Kichawi Kill approved for use against Striga


After a dozen years of research and testing, the biological herbicide Kichawi Kill has been approved for commercial use against Striga (witchweed) by the Kenya Pest Control Product Board (PCPB).

Striga is one of the worst pests threatening food security in sub-Saharan Africa. It attacks the roots of crops such as maize, sorghum and millet, reducing crop yields by 20 to 100 percent.

Kichawi Kill is manufactured by inoculating cooked rice with the fungus Fusarium oxysporum fsp strigae and applying 1-2 grams of the freshly prepared substrate at each maize planting hill. Kichawi Kill kills Striga seeds as they germinate or soon thereafter. The Striga that escapes produce less flowers and seed capsules, thereby reducing subsequent infestation.
Kichawi Kill, developed by Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and partners, is now being made available to farmers in western Kenya. The registration and commercialization of Kichawi Kill follows decade long collaborative research between KALRO and Montana State University (MSU-USA) that began in 2008.
(Read more about the initiative in the story “Slaying Striga” in our Nov/Dec 2020 issue.)
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