Kenya: Cheaper weed control
Some farmers jump to conclusions about chemicals being too expensive without taking the time to calculate the costs of not using the most efficient ways of farming. An article published in the African Executive in February 2007 describes how the weedkiller paraquat can increase farmers’ revenues. One farmer in Eastern Kenya, with a fifteen acre farm hired casual laborers to do manual weeding – until he suddenly realized how expensive it was. Here are the economics behind his thinking:
- A casual laborer is paid Ksh. 250* (2.72 €) a day (including lunch and tea breaks).
- For 15 acres, 5 workers are needed for 10 days: Ksh. 20,000 (218 €).
- Savings: Ksh.18,000 (195€) per season,
- Fewer days work
- Laborers are spared injuries and possible disfigurement from back-breaking hand weeding.