Climate-adapted companion cropping increases agricultural productivity in East Africa

Production of cereals, the main staple and cash crops for millions of farmers in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is severely constrained by parasitic striga weed Striga hermonthica, stemborers and poor soil fertility. A companion cropping system known as ‘push–pull’ overcomes these constraints while providing additional soil fertility and forage grass benefits to smallholder farmers. To ensure the technology’s long-term sustainability in view ofthe current and further potential aridification as a consequence of climate change, drought-tolerant crops, Brachiaria cv mulato (border crop) and greenleaf desmodium (intercrop), have been identified and incorporated into a ‘climate-adapted push–pull’.

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