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Articles by S. Zekri
Total Records ( 4 ) for S. Zekri
  A. Naifer , S.A. Al-Rawahy and S. Zekri
  The aim of the study was to investigate how farmers could sustain an economically viable agricultural production in salt-affected areas of Oman. The problem of salinity in the Batinah coastal area, Oman, dates back to the 1990’s with the major identified cause being excessive groundwater abstraction. Seawater intrusion in the Batinah aquifers is still advancing at an alarming pace. The present study estimates the on-farm economic losses caused by salinity. The study is based on a sample of 112 farms. Farms were divided into three groups according to the soil salinity levels, low salinity, medium salinity and high salinity. Linear programming was used to maximize each type of farm’s gross margin under water, land and labor constraints. The economic losses incurred by farmers due to salinity were estimated by comparing the profitability of the medium and high salinity farms to the low salinity farm’s gross margin. Results showed that when salinity increases from low salinity to medium salinity level the damage is US$ 1,604 ha-1 and US$ 2,748 ha-1 if it increases from medium salinity to high salinity level. Introduction of salt-tolerant crops in the cropping systems show that the improvement in gross margin is substantial thus attractive enough for medium salinity farmers to adopt the new crops and/or varieties to mitigate the effect of water salinity. However, in the high salinity farms the gross margin improvement is too low to encourage farmers to adopt salinity tolerant crop varieties.
  S. Zekri , M. Mbaga and A. Fouzai
  The economic valuation of oases has focused almost entirely on marketable agricultural outputs. The role of oases as a provider of positive amenities has not been recognized. In this study, the contingent valuation method was used to estimate visitors’ willingness to pay to visit Misfat Al-Abreen mountain oasis for recreation. A Tobit model was used considering a range of socioeconomic and preference variables. Sixty four percent of the visitors indicated their willingness to pay an entrance fee. The average willingness to pay is $ 8.6/visit/group. Oases in Oman are managed by farmers’ associations whose responsibilities could be expanded to encompass the collection of entrance fees in Misfat Al-Abreen as the oasis has one single entrance. The collected fees will be used to improve the maintenance of the irrigation infrastructure and provide services to visitors as well as to distribute among farmers based on land/water property. This will encourage landowners to sustain the agricultural activity and enhance the production of environmental services.
  W. Al- Marzooqi , K. Al- Kharousi , I.T. Kadim , O. Mahgoub , S. Zekri , R. Al- Maqbaly and M. Al- Busaidi
  Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the use of Prosopis juliflora pods as a partial replacement of corn as a source of energy for growing broiler chicken. The main objective of Experiment 1, an ileal digestibility assay, was to assess the nutritional value of Prosopis juliflora pods compared with corn for feeding broiler chicken. The two test ingredients, Prosopis juliflora pods and corn were given alone to determine apparent metabolizable energy (AME) and apparent ileal digestibility of crude fibre. Prosopis juliflora pods had significantly lower AME content (10.64 vs 15.26 MJ/kg) and lower apparent ileal digestibility coefficient for crude fibre (0.24 vs 0.63) than corn (p<0.001). The objective of Experiment 2, a growth study, was to test the effect of exogenous enzymes on the nutritive value of Prosopis juliflora pods. Three Prosopis juliflora pods contents (5, 10 and 15%) with and without enzyme supplementation were evaluated. Daily feed intake, body weight gain and feed conversion ratio were measured. At the end of Experiment 2, 64 birds were randomly selected and slaughtered to evaluate carcase and meat quality characteristics. Substitution of corn by 10 and 15% Prosopis juliflora pods significantly depressed AME (p<0.001). Enzyme supplementation did not improve crude fibre digestibility. The inclusion of Prosopis juliflora pods in the diets, except at 5% decreased average daily gains, feed intake and feed conversion ratio (p<0.001). Addition of Prosopis juliflora pods caused a significant increase in the weights of total digestive tract, pancreas and caecum (p<0.01). Addition of Prosopis juliflora pods or the exogenous enzyme had no significant effect on carcase or meat quality characteristics, haematology, serum biochemistry and sensory evaluation. This study indicated that Prosopis juliflora pods can be included at levels of 5% in broiler diets without affecting performance.
  W. Al-Marzooqi , I.M. Al-Moqbali , O. Mahgoub , K. Al-Kharousi , M. Al-Abri , S. Zekri , O. Alqaisi and N.M. Al-Saqri
  Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of thermally processed Prosopis juliflora pods (PJP) on the growth performance of broiler chickens. Methodology: Two experiments were conducted. In experiment 1, the nutritive value of raw or thermally processed PJP was evaluated through an ileal digestibility assay. Apparent metabolizable energy (AME) and ileal digestibility of crude fibre in the formulated diet (corn, raw and thermally processed PJP) were determined. The second experiment (a growth study) was designed to test the effect of thermal processing on the nutritive value of PJP (p<0.001). Seven dietary treatments were evaluated in experiment 2, namely, the basal diet, three levels of inclusion of raw PJP-based diets (5, 10 and 15%) and three levels of inclusion of processed PJP-based diets (5, 10 and 15%). Results: The results of experiment 1 showed that the AME of processed PJP was higher (24%) than that of raw PJP. The raw PJP had significantly lower AME content (10.16 vs 13.41 and 15.26 MJ kg–1) and lower apparent ileal digestibility coefficients of crude fibre (0.27 vs 0.46-0.65) compared to processed PJP and corn, respectively (p<0.001). The results of experiment 2, indicated that substitution of corn by 10% processed PJP significantly improved the crude fibre digestibility and AME (p<0.001) compared to the other dietary treatments. The weight gain of birds fed 10% processed PJP (55.13 g/bird/day) was similar to those of birds fed a basal diet (55.68 g/bird/day). Conclusion: Processed PJP can replace corn up to the level of 10% in broilers diets without affecting growth performance.
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