Economics at your fingertips  

Modeling smallholder agricultural systems to manage Striga in the semi-arid tropics

Timothy R. Silberg, Karen Renner, Laura Schmitt Olabisi, Robert B. Richardson, Vimbayi Grace Patrova Chimonyo, Mauricio Uriona-Maldonado, Bruno B. Basso and Cyprian Mwale
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Mauricio Uriona Maldonado

Agricultural Systems, 2021, vol. 187, issue C

Abstract: Across southern Africa (SA), significant maize yield losses are attributed to invasive and parasitic weeds. Abundance of Striga (Striga asiatica) has become more frequent in smallholder farms (<2 ha) in the past decade. Various Striga control practices (SCPs) have been disseminated across SA, yet often, without decision support tools to inform extension officers and researchers which ones are most appropriate for smallholder contexts. System dynamics modeling (SDM) provides an opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of SCPs across multiple seasons in different agroecosystems and their associated environments. We developed a SDM to evaluate the long-term efficacy of four SCPs popularly used in maize-based cropping systems. Observations from studies outlining local soil seedbanks, emergence and flowering rates in farmer fields were used to calibrate the SDM. Model simulations indicate that while a combination of SCPs are necessary to manage the weed, future research should focus on developing smallholder-adapted SCPs that address the attachment stage of the weed's lifecycle (e.g., timely manure application) rather than its germination, emergence or flowering stages. Given the devastating effects S. asiatica has had on food security in Malawi and across SA, it is imperative to develop decision support tools like systems models to evaluate SCPs for smallholders. Models that do not capture the underlying mechanisms driving S. asiatica infestations may provide extension officers with potentially misleading information, and subsequently, the delivery of ineffective SCPs.

Keywords: Striga management; System dynamics modeling; Decision support tools; Malawi; Smallholder farmers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2020.103008

Access Statistics for this article

Agricultural Systems is currently edited by J.W. Hansen, P.K. Thornton and P.B.M. Berentsen

More articles in Agricultural Systems from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2022-08-30
Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:187:y:2021:i:c:s0308521x20308696