A villager uses manual agricultural equipment


Villager of Votua de Nadroga, Mosese Qio, 55, works on his farms using manual equipment. For the preparation of his and he uses two working bulls. “I used horses before, but

Villager of Votua de Nadroga, Mosese Qio, 55, works on his farms using manual equipment.

For the preparation of his and he uses two working bulls.

“I used to use horses before, but I had sold them and I am currently using two working bulls,” he said.

He plants cassava, dalo, kumala, watermelons and vegetables.

Mr. Qio also owns a pigsty and a breeding farm.

Asked about his farm equipment, he replied: cane knives, digging forks and spades, wood ax, backpack sprayer and garden hose.

He said he couldn’t use modern farming techniques and inputs because they were too expensive and too difficult to acquire.

However, he said he listened to the advice of agricultural officers in Sigatoka especially in modern techniques of manual farming.

According to Mr. Qio, using manual farm equipment required a lot of commitment, dedication and hard work.

He said the equipment had helped his family all these years.

Basically he said he couldn’t work without this equipment.
“I use my cane knife to weed the grass that grows on my plantation. I use the spade and pitchfork to plant, the rake to remove cut grass or other fallen leaves.

According to Qio, their food security is good and they only buy essential groceries because they had vegetables and roots on their farm.

According to IRRI WeedSmart, the advantages of using manual equipment are –

Effective method to eliminate weeds

Convenient and effective method of removing weeds in rows or hills of rice where weeds cannot be controlled by other means


Extremely tedious and time consuming

It is not practical to use on a large area of ​​rice

It is difficult to distinguish weed seedlings from rice seedlings at the early stage of growth, and uprooting or damage to the rice cannot be avoided. This especially occurs in no-till rice.

Hand weeding is particularly useful on annual weeds and some perennial weeds which generally do not regenerate from underground parts.

It is a convenient method of removing weeds in rows and hills where a cultivation tool cannot be used, but requires more labor than other direct weed control methods.

Manual weeding of young weeds in the two to three leaf stages of growth is extremely difficult.

Therefore, manual weeding is usually delayed until the weeds are large enough to be easily picked up. The method requires adequate soil moisture to ensure that weeds can be easily pulled out. After weeding, weeds usually need to be removed from the field to prevent them from regenerating when left in the field water.

Meanwhile, the mechanical method, on the other hand, includes the application of mechanized cultivation between the rows and other mechanical methods.

IRRI WeedSmart added that for mechanical weed control planting in straight rows is essential. Examples of tillage implements are the rotary weeder and the lithao. Weed control by tillage is achieved by:

  1. Interment. Weeds are buried in the ground thrown on by the tillage tools. If weed growing points are buried, most annual weeds are killed by this weeding method.
  2. Root disturbance. The passage of the tillage implement loses soil or cuts the root system, so weeds die of desiccation before they can recover.


 Requires less time to weed rice than manual weed control.

 Lower cost than manual weeding


Inability to control weeds growing near cultivated plants.

Cannot be used effectively when the soil is too dry or too wet.

Improper use of tillage tools can damage the rice.

Mechanical weeding

Mechanical weed control is another direct method of weeding. For all mechanical methods, planting in a straight line is essential.

Mechanized cultivation between rows has the advantage of aerating the soil, which often appears to promote crop growth.

However, mechanical weed control may be less effective than manual weed control because weeds in the crop rows are not removed. Competition from surviving weeds can be harmful.

The challenges of mechanical weed control are that it requires row crops and is very difficult if the soil surface is dry or the soil is hardening.

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