IITA engages Nigerian engineers in search for mechanical weed control in cassava farming

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International and Nigerian engineers engaged by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture-led Cassava Weed Management Project have made significant progress in the adaptation of motorized mechanical weeders for cassava farming systems in Nigeria.
The team of engineers met in May 2015 at the International
Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan to brainstorm and modify motorized weeders recently imported by the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project for cassava farming systems.
Specifically, the team was mandated to evaluate the performance of the machines for general weeding and modify the machine as necessary with special focus on cassava farms.
It was also mandated to establish performance and suitability of these machines for weeding generally with focus on cassava farms and carry out any needed improvement to make the machines usable for cassava farms, as well as modify all the available machines for demonstration.
At the end of the meeting, the team of engineers modified and adapted 14 motorized weeders to suite cassava farming systems in Nigeria.
The machines are currently on field trials across four states of
Nigeria of Benue, Oyo, Ogun and Abia state, and according to report, their performance will determine whether further modification is needed or not.
At the opening of the brainstorm meeting, Dr Alfred Dixon, Project Leader for the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project said the motorized mechanical weeders were aimed at providing farmers with a basket of options so they could tackle weeds more efficiently.
He urged the engineers to look beyond adaptation, and conceive the idea of developing African made motorized weeders that could tackle the problem of weeds on the continent.
Professor Abdulganiyu Olayinka Raji of the University of Ibadan
commended the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project for involving
national partners in the programme.
He recalled that the Nigerian made cassava flash dryer which has
become a success story today also started with a similar
invitation/convocation of experts by …Read More

Source:: New Mail