Eco-friendliness of Weed Management Methods in Organic Farming: The Need for Extension Education

P.T. Owombo, O.Z. Aregbesola, K.A. Adeloye


Weeds constitute a major problem in crop production, and smallholder farmers have depended on the wide use of conventional weed control methods that mostly involve the use of synthetic chemicals which have attendant adverse effects on man, other organisms and the environment. In the face of the environmental and human hazards posed by the indiscriminate use, abuse and misuse of these chemicals, government at all levels as well as international organisation like the European Union (EU) have advocated eco-friendly weed management methods in order to maintain a healthy and sustainable environment. Research revealed that farmers do not make wide use of the eco-friendly control methods owing to a number of factors such as lack of farmers’ acceptability, cost implication, labour intensiveness and lack of virile extension system to mention few. It is therefore imperative to discuss the EU’s position on use of synthetic chemical in weed management, non-chemical or eco-friendly weed management methods, benefits associated with the methods and their limitations, dangers associated with the misuse of synthetic chemicals in weed management as well as the role that extension education can play in ensuring wide use of non-chemical methods of weed management and Integrated Weed Management (IWM). Future research needs are also identiï¬ed.

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