Weeds account for up to 80% of the total labor budget of cassava growers and are major disincentives to African farmers. In Nigeria women and children bear the brunt of weeding investing up to 500 hours annually on a hectare of cassava.
However, efforts to control weeds in cassava farms received a boost with Nigerian engineers joining forces with experts from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to seek sustainable solutions to tackle the menace. The team of engineers drawn from members of the academia, IITA, public and private sectors are exploring mechanical weeding options used elsewhere in the world with the hope of adapting them to African cropping systems. Read more