See more from this Session: Advances in the Green Revolution in Africa: I/Div. A06 Business Meeting
Tuesday, November 2, 2010: 1:45 PM
Long Beach Convention Center, Room 103B, First Floor
Poorly-controlled weeds are a main reason why crop yields on African smallholder farms are 50-70% below their potential. The burden of handweeding fields falls on women and children. Because of a shortage of labor and competing demands on time, not enough weeding is done or is being done too late to prevent yield losses. Farmers are reluctant to use fertilizers since more weeds would be the result. African farmers tend to plant as much as they think they will be able to weed. As a result, weeds can be considered as the main constraint on agricultural production. Research has consistently shown that herbicides would effectively control weeds on smallholder farms with a 90% reduction in hand weeding requirements. The cost of herbicides is one-third the cost of hiring handweeding labor. The crop protection industry through the CropLife Foundation is in Year Two of a series of herbicide demonstration trials at agrodealer locations in
Malawi and . Thousands of farmers have visited the plots. The next step is training applicators and farmers in the use of herbicides and providing ongoing research and extension programs in weed science.