Bayer has developed and launched a new crop protection product known as Lagon.
The product is amined at helping farmers tackle the problem of weeds in cassava and raise yield. It has also been tested on over 200 trials and demos across Nigeria and Tanzania. Lagon was rated among the top best preemergence herbicides for control of both grasses and broad-leaf weeds in cassava.
“The launch of Lagon today aims to provide a big relief to farmers. These are exciting times for cassava farmers… Farmers need not to worry about weeds anymore,”says Temitope Banjo, the Country Sales Manager of Bayer in Nigeria.
With this product, weeds that have remained a major challenger to increased cassava productivity in Nigeria and Africa in general could be thing of the past.
Women spend about 500 hours annually to keep a hectare of cassava weed-free using hoes. The manual method of weed control compromises the health of resource-constrained farmers and in some cases, children are pulled out of school to support weeding.
The product is now the answer to the menace of weeds. The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) managed the Cassava Weed Management Project in the last eight years screened more than 40 preemergence herbicides both on-station and on-farm. The trials and subsequently demonstrations were conducted in Abia, Benue, Ogun and Oyo states in Nigeria, and in Tanzania.
Meanwhile, farmers who have tried Lagon commended the preemergence herbicides for its efficacy. According to Mrs. Ngufan Chichi, a cassava commercial seed producer, the use of Lagon on farmers’ fields was doing ‘wonders’ and helping farmers to increase their yields and profits.
She added that the use of Lagon has helped her group to increase the size of their cassava farm in Benue.
“This is possible because we now manage weeds in cassava better,” she said, adding that with Lagon farmers were saving more on the cost of weeding.