The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture has launched a mobile phone application that enables farmers to control weeds through the use of inputs.
The institute’s Digital Extension and Rural Advisory Services Specialist, Mr. Godwin Atser who made this known said the Application referred to “IITA Herbicides Calculator” has over 500 downloads from Google play store.
Atser noted that this would help resource-poor farmers to maximize the use of their inputs by allowing them to determine correctly the quantity of herbicide needed to add to a knapsack for a given spraying operation.
He added that the inauguration of the App by Lawrence Kent of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation during the 5th Annual Meeting of the IITA-Cassava Weed Management Project gave free access to farmers and other users to download the app from Google play store and use on their farms.
He emphasized that in most rural farming communities in Africa, the knapsack sprayer was a piece of common equipment used for herbicides application.
“However, the challenge farmers face is the wrongest application of herbicides as many cannot manually calculate the quantity of herbicide needed to load in the sprayer per given operation.
“With the mobile App, farmers by the click of four buttons on their mobile phones are able to know exactly the quantity of herbicides they need to load in their sprayers.
“Reviewers on Google play store said the App was a game changer that would revolutionize cassava farming in particular and agriculture in general.
“Reviewers emphasized that the mobile App would help farmers in their weed control activities which would result in increased yields and more profits.
According to Atser although the App was developed in the context of weed control in cassava farming systems, its application covers other arable crops such as rice, maize, soybean, and wheat.