The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) located in Ibadan, Nigeria has been conducting weed control research since its founding in 1967. For many years, the research focused on “low-input” non-chemical methods of controlling weeds. However, the “low-input” methods were never widely-adopted by African farmers who resorted to the centuries-old practice of handweeding their fields. IITA considers handweeding not to be sustainable and recommends that West African farmers use herbicides to control weeds in maize fields.
“Although manual weeding is an age-old practice in West Africa, it is no longer sustainable because of high labor costs and the aging farming population. Judicious use of herbicides is recommended to control weeds effectively and increase maize productivity. We normally recommend the use of postemergence herbicides to kill weeds before land preparation and planting.”
Author: Alpha Y. Kamara
Title: Best practices for maize production in the West African savannas
Source: IITA, R4D Review. Issue 9. September 2012.