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   WCA Regional Research project 2

The West and Central Africa Semi-Arid Tropics (WCA-SAT)

RRP2: Agricultural diversification and sustainable agro-ecosystems

Integrated Striga and Soil Fertility Management

ICRISAT is using innovative on-station, modeling and participatory on-farm research in Mali, Niger and Nigeria to develop effective, applicable and profitable integrated Striga & soil fertility management (ISSFM) strategies for sorghum and pearl millet.

On-station research is carried out to determine the effectiveness of single and combined control techniques to increase crop yields and decrease Striga seed bank densities. Results from 3 years of trials on sorghum indicate that there are clear benefits to the combination of control. From simulations it appears that rigorous control of Striga seed production is necessary to prevent Striga population explosions and eventual damage to crop yields.

The ultimate test for an ISSFM strategy is the application and evaluation of such a strategy with farmers themselves in their own fields. ICRISAT uses the Cluster Based Farmer Field School (CBFFS) approach which provides a platform for farmers, facilitators and scientists to exchange knowledge, develop practical ISSFM strategies, observe the efficacy of Striga control and evaluate an ISSFM strategy in agronomic and economic terms. On-station and on-farm data is currently being analyzed and combined to understand the technological, cognitive and socio-economical bottlenecks of applying integrated Striga and soil fertility management and how to overcome these.

Contact: Tom Van Mourik, Regional Scientist, based in Bamako

Field infested with Striga in Mali.

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.