdf


Structural Behavior of Hair Fiber Reinforced Concrete Beams

Structural Behavior of Hair Fiber Reinforced Concrete Beams

Sayed Javid Azimi

Ministry of Higher Education AfghanistanHigher Education Development Program (HEDP) Faculty of Civil Engineering, University Takhar, Afghanistan

Abstract– This paper presents the structure properties of hair fiber reinforced concrete beams (HF-RCB). The main objective of this research was to investigate the potential advantages of hair fiber for improving the structure properties of reinforced concrete beams. Furthermore, the potential of hair fiber as part shear reinforcement by increasing the stirrups spacing of beams considered and verified the structure applicability of the proposed materials. This research carried out by two methods experimental and consequently numerical modeling. The experimental work focused on two beams. First beam constructed with full shear reinforcement and without fiber (SI = 0 % and with Vf = 0 %,) denoted as a control beam. Meanwhile, one more beam with full shear reinforcement (SI= 0 %) and with fiber volume fraction of Vf = 1 % constructed respectively. The experimental work has been considered four point flexural test consequently numerical modeling with finite element method (FEM) software Abaqus for calibration and validation of experimental result considered. First, sensitivity analysis (mesh and time) continued up to acquire the best correlation with experimental results. Then, the experiment results of beams were used, for calibration in FEM modeling investigation. Once satisfactory results obtained parametric study on key parameters with three shear reinforcement arrangement (SI = 0 %, SI = 50 % and SI = 100 %) and together with six volume fraction (Vf = 0 %, Vf = 0.5 %, Vf = 1 %, Vf = 1.5 %, Vf = 2 % and Vf = 2.5 %) of hair fiber were carried out. The result comparison showed a good agreement between the experiment test and nonlinear finite element analysis NLFEA results. Generally this investigation demonstrated significant improvement on structure properties of beams by addition of hair fiber. Keywords— Hair fiber, HF-RCB, Shear strength, ductility, load carrying capacity, mode of failure

I. INTRODUCTION

Concrete is a well-known construction material today (Abbas, 2012). It is composed of mainly water, cement, aggregate, and as well as often additive like fly ash, and silica fume are included into the mixture to acquire the desired physical properties (Altun, 2013). Concrete is weak in tension and has brittle characteristics. Since concrete is weak in tension hence some measures must be adopted to overcome this deficiency. Therefore, steel reinforcement, and different types of fibbers are added within concrete structures to improve the tensile strength of concrete (Carmona, 2013). Hence, Fibers have been used as reinforcement since ancient times as stated (Arisoy, 2002). The main challenge for structural engineers is to provide sustainable, environmental friendly and financially feasible structures to the society. Finding new materials that can fulfill these requirements is a must (Ashour, 1992; Bischoff,2 003; Deka, 2013). Most of researcher agreed for a major reason in the performance of fiber into concrete structures;(1) Improve the tensile or flexural strength; (2) Improve the shear strength (3) Improve the impact strength, (4) Improve flexibility, (5) Improve the Ductility, (6) Control cracking and change mode of failure from shear to more ductile one (Lok, 1998 and Merta, 2013). Historically, horse-hair was used in mortar and straw in mud bricks .Since biblical times fibers were used in cementing construction materials in the form of straw and horse hair (Jiang, 2003). Horse hair is used as a fiber reinforcing material in concrete to study its effects on the shear strength, compressive, crushing, flexural strength and cracking control to economies concrete and to reduce environmental problems created by the decomposition of Horse hairs(Lewis, 1979). As stated Cucchiara, 2004, Horse hair has more tensile strength than human hair and concept of using hair as fiber reinforcement and heat resistant material in concrete is not new. However, various types of fibers are available but the most economic and envoirementl friendly fiber in our country is hair fiber (human and animals hair). Hence, Horse hair widely exists in all part of Afghanistan, especially in Northern provinces. It is consumed as a wasted material; if the usage of horse hair into concrete be accustomed in Afghanistan we will have increment of economics, and saving the environment. Hence, the present research aimed to study the behaviour of hair fiber added by volume fraction in reinforced concrete structure and its potential benefits in enhancing ductility and load carrying capacity.

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Use of web 2.0 Technologies on Enhancing Writing Performance

 

Use of web 2.0 Technologies on Enhancing Writing Performance: A Perception

Study

Mohammad Basir Bakhtyari

Faculty of Education, Bamyan University

Abstract

Technology plays an important role in higher education to assist teaching and learning. Use of

web 2.0 tools can assist students to have effective learning activities. Afghanistan Ministry of

Higher Education encourages university English instructors to utilize technology in order to

facilitate language learning and teaching. Use of technology for English language and literature

students was encouraged by MoHE. This study, therefore, tries to measure students’ perceptions

on the effects of using web 2.0 technologies in enhancing writing performance. A researcher

developed questionnaire was distributed to 303 tertiary students of English and literature, and

40 of them were volunteered to be interviewed. The results generally show positive effects of

online tools utilization on enhancing writing performance. However, the participants indicated a

number of barriers faced by the universities in using web 2.0 tools. The results suggests to the

MoHE and university authorities in providing training programs for both teachers and students

in order to familiarize with the effective use of online tools in language learning.

Key Words: web 2.0 tools, writing performance, perception

1. Introduction

Proficiency in English, as international language of communication and the language of

the Internet, is becoming increasingly significant to the growth and development of higher

education in Afghanistan. Introduction of English as a foreign language should be started in early

primary school as a main subject. Ministry of higher education encourages the universities to

facilitate and provide students with opportunities to study English in the first year and continue

throughout their course of study if they are not already familiar it (MoHE, 2010-2014). English

is one of the fundamental principles that can improve education and to build capacity of

educational institution in Afghanistan. (more…)


“Champions’ opinions on the OBE-SCL Workshops”

Mr. Muhammad Sharif Hasanzoy is a lecturer in English Department of Faculty of Education at Kunduz University. He is one of the OBE-SCL Champions and provides OBE-SCL Workshops to other teachers.

As soon as trainees got the big picture of the OBE, they acknowledged that teaching and learning must be implemented in the way like OBE demonstrates. Identifying learning outcomes, course outcomes, program outcomes and program educational outcomes were the most amazing part of the workshop. These were somehow new concepts for the participants and they worked on them practically as examples during the workshop. Furthermore, the SCL module was also enjoyable for the participants; because they learned about creating classroom activities to engage learners actively involved in the lesson.  During the workshop attendees worked on some of the informal cooperative learning activities. Participants of the workshop said, implementing the twenty informal activities in their classrooms paves the way to create student-centered learning. While SCL module was being played, most of the informal activities were practically done by the trainees.

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