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An assessment of integrated Striga hermonthica control and early adoption by farmers in northern Nigeria
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Two sets of on-farm trials, each covering two years, were conducted in the northern Guinea savannah of Nigeria over the period 1999–2001, the objective being to compare integrated Striga hermonthica control measures (soybean or cowpea trap crops followed by maize resistant to Striga) with farmers' traditional cereal-based cropping systems. In both sets of trials, this proved to be highly effective in increasing productivity over the two year period, especially where soybean was used as a trap crop. Resistant maize after a trap crop increased the net benefit over the two cropping seasons in both trials by over 100% over farmer practice. However, in the second set of trials there was no significant increase in productivity between a trap crop followed by Striga resistant maize, and a trap crop followed by local maize especially where legume intercropping and fertilizer had been applied in the farmer practice. There was also no increase in productivity between two years' traditional cereal cropping and one year's local maize followed by Striga resistant maize. This indicates the importance of a legume trap crop in the first year in order to ensure high productivity in the second year, regardless of variety. Up to 20% of farmers obtained higher productivity from their own practices, notably intercropping of cereals with legumes and use of inorganic fertilizers. Leguminous trap crops and Striga resistant maize, together with two key management practices (increased soybean planting density and hand-roguing) were seen to be spreading both within and beyond the research villages, indicating that farmers see the economic benefits of controlling Striga. Survey findings show that explaining the reasons why control practices work can greatly increase the adoption of these practices. Wider adoption of Striga control will therefore require an extension approach that provides this training as well as encouraging farmers to experiment and adapt Striga control options for their local farming systems.
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Permanent link to this itemhttps://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12478/4188
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