The parasitic weed–(Striga spp.), is a major biotic constraint and a serious threat to subsistence cereal crop (sorghum, maize, pearl millet, finger millet and upland rice) production in sub-Saharan Africa. Severity of the parasitic weed in this area is aggravated by the inherent low soil fertility, recurrent drought and overall natural resource degradation. Striga hermonthica (Del.) Benth. and S. asiatica (L.) Kuntze are the major biotic constrains to crop production, especially in the non-fertile semi-arid region of Africa, whereas S. aspera (Willd.) Benth. and S. forbesii Benth. are of lower economic importance. Striga produces numerous minute seeds, which can remain dormant in the soil for as long as up to 20 years. Yield losses due to Striga damage range between 20-80% in Africa but total crop failure is possible in the worst situations. A review of these findings has been discussed for the benefit of poor-resource farmers. Based from these findings, different control measures has been recommended in tackling the negative effects of this weed. Striga can be managed using one or more methods: use of cultural and mechanical control practices, nitrogen fertilizers, push pull technology, biological control practices, resistant host crops, use of herbicides and integrated Striga control methods. However, an integrated Striga management strategies suitable approach, a combined use of two or more control measures, is required to achieve success against this pernicious weed.
Key words: Striga spp., host crops, crop losses, control methods.
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