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“Six Steps” cassava weed management

Weed-free Fields, Bountiful Yields!

The "Six Steps Cassava Weed Management" technology is a comprehensive solution to the persistent issue of weed encroachment in cassava fields across Sub-Saharan Africa. By offering a decision support framework that covers various key control measures, it empowers farmers to keep their cassava crops free of weeds, resulting in significantly higher root yields. This innovative approach is adaptable to the diverse agricultural conditions and resources of small-scale farmers, making it a valuable tool for increasing cassava productivity and improving food security in the region.


This technology is TAAT1 validated.


Scaling readiness: idea maturity 6/9; level of use 7/9

30–50 %

Root yield increased


  • Weed Encroachment: Cassava fields across Sub-Saharan Africa are often overrun by weeds, as farmers generaally do not take adequate and timely measures to keep weed covers low.
  • Slow Canopy Development: The planting arrangement of cassava and its slow canopy development make the crop susceptible to encroachment by weeds in the first 10-16 weeks of cultivation.
  • Nutrient and Water Competition: When weeds are abundant on farms, they consume significant nutrients and water from the soil, severely reducing the yield of cassava roots.
  • Complex Weed Challenge: The diversity of weed types, including grasses, broad leaves, and even bushy plants, requires a multifaceted approach.
  • Resource Availability: The availability of equipment and herbicides can be a limiting factor for some small-scale farmers.


  •  Improved Yield: By effectively managing weeds, cassava farmers can achieve significantly higher root yields, often exceeding 20 tons per hectare, compared to the national average of 9 tons per hectare.
  • Comprehensive Approach: The technology provides a holistic strategy that includes site selection, weed identification, herbicide application, tillage operations, plant spacing, and post-emergence weeding, ensuring thorough weed control.
  • Customized to Local Conditions: It is adaptable to diverse agricultural contexts, from sub-humid savannahs to highlands and humid lowlands, addressing various forms of weed encroachment.
  • Enhanced Decision Support: The "Six Steps" approach offers decision support and recommendations aligned with prevailing conditions, helping farmers keep their cassava crops free of weeds and achieve high root yields.
  • Resource-Friendly: Small-scale farmers can implement this strategy using simple and cost-effective equipment and herbicides, making it accessible to a wide range of farmers.

Key points to design your business plan

For Farmers

The “Six Steps” toolkit is indeed a valuable resource for farmers, especially those growing cassava crops. It provides decision support and recommendations for weed management and planting practices, which can be accessed free of charge from the internet. However, implementing these steps does require substantial investment from farmers.

Weed management, in particular, can be quite costly. Weed removal can take up between 30% - 50% of total labor costs, translating to approximately US $28-46 per hectare. Additionally, the application of herbicides using manual knapsack sprayers usually costs around US $20-30 per hectare. These costs are significant and highlight the importance of effective weed management strategies to ensure the profitability of cassava farming. It’s crucial for farmers to factor these costs into their budgeting and planning processes.

Also, consider undergoing training on the tool. You can also collaborate with local extension services and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to receive support.



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
Democratic Republic of the Congo Tested Adopted
Nigeria Tested Adopted
Tanzania Tested Adopted
Zambia 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

Last updated on 29 May 2024