Crop Biotech Update

Research Partnership to Reduce Crop Loss From Striga Weed in Africa

June 10, 2011

A four-year partnership among research institutes: the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), with technical support from BASF Plant Science, and a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,  was recently launched to protect maize and legume fields in Kenya and other African countries from the parasitic weed Striga.

 "Previous initiatives have used single bullet approaches such as hand weeding or conventional herbicides," says Dr. Alpha Kamara, acting project manager and systems agronomist at IITA. "The current initiative uses diverse technologies in an integrated way. BASF's technology is one potential solution because it attacks this parasitic weed where it lives and grows: underground. But success will also depend on getting the right infrastructure and training in place," Kamara adds.

Results from this project will be documented, and lessons and best practices are hoped to provide strategies for other Striga-plagued countries, including Tanzania, Malawi, and Uganda.

For more details, view