Item Details

Title: The use of animal-drawn weeders in the Teso farming system in Uganda

Date Published: 2002
Author/s: D.H O'Neill, F. Agobe
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Affiliation: SAARI


Draught animal power (DAP) is used extensively in the Teso farming system but almost exclusively for ploughing. Use of the animal-drawn (mouldboard) plough is attractive to farmers (and their families) as it enables them to increase the area under cultivation by substituting DAP for human labour. However, an increase in cropped area generates an increase in weeding demand, which is particularly burdensome for women and, if it can not be met, will negate the potential benefit of an expansion in cropping. The use of animal-drawn weeders (cultivators) is an established method of increasing the rate of weeding and offers a potential means of meeting greater weeding demands and enhancing the farming system productivity. The performance of different designs of weeder has been assessed in series of both on-farm and on-station field trials. Wide-ranging quantitative data (e.g. depth, width and speed of work, weeding efficiency, weed density, crop yield) and qualitative data (opinions of the operators – e.g. control during work, control during turning, clogging, ease of adjustment, strength and reliability, ease of transport) were collected for analysis. The comparative performance of the weeders for different crops, soil types and weed varieties will be presented and the implications for smallholder farmers discussed