Villager Uses Manual Farming Equipment

Votua villager from Nadroga, 55-year-old Mosese Qio works on his farms using manual equipment. For the preparation of his and he uses two work bulls. “I used horses before but
28 Jul 2017 11:00
Villager Uses Manual Farming Equipment

Votua villager from Nadroga, 55-year-old Mosese Qio works on his farms using manual equipment.

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

“I used horses before but I had sold them and currently I’m using two work bulls,” he said.

He plants cassava, dalo, kumala, water melons and vegetables.

Mr Qio also has a piggery and a cattle farm.

When asked about his farming equipments he said – cane knives, digging forks and spades, wood cutting axe, knapsack spray and hose pipe.

He said he could not use the modern agricultural techniques and inputs because they were too expensive and too difficult to acquire.

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

According to Mr Qio the use of manual farming equipments required a lot of commitment, dedication and hard work.

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

Basically he said he could not work without these equipments.
“I use my cane knife to weed the grass that grows in my plantation. I use the spade and fork for planting, the rake to remove the cut grass or other fallen leaves.”

According to Mr Qio their food security is good and they only buy essential groceries as they had vegetables and root crops in their farm.


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

Effective method of removing weeds

Practical and efficient method of removing weeds within 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 large scale area of rice

It is difficult to distinguish weed seedlings from rice seedlings at early stage of growth and uprooting or damaging rice cannot be avoided. This occurs particularly in direct-seeded rice

Hand weeding is most useful on annual weeds and certain perennial weeds that usually do not regenerate from underground parts.

It is a practical method of removing weeds within rows and hills where a cultivating implement cannot be used, but requires more labor than other direct weed control methods.

Hand weeding of young weeds at the two-leaf to three-leaf growth stages is extremely difficult.

Therefore, hand weeding is generally delayed until weeds are large enough to be grasped easily. The method requires adequate soil moisture to ensure that weeds can be easily pulled. After weeding, the weeds usually have to be removed from the field to stop them from regenerating when left sitting in the field water.

Meanwhile mechanical method, on the other hand, includes the application of mechanized interrow cultivation and other mechanical method.


IRRI WeedSmart added that for mechanical weed control, straight row planting is essential. Example of tillage implements are rotary weeder and lithao. Weed control by tillage is achieved by:

  1. Burial. The weeds are buried in the soil thrown over them by the tillage tools. If the weeds growing points is buried, most annual weeds are killed by this method of weed control
  2. Disturbance of the roots. Passing of the tillage implement looses the soil or cuts the root system so weeds die of desiccation before they can reestablish.



 Requires less time to wee rice than manual weeding.

Lower cost than manual weeding



Inability to control weeds growing close to crop plants.

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

Improper use of tillage implements can damage the rice.


Mechanical weeding

Mechanical weeding is another direct method of weed control. For all mechanical methods, straight-row planting is essential.

Mechanized inter-row cultivation has the advantage that it aerates the soil, which often seems to help crop growth.

However, mechanical weeding may be less effective than hand weeding because weeds within the crop rows are not removed.  Competition from those weeds that survive can be harmful.

The challenges for mechanical weeding are that it requires row planted crops and it is very difficult if the soil surface is dry or if the soil sets hard.

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