Innovative Cassava Harvesters introduced by CASTRAP generates positive feedback from Farmers


The project baseline observed that harvesting was considered one of the most difficult activities in cassava cultivation especially for women who dominate the production of the crop in the South East. Most respondents in that study indicated that this activity is usually the preserved of men due to its high energy requirement. The situation is not helped by the fact that most farmers plant using the flat bed method which results in compaction around the roots, thus, further exacerbating the already difficult activity.

Introducing improved variety also meant bigger tubers and increased yield. This also meant that harvesting roots will be more difficult base on the planting method adopted by the farmers. The backache and prolonged harvesting time were prominent among farmers who expressed difficulty during harvesting.

It was against the backdrop that the project in collaboration with the Crop Research Institute of Ghana introduce an innovative cassava harvesting tool to farmers in April, 2022. Unfortunately, at the time the harvesters arrived from Ghana, the harvesting season had closed meaning most farmers were not able to utilize the equipment. Where, trainings had been conducted, the equipment was deemed to be largely successful. However, it was yet to be observed in the harvest of large tubers across the five project counties.

The Project agronomist thus went round in Grand Gedeh and Sinoe to observe the use of the harvesters in the month of March and to find out from farmers how effective and efficient they were compared to their own harvesting methods. Farmers were full of praise for the harvesters. In the Kpanyan district, one farmer Mr. Nelson was full of praise for the harvester indicating that he could now harvest in 30 minutes the same quantity of cassava he would have hitherto harvested in 2 hours.

The harvesting tool which is best adapted to cassava with stem girth above 100 mm is effective in harvesting cassava planted using the mound and ridge method of planting can easily be fabricated under local conditions. Notwithstanding, the tools can be used to effectively harvest cassava planted using a flatbed once the soil is moist.