Cassava Weed Management Data

The ‘Sustainable Weed Management Technologies for Nigeria’ was a 5-year project that was developed and assessed with smallholder farmer participation modern, relevant and appropriate cassava weed management technologies suitable for sustainable intensification in major agro-ecological (humid rainforest, forest transition savanna and southern Guinea savanna) and socio-economic conditions of Nigeria. An important goal of the project was to help smallholder cassava growers achieve sustainable increases in their productivity and incomes through the development and adoption of improved weed control methods. The project evaluated enhanced cassava agronomy, including judicious, safe use of herbicides, toward improved weed management, across 4 states in Nigeria where cassava is central to food security and livelihoods of 4.5 million farm families.

Though Nigeria is still the global leader in the overall production of cassava with about 50 million tons on 3.8 million hectares, average yields in Nigeria are only about half of those in leading countries in Asia, and less than half of those typical from researcher-run trials in Nigeria. Diverse factors are responsible for low productivity on about 4.5 million cassava farms, but poor weed management is generally among the principal factors. Weed control in the humid tropics is always a challenge, but compared to most other field crops, weed control in cassava systems is much more demanding. The crop is in the field for a long time (12 to 18 months), and is sown at wide spacing, resulting in ample opportunity for weeds to occupy space under the cassava canopy and reduce productivity. Although weeds are one of the most important constraints to improving cassava productivity; for high yields, good weed control needs to be coupled with improved varieties sown in the right densities at the right time. Adequate plant nutrition and pest control are also important; however, such inputs will not result in better yields if weeds are not controlled.

Hand weeding is the predominant weed control practice on smallholder cassava farms. Conventionally, farmers weed cassava three times, but in cassava farms where perennial weeds, such as Imperata, are predominant, extra hoe weeding may be required. Weeding takes 50 to 80% of the total labor budget. Up to 200-500 hours of labor for mostly women and children per ha are needed to prevent economic cassava root losses in Nigeria. IITA and its partners are therefore, through this project conducted research that developed innovative weed management practices, combining improved varieties, proper planting dates, plant populations, and plant nutrition, all coupled to intercropping and tillage options, through well-focused trials in the three agro-ecologies where cassava dominates in Nigeria. Herbicides, meeting globally accepted conventions and safety thresholds appropriate for smallholders, were tested for efficacy and economic merit. Multi-location on-station/off-station trials were followed with participatory farmer evaluations. Extension manuals and other tools for farmer and applicator learning were developed.

Results from this project showed that with appropriate weed management couple with best cassava agronomy cassava growers in can more than double the national yield average in Nigeria.


Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Creator Ekeleme, Friday
Creator Affiliation International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
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Creator ID Type ORCID
Creator ID 0000-0001-6178-2606
Subject Vocab (AGROVOC/GACS/CAB) Weed,Weed Management,Weed Control,Herbicide Cassava,Maize,Nitrogen,Carbon,Calcium,Phosphorus,Potassium,Magnesium,Dry matter,pH,Sand,Silt,Clay,Sedge,Roots,Stem,Sprouts,Broadleaf,Intercropping,Monocropping,Grass,Harvesting
Subject(s) Cassava Agronomy,weed density,weed biomass cassava root yield and yield attributes,maize cob and grain yield,Weed density,Weed biomass cassava root yield and yield attributes,Maize cob,Grain yield
Publisher International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
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Contributor Project Lead Organisation Center International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Project Lead Center International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Initiative/CRP CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Banana(RTB)
Contributor Partner Natioanl Roots Crop Research Institute (NRCRI), Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi (UAM)
Contributor Donor Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)
Contributor Project Sustainable Weed Management Technologies for Cassava Systems in Nigeria
Project ID
Contributor Affiliation International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Open-Access status Open Access
Production Date 2020-01-21
Embargo End Date 2025-01-21
Content Type Dataset
File Format csv
Identifier Type DOI
Identifier Citation Ekeleme Friday, Stefan Hauser, Godwin Atser, Alfred Dixon, Stephen Weller, Patience Olorunmaiye, Hughes Usman, Adeyemi Olojede, David Chikoye (2016). Weed Management in cassava in Africa: challenges and opportunities. Outlooks on Pest Management 27(5): 206-212.
Source Sustainable Weed Management Technologies for Cassava Systems in Nigeria
Language English
Relation Not applicable
Agroecological Zone Subhumid warm tropics
Coverage Region Western Africa
Coverage country Nigeria
Coverage Admin Unit Not applicable
Coverage Y (Latitude) 4.92999, 6.33621, 7.35083, 6.90753, 7.84296, 4.85808
Coverage X (Longitude) 7.87216, 7.40840, 8.83628, 3.58127, 3.93684, 6.92091
Coverage Start Date 2014-06-13
Coverage End Date 2019-07-06
Contact Ekeleme, Friday Principal Investigator - SWMT for Cassava Systems in Nigeria, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contact Email
Restriction CC-BY 4.0
Email Permission None
Rights CC-BY 4.0