Striga gesnerioides is one of the major constraints to cowpea production in West Africa. In Burkina Faso, Striga is a national phenomenon despite the control measures proposed by research. This study aims to collect farmers' perceptions of S. gesnerioides. Thus, a survey was conducted among cowpea producers in 15 localities across the four agroclimatic zones of Burkina Faso. Data collected were related to farmers' ability to distinguish S. gesnerioides from Striga hermonthica, their perceptions of yield losses, local control strategies they use and the social utility of Striga. The study revealed a good knowledge of the pest by farmers. Farmers identified S. gesnerioides by its small height, its bushy growth habit and the haustorium that distinguishes it. They attributed 20 to 100% yield losses to the effects of the parasite. The most widely used indigenous control method is by manually uprooting the plants. Despite of its harmfulness to cowpeas, S. gesnerioides is used in traditional medicine to treat diabetes and curing animal’s wounds and urinary problems.
Key words: Farmers’ perceptions, ethnobotanical survey, Striga gesnerioides, use.
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