International institute develops herbicide for cassava weed control

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The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Oyo state, South west Nigeria has developed a herbicide safe for control of cassava weeds.

The Principal Investigator, Cassava Weed Management Project, IITA, Prof. Friday Ekeleme who stated this during the launch of the product, “Lifeline” at IITA disclosed that it was in partnership with the United Phosphorous Ltd. (UPL) and Springfield Agro Company in Lagos state.

He said that IITA research showed that integrating good cassava agronomic practices with safe herbicide such as Lifeline certainly improves yield.

“The product was being used in Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, in Nigeria; through the field trials we thought the farmers how to use the herbicide to get the desired result,” he said.

Prof. Ekeleme therefore recommended Lifeline for post-emergence weed control on cassava farms.

The UPL Country Manager, Dr Shanni Srivastava, said the product is a broad spectrum, non-selective, non-residual post emergent herbicide, effective on a wide range of annual, perennial weeds covering broadleaf weeds and grasses.

He explained that it contained excellent management tool, resistant weeds when applied as recommended, excellent burn down of wide range of weeds with minimum resurgence.

“It has no residue on soil or clay particles, hence absolutely safe to succeeding crops and also safe for handlers,” he revealed.

The Springfield Managing Director, Dr Tarun Das said the establishment was aimed at providing farm solution to Nigerian farmers and communities.

Das noted that IITA, UPL were good establishments to partner with Springfield because of their expertise and meaningful contributions to the development of agriculture in Nigeria and Africa.

“We plan, hope to improve our partnership, produce more safe agro-chemicals and improve the country’s agriculture by extension,” he stated.

Dr Husman Bukar, the Director of Veterinary Medicine and Allied Products Directorate, NAFDAC, said import permit was being introduced by NAFDAC to check products being imported into the country.

Bukar emphasised that Lifeline had been proven to be a good alternative to other harmful products, while recommending it for use by all farmers in the country.

“The introduction of Lifeline is a welcome development – it is a solution to one of the major problems of Nigeria.

‘‘We look forward to seeing the production of more of such products to address the need of the country,” he said.

Peace PIAK