TRAINING

Montana State University has developed a highly effective method for the biocontrol of weeds. In an effort to expand the use of this effective technology in Striga management across Africa, we are selecting scientists from Striga-infested countries for an in-depth training in the technology, to take place at Montana State University over 2-3 weeks in early 2018. Thanks to generous support from the Ohrstrom Foundation, full and partial scholarships are available (including airfare).  

 

The technology involves:

  1. Fungal isolation;

  2. Virulence testing;

  3. Metabolic selection of improved virulence (without GMO);

  4. Laboratory production of primary inoculum;

  5. Field testing on smallholder farms;

  6. Coordination with NGO’s for distribution to smallholder farmers;

  7. Media relationships; and

  8. Permits and registration activities.

 

Working in western Kenya, we have had very positive results with finding, then using metabolic selection, then distributing a technology package of effective biocontrol fungi for control of Striga hermonthica on maize. The smallholder farmers in 500 on-farm trials were enthusiastic that they could grow their own biocontrol fungi and increased their maize yields by 42% (short season) and 56% (long season). Please review the report for these trials, funded by a Grand Challenges Exploration grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpls.2016.01121/full.  

 

The fungi (Fusarium oxysporum) were host-specific, non-toxigenic, and could be grown (with care) on the farm or as a community effort. We are currently scaling up manufacturing production and distribution in Kenya.

 

If you and your Institute have an interest in this Striga biocontrol technology, please submit an application for a 2-3 week training workshop at Montana State University held in January 2018 (dates to be determined).  Fluency in English and/or French is anticipated.

 

Please fill out this form and send it to toothpickprojectinfo@gmail.com. Please don’t hesitate to email if you have any questions about the technology or this training program at any point of the application process.

Applications are closed. Contact us if you want more information on future trainings.