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African farmers lose $1.2b to deadly “Striga” parasite - IITA

IBADAN - African farmers incur losses amounting to 1.2 billion dollars yearly due to the activities of a parasite known as “Striga” on their crops, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, has said.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Ibadan, the Institute further noted that farmers regularly lost 40 per cent to 100 per cent of their crops because of this parasite.

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Weed machine for Victoria Basin

By Manuel Odeny

More than 300,000 farmers at the Lake Victoria basin will benefit from a new machine to control the Striga weed. The machine, Ua Kayongo H1, laces the maize seed with a herbicide called strigaway that controls the deadly weed. The machine was handed over to the Kenya Seed Company after a research a joint research by Integrated Striga Management in Africa, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre, BASF and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation.

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Scientists confront a 'witch'

In Italian folklore, the term striga was widely associated with a witch, with a reputation as being very scary. 

The Italian striga, so the folk tale goes, could turn herself into a terrible bird of prey, with huge talons, a misshaped head and breasts filled with poisonous milk.  She preys on sleeping men and children, drinking the men’s blood and offering her poisonous milk to the children.

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Africa: Feeding the Planet by Leveling the Plowing Field for Women

In 1900, there were a mere 1.6 billion people on our planet. Today [March 2012], there are seven billion and by 2050 we will be nine billion. One would expect that with such rapid population growth, occurring in the midst of soaring food prices and food-related crises, we would be doing everything we could to increase food security for our most vulnerable people.

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Farmers to benefit from Striga resistant maize variety

More than 300,000 farmers in western Kenya vulnerable to parasitic Striga weed, locally known as "kwekwe", have a reason to smile.

This follows the unveiling of the Sh3 million equipment at the Kenya Seed Company (KSC) to produce Striga-resistant maize seeds. The equipment was donated Integrated Striga Management in Africa.

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New natural method to tame striga weed

By Kepher Otieno

Every morning Borniphas Aono, and Paul Nyakwaka look forward to tending their farms something they had not done for a while, thanks to a new farming technology.

For 15 years, the noxious striga weed affected their maize production in Yenga village, Kisumu.

Harvest time was disappointment galore. Aono recalls that he used to get about one to two bags of maize in an acre supposed to yield about six bags each season.

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Striga Project in the News

The Striga project made news lately, thanks to its outputs that have greatly contributed towards the elimination of hunger in Africa ...

This means that now Striga Project is the bona fide thing ... it's the project to be identified with

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Partnership to fight Striga

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.

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