One more reason to grow soya bean

Mary Kageya displays a maize cob in her farm in Busia. Prof Mathew Dida, a lecturer at Maseno University’s Department of Agriculture says soya beans produce some repelling chemical that induces suicidal germination of the striga weed. PHOTO | LEOPOLD OBI | NMG

What you need to know:

  • Soya bean, an edible and a highly nutritious legume, is planted 30 inches apart and matures three months after planting.
  • The crop is not only a good source of protein, but it fixes nitrogen in the soil and now, farmers like Kageya are using it to fight striga.
  • Prof Mathew Dida, a lecturer at Maseno University’s Department of Agriculture, who has been researching on the striga weed for the last 16 years, says soya beans, just like most legumes, produce some repelling chemical that induces suicidal germination of the striga weed.
  • The weed is prevalent in western Kenya due to a number of factors, among them floods which hasten the spread.

Mary Kageya, 38, beams with joy as she winnows heaps of soya beans she just threshed.

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