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Advanced Weed Management Mechanical and Chemical Weed Management

Weed Management for Optimal Yield

This technology helps farmers grow beans more effectively by dealing with the problem of weeds. Weeds can take away important nutrients and sunlight from the bean plants, making them weaker and giving less harvest. This technology offers two main solutions: using special chemicals or machines to get rid of the weeds. These methods are much faster and easier than doing it by hand. It's like giving the beans a better environment to grow in, so they can be healthier and give more beans for the farmers. This is especially helpful for small-scale farmers who may not have a lot of people to help with the hard work. Overall, this technology makes bean farming more efficient and helps farmers get better harvests.


This technology is TAAT1 validated.


Scaling readiness: idea maturity 7/9; level of use 8/9

250—500 USD

Mechanical weeders/unit

ROI: $$$ 35 %

Net profit from implementing the technology in Ethiopia

27 USD

Pre-emergent herbicide and labor/Ha

46 USD/ha

Equipment and labor

743 USD

Net profit per Ha from implementing the technology in Ethiopia


Open source / open access


  • Common beans are highly susceptible to weed encroachment, resulting in significant yield losses ranging from 60 to 100%. This susceptibility poses a major challenge to farmers as it directly affects their crop productivity and economic returns.
  • Weeds compete with common beans for essential resources such as light, nutrients, and moisture, thereby hindering the development of root and shoot systems. This competition deprives common bean plants of the necessary resources for healthy growth and development, ultimately impacting their overall yield potential.
  • Weed infestation may harbor pests and diseases, further exacerbating the challenges faced by common bean growers. Weeds can provide a suitable habitat for various pests and pathogens, increasing the risk of infestations and diseases that can significantly reduce crop yields and quality.
  • Allelopathic chemicals released by weeds can have detrimental effects on the root systems of common beans. These chemicals can inhibit the growth and development of common bean roots, compromising their ability to absorb water and nutrients from the soil, and ultimately leading to stunted growth and reduced yields.
  • Shading caused by tall weeds can lead to lodging of bean stems, making them more vulnerable to damage from environmental factors such as wind and rain. Lodging can result in physical damage to bean plants, further reducing their productivity and overall quality.
  • Manual weed removal from fields is labor-intensive and costly, posing a significant challenge to farmers. The time and resources required for manual weed control can significantly impact productivity and profitability, making it necessary to explore alternative weed management strategies.


  • Efficient Weed Control: Mechanical and chemical techniques are available to effectively control weeds throughout the growing season, reducing competition for resources and minimizing yield losses.
  • Improved Productivity: By removing weeds that compete for light, nutrients, and moisture, mechanical and chemical weed management techniques facilitate the healthy development of common bean plants, leading to increased productivity and higher yields.
  • Reduced Labor and Costs: Unlike manual weed removal, which is labor-intensive and costly, mechanical and chemical weed management techniques offer a more efficient and cost-effective alternative, saving time and resources for farmers.
  • Enhanced Crop Health: By eliminating weeds that harbor pests and diseases or produce allelopathic chemicals harmful to common bean plants, mechanical and chemical weed management contribute to improved crop health and reduced risk of pest and disease outbreaks.
  • Adaptability: Mechanical and chemical weed management techniques can be adapted to various common bean growing areas, providing a flexible and scalable solution that resonates with small-scale farmer communities.
  • Increased Profitability: The greater productivity, reduced labor costs, and improved crop health resulting from mechanical and chemical weed management translate into increased profitability for common bean growers, contributing to their economic sustainability.

Key points to design your business plan

Utilizing this technology enhances agricultural productivity, improves weed management efficiency, reduces labor and costs, bolsters food security, and stimulates economic growth in farming communities. It also advances sustainable practices, facilitates job creation, and enhances farmers' livelihoods.

Consider the following cost structure:

  • Pre-emergence herbicides and labor cost approximately US $27 per hectare.

  • Mechanical weeders range between US $250 and $500, depending on type and attachments.

  • Cost breakdown for single-row motorized weeders: Equipment is about US $7 per hectare, while labor is approximately US $39 per hectare, totaling US $46 per hectare.

  • There is potential for cost reduction with larger, multiple-row weeders.

  • Maintenance is required for knapsack sprayers and power weeders.

Training is essential for successful implementation. Additionally, include delivery costs to the project site and account for import clearance and duties if applicable, considering the technology's availability in various countries. Key partners such as agro dealers are necessary.

Estimate the profit realized with this practice, noting that in Ethiopia, implementing weed management strategies yields a net profit of US $743 per hectare, a 35% increase compared to conventional hand management.


Positive or neutral impact

Adults 18 and over
Positive high
The poor
Positive low
Under 18
Positive low
Positive low

Positive or neutral impact

Climate adaptability
It adapts somewhat well
Adaptability for farmers
It helps a lot
It doesn't hurt them
Carbon footprint
It doesn't reduce emissions at all
It doesn't make a difference
Soil quality
It makes the soil healthier and more fertile
Water usage
It uses the same amount of water

Countries with a green colour
Tested & adopted
Countries with a bright green colour
Countries with a yellow colour
Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burundi Burkina Faso Democratic Republic of the Congo Djibouti Côte d’Ivoire Eritrea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Cameroon Kenya Libya Liberia Madagascar Mali Malawi Morocco Mauritania Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Republic of the Congo Rwanda Zambia Senegal Sierra Leone Zimbabwe Somalia South Sudan Sudan South Africa Eswatini Tanzania Togo Tunisia Chad Uganda Western Sahara Central African Republic Lesotho
Countries where the technology has been tested and adopted
Country Tested Adopted
Benin Not tested Adopted
Burundi Not tested Adopted
Cameroon Not tested Adopted
Central African Republic Not tested Adopted
Côte d’Ivoire Not tested Adopted
Democratic Republic of the Congo Not tested Adopted
Ghana Not tested Adopted
Kenya Not tested Adopted
Madagascar Not tested Adopted
Malawi Not tested Adopted
Mozambique Not tested Adopted
Nigeria Not tested Adopted
Rwanda Not tested Adopted
Senegal Not tested Adopted
South Sudan Not tested Adopted
Tanzania Not tested Adopted
Zambia Not tested Adopted
Zimbabwe Not tested Adopted

This technology can be used in the colored agro-ecological zones. Any zones shown in white are not suitable for this technology.

Agro-ecological zones where this technology can be used
AEZ Subtropic - warm Subtropic - cool Tropic - warm Tropic - cool

Source: HarvestChoice/IFPRI 2009

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are applicable to this technology.

Sustainable Development Goal 1: no poverty
Goal 1: no poverty
Sustainable Development Goal 2: zero hunger
Goal 2: zero hunger
Sustainable Development Goal 5: gender equality
Goal 5: gender equality
Sustainable Development Goal 8: decent work and economic growth
Goal 8: decent work and economic growth
Sustainable Development Goal 12: responsible production and consumption
Goal 12: responsible production and consumption
Sustainable Development Goal 13: climate action
Goal 13: climate action
Sustainable Development Goal 15: life on land
Goal 15: life on land

This technology works by getting rid of the weeds that can harm bean plants. There are two ways it does this:

  1. Chemical Method: 

    • Special chemicals are used to kill weeds without hurting bean plants.
    • These chemicals are sprayed on the field to keep weeds from growing.
  2. Mechanical Method: 

    • Machines are used to remove weeds from the field.
    • These machines can cut or bury the weeds, making sure they don't bother the bean plants.

Last updated on 30 April 2024