Overlooking the Obvious: The Opportunity for Herbicides in Africa

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Abstract:

Twenty years ago, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture's Dr. I. Okezie Akobundu clarified the gap between crop yields on research farms in sub-Saharan Africa and those on smallholder farms — weeds. Today, farmers in Africa continue to realize 70% lower yields than researchers on weeded plots. Reasons for the lag include weeding at suboptimal times and labour constraints. Most significantly, 90% of acres on large plantation farms in sub-Saharan Africa are treated with herbicides, the same percent as on all crop lands in developed countries, while only 5% of smallholder farm acres receive herbicide applications.

Keywords: AFRICA; CROP YIELDS; DEVELOPMENT; HERBICIDES; WEEDS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1564/22oct04

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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