Rising soil temperatures are increasing the spread of a deadly, parasitic weed that significantly reduces crop yields in Sub-Saharan Africa, Striga, according to scientists.
The noxious weed, also known as witch-weed, usually thrives in the warm and humid tropics but is now spreading to cooler and wetter highlands as a result of warmer soils driven by global warming and low soil fertility, which provides the right conditions for Striga to thrive.
Increasing soil temperatures are fuelling the spread of Striga from the tropics to highland areas
The deadly weed can reduce crops by up to 80 per cent, threatening livelihoods
Research organisations are trialling various strategies, such as intercropping, to combat its spread
This spread has threatened the livelihoods of around 100 million people, with more than four million hectares of maize crops infected. In general, Striga reduces maize and cowpea yields by up to 80 per cent in Sub-Saharan Africa.