National Academies Of Sciences (NAS)

RESEARCHER: Dr. Steven M. Runo

PROJECT TITLE: Derailing Witchweed (Striga) Virulence in Rice to Achieve Durable and Broad-Spectrum Resistance

ABSTRACT:Witchweeds (Striga spp.) are by far the most economically damaging weeds in the sub-tropics and tropics that attack cereals and legumes. The Striga genus is composed of 30–35 species, over 80% of which are found in Africa. The most economically important Striga species are S. hermonthica (Del.) Benth. and S. asiatica Kuntze which attack cereals and whereas S. gesnerioides (Willd.) Vatkewhich parasitizes cowpea and other legumes. About two-thirds of the farmland under cultivation in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is infested with one or more species of Striga, directly affecting over 300 million farmers in over 25 countries with yield losses of over 7 billion dollars annually (1). There is no single effective method for controlling Striga. Any strategy that reduces seed density in the soil is effective. >>Read More<<

RESEARCHER: Dr. Mary Baaru

PROJECT TITLE: Unlocking Agricultural Potential in Drylands: Enhancing Efficient Utilization of Soil Moisture for Improved Smallholder Farm Productivity in ASALs of Kenya

ABSTRACT:Arid and semi arid areas are characterized by low erratic rainfall, periodic droughts, high rate of evaporation and sometimes heavy floods that threaten agricultural activities (Cofie, 2004). Despite this, agriculture and pastoralism are the main sources of livelihood in these areas. Agricultural production remains low as moisture availability, identified as critical both in crop growth and vegetation restoration is a challenge (Fu et. al. 2004). Rain water harvesting is a prospective approach that can unlock the potential of these areas and hence contribute to improving small scale farmer’s livelihood in the dry lands (Ibraimo and Munguambe, 2007).>>Read More<<

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