admin | August 13, 2018
This week’s Farmer story from DRC focuses on intercropping. Our Script of the week focuses on the benefits of intercropping and crop rotation for controlling the weed called striga.
Striga poses a terrible problem for millions of farmers. Women especially spend a lot of time pulling striga from the fields. Striga feeds on rice, maize, millet, sorghum, cowpeas, and sugar cane, and can damage up to 70% of crops in a field.
The key to managing striga, also known as witchweed, is to use a variety of control methods at the same time. Crop rotation, intercropping, planting resistant cereal varieties, soil fertilization, and hand weeding are all important methods that should be used together when managing striga. This script discusses crop rotation and intercropping.
One section of the script refers to Desmodium, a forage crop that has shown some success in reducing striga growth when interplanted between rows of maize. If possible, before you air this program, find out whether this crop grows locally in your area and how farmers might be able to obtain it.
Please note that Desmodium is also used along with Napier grass or Brachiaria as part of the push-pull method to manage both striga and Fall armyworm.
Farmers in your listening audience may have their own successful methods of controlling striga. You could conduct interviews or gather additional local information to include in your program.