IITA, Bayer develop herbicide for cassava to tackle weeds, improves yield

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan and Bayer Nigeria have developed a new crop protection product to help farmers tackle problem of weeds in cassava and improve yield.

The herbicide is known as ‘Lagon’ was launched on Tuesday in Ibadan.

Bayer Country Sales Manager in Nigeria, Mr Temitope Banjo, said that the product had been subjected to more than 200 trials and demos in Nigeria and Tanzania.

He said that Lagon was rated among the top best pre-emergence herbicide for control of both grasses and broad-leaf weeds in cassava.

“The launch of Lagon today aims to provide big relief to cassava farmers. These are exciting times for the farmers, as they need not to worry about weeds anymore,” he said.

According to him, weeds have remained a major challenge to increased cassava productivity in Nigeria and Africa in general, with women spending about 500 hours annually to keep a hectare of cassava weed-free, using hoes.

He added that the manual method of weed control compromised the health of resource-constrained farmers, while, in some cases, children were pulled out of school to support weeding.

“When left uncontrolled, weeds compete for water, nutrients and space with cassava and depress yield by 40-90 per cent.

“To tackle the menace of weeds, IITA managed the Cassava Weed Management Project, and in the last eight years, screened more than 40 pre-emergence herbicides, both on-station and on-farm.


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