Lagon Increases Production And Profits…
In Nigeria and across the African continent, weeds are still the biggest threat to cassava productivity, and women spend around 500 hours a year to keep one hectare of cassava free from weeds. Manual weed control methods harm the health of farmers who have limited resources and, in some cases, children are forced to leave school to support in weeding.
Unfortunately, weeds will compete with cassava for water, nutrients and space and will reduce productivity by 40% to 90%.
But as Bayer Nigeria has developed a new crop protection product called Lagon to help farmers tackle the weed problem in cassava to increase yields, it seems that rescue has finally come to farmers.
The product was recently released and has been tested in over 200 tests and demonstrations in Nigeria and Tanzania. It is touted as one of the best pre-emergence herbicides for weed control with weeds in cassava.
According to Temitope Banjo, Bayer Nigeria’s National Sales Manager, Lagon will offer farmers a lot of comfort during the launch period as they no longer have to worry about weeds.
In response to the weed threat, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) managed the cassava weed management project and tested more than 40 pre-emergence herbicides in seasons and farms over the past eight years. The test and subsequent demonstrations took place in the states of Abia, Benue, Ogun and Oyo in Nigeria and Tanzania.
Cassava yields in the Lagon treatment field are reported to be more than double the national average, over 20 tonnes per hectare, in the four states representing the main agroecological regions of Nigeria, where mainly cassava is grown. Furthermore, cassava plants treated with Lagon herbicide are more potent than countries where the product is not used.
Director of Development and Delivery (IITA), Dr. Alfred Dixon said the cassava weed project management team also did a residual analysis of cassava leaves, stems and roots.
“The residue analysis gave negative results, which means that Lagon can be safely used in field crops, especially cassava,” added Dixon.
Farmers using Lagon praised the effectiveness of the herbicide.
According to Ms. Ngufan Chichi’s use of Lagon in the fields creates a ‘miracle’ to help farmers increase production and profits.
Chichi, a commercial cassava seed producer, said using Lagon herbicide has helped her team to expand their cassava farm in Benue state. “This is possible because we can now better manage weeds in cassava,” she said, adding that farmers with Lagon are saving more on weed costs.
She asked the government to support the distribution of Lagon so that more farmers can get the product and get more rewards from growing cassava.