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A tool for combating giant hogweed

Photo of Koldun Victor
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Lviv Technological Lyceum

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Researcher Institution

Website of Legally Registered Entity

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 10+ years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?


Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Poisonous weeds grow all over the planet Earth ...

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

The environmental situation on the territory of Ukraine is becoming more dangerous due to the spread of the dangerous weed - giant hogweed, which, without any natural enemies in our ecosystem, literally overgrown over all the uncultivated pieces of land, and emitting harmful secretion that is extreemly dangerous for human health. From which it also spreads to crops.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Giant hogweed poses a particular threat on the shores of natural reservoirs, where the shores have difficult terrain, which makes it impossible to use mechanized tools, and the use of herbicides is absolutely unacceptable, because of the threat of spilling them into the water. Hand tools, such as braids, sickles, flaps, etc., are of little use due to the threat of contact of the falling trunk of the giant hogweed with the person who is cutting him.

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

The main problem with weeding of giant hogweed is with its sap, which is very dangerous for human skin. This, in fact, hinders the proper fight against it. Therefore, it was decided to make the tool handle longer than the stem of the highest weeds: The long handle also required the development of a non-standard cutting element. After a series of experiments, the cutting head took the initial form of a reverse wedge: Such a cutter is able to self-centered on the trunk of giant hogweed and easily cuts them due to bevel cutting elements, the optimum angle of inclination of which was chosen experimentally. But such a tool proved to be too cumbersome to mow the giant hogweed in shrubs, so a three-quarter diamond design was implemented to significantly reduce the weight of the cutter. The lighter weight of the cutter, in turn, allows you to use an elongated handle with the help of which, you can cut down the giant hogweed in hard to reach locations.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

If weeds cannot be cut completely, then we can at least cut off their blossoms and prevent the seeds from being scattered. Winter will freeze the remains of the plant and for at least next year the area will be clear of giant hogweed. First of all, we tested the reliability of Desdechader self-centering on the weed trunk. After that multiple series of field tests were conducted. Tests have shown that mowing even the most dangerous weeds is easy and safe for mowers.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

The project turned out to be a successful one, quite suitable for implementation. The tool is easy to manufacture, easy to operate and is characterized by high performance. With Desdichader, you can easily cut down any weeds that are out of reach of the ordinary agricultural tools. The tool is ready for mass use.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Email


Join the conversation:

Photo of Andrea Vaz-König

Dear Victor!
Thank your for your participation and your contribution. While your contribution is an interesting one, it would be good if you could embed it in to a larger vision, that you see for the food SYSTEM overall. Maybe you would like to connect with other projects in your region, that may be of mutual benefit in developing your vision further? Also on the platform of the Food System Vision Prize you can find a number of tools and techniques that may help you to further develop your idea. Look forward to hearing from you and seeing how you vision amplifies!

Photo of Koldun Victor

I am always ready for mutually beneficial cooperation.