Toothpick Company Ltd., Kenya (Toothpick Project)


Striga (witchweed) is considered the number one pest threat in African food security, associated with malnutrition, starvation, family abandonment and land abandonment. Striga is an increasingly destructive parasitic weed found on 40 million farms across sub-Saharan Africa. Attacking the roots of staple crops it depletes yields by 20-100%. Up to 50 million hectares of croplands in Africa show Striga infestation, causing US$9+ billion in crop loss annually. 85% of maize smallholder farmers are women, making Striga a gender-sensitive food security issue.

Our bio-herbicide technology kills the worst weed in sub-Saharan Africa, thereby increasing crop yield by approximately 42-56%. Village Inoculum Producers (VIPs) grow a live active inoculum from a fungal-coated toothpick and distribute it to farmers (a micro-agribusiness). The product is safe, effective, and affordable.

A Small Business Agenda

All around the globe, thousands of food small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their expert supporters were asked, “How to boost the role of SMEs in providing good food for all?” This report shares their compelling response. Executive Summary: Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish