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.