Striga Infestation in Kenya: Status, Distribution and Management Options

Striga spp. is considered to be the greatest biological constraint to food production in sub-Saharan Africa, a more serious problem than insects, birds and plant diseases. They are among the most specialized root-parasitic plants inflicting serious injury to their host depriving them water, minerals and photosynthate. The greatest diversity of Striga spp. occurs in grassland. However, Striga hermonthica mainly occurs in farmland infecting grasses. The parasite devastating effect is accomplished prior to its emergence from the soil. It may cause yield losses in cereals ranging from 15% under favourable conditions to 100% where several stress factors are involved, thereby affecting the livelihood of millions of resource-poor farmers. Piecemeal approach to address one aspect of Striga problem at a time has been a setback in technology transfer to producers. Future Striga control programs should not be conducted separately, but should rather be conducted in an integrated approach that combines research talents of various institutions. This will facilitate collaborative research and achieve qualitative interaction between stakeholders, which can easily produce reliable technologies that are practical and available to farmers. Striga being a pervasive pest, time is of essence in controlling it. There is an urgent need for the establishment of policies to promote, implement, and ensure a long-term sustainable Striga control program.

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Sustainable Agriculture Research, 02, 2

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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