Paraquat boosts profitability for Filipino Farmers
Paraquat is an important tool in the armoury of Filipino farmers in their battle against weeds. Farming is one of the most important industries in the Philippines. More than one third of the country’s labor-force works on farms. Most farms are small, averaging only 2 ha in size, and farmers need to grow a variety of higher value crops in order to be profitable. This is where the agronomic and environmental properties of paraquat and its versatility are invaluable. A recent survey of Filipino farmers and their use of paraquat has emphasised its economic benefits.Data were collected on the costs of inputs and labor involved in growing several crops, and on their ultimate financial returns. Of the various costs, paraquat users consistently made large savings in two particulars areas:
Benefits of paraquatIn the Philippines paraquat is used in crops ranging from staples like rice and maize, to a huge range of vegetables, and to plantation crops like sugar cane. Paraquat can be used to control a broad spectrum of weeds before planting and later between the rows of growing crops. The soil properties of paraquat mean that it cannot damage the crop via the roots or adversely affect the establishment of following crops. This is because paraquat is deactivated immediately on contact with soil. Similarly, seeds are not prevented from germinating, so new weed cover can be allowed to grow and protect the soil from erosion before being removed, when necessary, by another spray round. Paraquat does not leach
DescriptionThe natural process by which water soluble substances are carried downward through the soil into groundwater. and kills only weed shoots, so roots remain to anchor the soil and resist erosion. You can read more about the benefits of paraquat here.
Survey of paraquat useRecently, researchers from the University of the Philippines Los Baños have surveyed farmers in several regions of the Philippines, growing a range of different crops, to determine the economic benefits of using paraquat. Data were collected from nearly 500 farmers who either had used or had not used paraquat for weed control.
Reasons to use paraquatThe survey revealed that participating farmers who use paraquat chose to do so for two main reasons:
- Paraquat saves on the cost of labor
- Paraquat kills weeds fast
- Land preparation