Updated Mar 29, 2021

Saving labor at the village level via biological weed control

https://gcgh.grandchallenges.org/grant/saving-labor-village-level-biological-weed-control

Claire Baker

Montana State University will work with Kenyan farmers to evaluate the performance of a biological control method for eliminating the parasitic weed Striga.
How does your innovation work?
Striga is a problem in 43 African countries, and manual weeding is highly time- and labor-intensive. They have previously developed a virulent fungal strain to inhibit weed growth, and shown that it can ...
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Montana State University will work with Kenyan farmers to evaluate the performance of a biological control method for eliminating the parasitic weed Striga.
How does your innovation work?
Striga is a problem in 43 African countries, and manual weeding is highly time- and labor-intensive. They have previously developed a virulent fungal strain to inhibit weed growth, and shown that it can be easily transported on toothpicks for safe and effective distribution. Preliminary field-tests in one village showed that this fungus could effectively control Striga, and in some instances double crop yield.
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Stage 4: Transition to Scale

Proof of Concept: Gates Grand Challenges Exploration: Labor Saving Strategies and Innovations for Women Smallholder Farmers (Round 11) David Sands of Montana State University in the U.S. will work with Kenyan women farmers to evaluate the performance of a biological control method for eliminating the parasitic weed Striga (witchweed), which can cause up to 80% loss of maize, millet, and sorghum yield in smallholder African farms. See published results in attached Frontiers paper Nzioki et. al. From this proof-of-concept, we created The Toothpick Project. See: https://www.globalinnovationexchange.org/innovation/toothpick-project
Registered in Kenya as For-Profitin Kenya as For-Profit

Focus Areas:

Agriculture and Cultivation & Tools

Agriculture and Cultivation & ToolsSEE LESS

Implemented In:

United States

United StatesSEE LESS

1
Country Implemented In
500
Customers
4
Employees
$100,000
Funds Raised to Date

Planned Goals and Milestones

Sands will expand this testing phase to women maize farmers in 50 villages and evaluate crop yield, weed reduction, and farmer satisfaction over 12 months.

Milestone

Date Unknown
Created
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
United States

Supporting Materials

Frontiers-Plant-Science-Striga-Toothpick-2016.pdf