Knowledge and Perceptions of Extension Officers on Striga spp. in Lilongwe and Machinga Agricultural Development Divisions in Malawi

  • H.R. Mloza-Banda
  • V.H. Kabambe
  • M. Mphepo
  • O. Chivinge


A training session on Striga spp. biology, ecology and control practices was held for extension officers from sixty extension planning areas (EPAs) of Lilongwe and Machinga Agricultural Development Divisions in Malawi. Following the training session a questionnaire was then used to assess whether extension officers meet the requirements for explaining to farmers the complexity of the Striga spp. problem. Although the officers appeared conversant with potential oposition for control of Striga spp., their knowledge about the biology and ecology of the parasitic weed was weak.

Front-line agricultural extension staff must be aware of the biology and ecology of Striga spp., and the long-term approach to be followed to manage Striga spp. effectively. In turn this knowledge must be made available to farmers through participatory approaches that are `farmer' or `situation' specific. The development of appropriate extension materials and practical training will be required if extension staff are to communicate potential innovations to combat Striga spp.

UNISWA Research Journal of Agriculture, Science and Technology Vol. 4 (1) 2000: pp 93-99

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eISSN: 1029-9645