Witchweeds (Striga species) decimate agriculture in much of Africa and parts of Asia, attacking the major cereal grains and legumes, and halving the already very low yields of subsistence farmers. Several years of research have provided promising technologies, based on the fundamental biology of the parasite-host associations, for dealing with this scourge. However, there is an apparent realization that these technologies will fail because highly successful weeds such as Striga evolve resistance to all types of controls unless proven methods are integrated with each other for a more sustainable solution.Integration is often an anathema to basic scientists who typically deal with single variables and solutions. However, key leaders in the development of the new knowledge-based control strategies, already in the field and under development, recently joined forces to develop strategies and projects in order to integrate the technologies in a symposium in Ethiopia in November 2006. The encouraging results are described in this peer-reviewed book, authored by leaders in the field who have been supplying the basic biology, genetics, biochemistry, and molecular information that have offered insights and generated technologies in how to deal with Striga.
Introduction -- The Witches' Curse; Biology and Chemistry -- The Needed Basics; Knowledge-based Breeding -- Translating Information to Products; Biotechnology: Opening New Frontiers; Agronomic Options: The First and Essential Line of Control and Policy Considerations; Biocontrol: Untapped Potential?.