Farmers’ Perception and Constraints to the Adoption of Weed Control Options: the Case of Striga asiatica in Malawi

  •  Evans Atera    
  •  Kazuyuki Itoh    
  •  Tetsushi Azuma    
  •  Takashige Ishii    


Studies were conducted to determine farmers’ perception on Striga control options and their potential for adoption in two Extension Planning Areas (EPAs) in Central Malawi. Individual interviews were conducted in Mpingu (Lilongwe District) and Mponela (Dowa District) EPAs in 2010 in a sample of 247 respondents. The study revealed that crop production was the main source of livelihood for most households. Farmers identified Striga as a constraint to maize production and attributed its increasing incidence to insufficient funds to purchase inputs, soil fertility and grazing animals. On Striga control mechanisms, manure application was perceived to be the best by farmers, followed by crop rotation, fertilizer application and hand pulling. Even though Striga infestation is increasing in farmers fields, they have not adopted the control options. The low adoption of the options has been justified as “too risky” as farmers do not trust them. Emphasis should be laid on undertaking on-farm trials and development of technologies should involve farmers if they are to gain wide acceptability.

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