IMPROVING THE LIVES OF
SMALLHOLDER AFRICAN FARMERS
DESIGNED WITH AND FOR SMALLHOLDER FARMERS
40 million farms in Africa are facing the biggest problem to food security you have probably never heard of: Striga. Striga looks innocent with its purple blooms, yet it can completely destroy the crops it infests. This little weed can kill 20-100% of the crops, leaving smallholder farmers with little food. At the Toothpick Project, we have created a biological solution to this biological problem. By selecting local fungal strains that produce unusually high amounts of specific amino acids, we were able to find an alternative solution to fighting Striga. This fungal strain specifically attacks the weed, rather than the crop, allowing striga-infested fields to increase their crop yield by 42-56%.
John Porter Sands, Jr. realized malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa could only be improved once food security increased.
Researched at Montana State University, specific fungal strains can target striga without harming the crop.
There are 40 million smallholder farmers who have striga on their fields, yet do not have access to solutions.
Increased crop yields improve nutrition, reduce risk of illness, and provide additional income to pay for education.