Striga Eradication from Maize Croplands

Striga is a parasitic weed preying upon different cereals, causing food insecurity in many regions.

A new booklet on this subject was published in 2006. It is entitled “Empowering Farmers to Eradicate Striga from Maize Croplands“. African Agricultural Technology Foundation. Nairobi, Kenya. 17 pp.

The booklet confirms that, for decades, Africa’s small-scale farmers were powerless to control this menacing plant parasite, but that recent technological breakthroughs are available to reverse this situation. These new technologies include the development of herbicide-resistant and Striga-tolerant maize varieties and the cultivation of companion legumes that suppress Striga and neutralise its seed in the soil.

This publication indicates that guidelines for conducting Striga eradication in maize fields have been developed. It insists on the fact that national research systems must be assisted to better characterise, map and monitor Striga infestation and to adjust and validate introduced technical approaches.

Emphasis is put on the requierement that very different partners work together toward a difficult common goaland that policymakers must view the threat posed by Striga as a correctable situation and include Striga management within larger agendas for rural development. Donors are asked to assign greater priority to the management of Striga in Africa and to recognise that its eradication is consistent with other emerging paradigms for African economic recovery.

Individuals and organisations committed to eradicate Striga and interested in copies of the full publication are encouraged to contact AATF for more information on our planned eradication initiative (Email: Website: More information on Striga is available at

Strongly recommended.

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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