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13 Jul

African Seed

Source IITA – Ibadan, Nigeria

Agricultural researchers in sub-Saharan Africa are making progress towards ridding the region of the deadly parasitic weed—Striga that infests cereals such as maize and cowpea farms—by developing sustainable, multi-pronged management options that smallholder farmers could effectively and profitably deploy in their farms.

Striga is a crop parasite that is considered to be one of the biggest constraints to agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Also known as the violet vampire because of the beautiful violet flowers it produces, the Striga weed mostly affects cereals such as maize and legumes such as cowpea grown in the region. Farmers regularly lose 40 to 100 percent of their crops, with total losses amounting to about US$1.2 billion every year and affecting the livelihoods of more than 25 million smallholder farmers.

Like a vampire, the pest sucks and drains its host of water and vital nutrients to the point that…

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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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