African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6858

Full Length Research Paper

Socio-economic reasons for high weed infestations in Northwestern Benin maize (Zea maize L.) production systems

Geoffroy Gantoli
  • Geoffroy Gantoli
  • Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Germany.
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Horst Oebel
  • Horst Oebel
  • Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Germany.
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Desire S. M. Agossou
  • Desire S. M. Agossou
  • Department of Economics, Socio-Anthropology and rural Communication, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin.
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Roland Gerhards
  • Roland Gerhards
  • Department of Weed Science, Institute of Phytomedicine, University of Hohenheim, Otto-Sander Straße 5, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany.
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  •  Received: 22 September 2015
  •  Accepted: 03 November 2015
  •  Published: 31 December 2015


Right timing of weed control is one of the most important challenges farmers in North Benin are facing. Weed infestation rates in maize production in the dry savanna zone in Northwestern Benin are often very high causing significant yield losses. The aim of the study was to determine reasons for late weed control in maize, which is the dominating crop in this area. A survey was conducted among 100 representative farmers in Northwestern Benin. Descriptive statistical methods were used to calculate proportion, frequency or mean of socio-economic data assessed. The descriptive analysis aimed to select relevant variables for regression analysis. Regression models were applied to identify reasons for low weed control efficacy in maize. The results revealed that poor weed control in maize often occurred in small family farms with diverse cropping systems. These famers are often in conflict to control weeds in several crops simultaneously. Weeds are mostly removed by hand-hoeing. Due to their economic situation, they have usually no access to hired labor. Maize yields in the surveyed area could be increased if farmers had access to credit services (1), if farmers would get better recommendations of critical periods of weed control (2) and if more efficient weed control methods would be available to suppress weed populations (3).

Key words: Manual weeding, critical period of weed control, small producer, crop diversification, credit access facilities.