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Saving Africa’s maize and cowpea from the violet vampire

Agricultural researchers in sub-Saharan Africa are making progress towards ridding the region of the deadly parasitic weed—Striga that infests cereals such as maize and cowpea farms—by developing sustainable, multi-pronged management options that smallholder farmers could effectively and profitably deploy in their farms.

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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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