Farmers embrace Striga control in Nigeria
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 2005. Farmers embrace Striga control in Nigeria. Spore 117. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47932
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore117.pdf
Farmers in over 50 communities in Nigeria s Middle Belt, often known as the food basket of the country, have successfully used Striga control methods to increase crop productivity and improve their livelihoods.
Farmers in over 50 communities in Nigeria s Middle Belt, often known as the food basket of the country, have successfully used Striga control methods to increase crop productivity and improve their livelihoods. The success is the result of a 4-year programme, Participatory Research and Extension Approaches (PREA), conducted by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Striga infests about 40% of arable land in the savannah regions of sub-Saharan Africa, threatening the livelihoods of more than 100 million people who depend on cereals and grains in the sub-region. A single Striga plant can produce over 50,000 seeds, which are capable of remaining in the soil for more than 20 years until a susceptible plant is available to stimulate their development. Striga causes low yields of sorghum, maize, rice and pearl millet and, in some cases, total crop failure. In sub-Saharan Africa, maize yield loss attributed to Striga is estimated at US$7 billion annually. The PREA technology uses Striga-resistant maize varieties, which have doubled yields in farmers fields. These include ACR 94 TZE COMP.5-W, an early maturing variety; IWD-STR, an intermediate maturing variety; and ACR.97TZL COMP.1-W, a late maturing variety. Many farmers who had abandoned their farms because of Striga have now returned to farm their land. Funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), of the United Kingdom, the PREA project has also involved setting up community-based seed production. A number of farmers have gone into partnership with private seed companies in the area. A micro-credit scheme has helped small-scale farmers get started with Striga-free seed production. The success of the project has brought calls for the scheme to be extended to Uganda s 19 northern states, where the weed has become a major cause of environmental degradation and poverty.