Understanding striga and how to curb the weed

Prof Mathew Dida of the Department of Agriculture, Maseno University who has been researching on the striga weed for the last 16 years. PHOTO | ELIZABETH OJINA | NMG

What you need to know:

  • Farmers loss 90 per cent to 100 per cent of their yields. It is a threat to food security because it has been resilient over the years.
  • It is difficult to control because the seed can hibernate in the soil even if you don’t plant any crop for 20 years.
  • There are a number of factors that make the weed prevalent in western Kenya. Natural disasters like floods which are common in western region helps the spread of the weed from one farm to the other.
  • The plant does this by producing very little chemical that doesn’t awaken the growth of striga.

Over the years, striga weed has been a threat to food security in the country, affecting mainly the maize crop in western Kenya, where it is prevalent. Elizabeth Ojina spoke to Prof Mathew Dida of the Department of Agriculture, Maseno University who has been researching on the weed for the last 16 years

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