Experts launch tool for identifying major rice weeds of Africa

Experts launch tool for identifying major rice weeds of Africa

October 11, 2012. COTONOU, Benin, /African Press Organization (APO)/ — A new interactive tool for identifying nearly 200 different weed species of lowland rice in East and West Africa was recently unveiled at the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice). The tool is built on a comprehensive knowledge base that can be accessed online () and offline on laptops and CD-ROMs or as an app on smartphones and tablet computers.

“Weeds are perhaps the most important constraint in rice production, so this is a valuable resource for all those involved in research, training and management of rice weeds in sub-Saharan Africa, where total rice production losses attributable to weeds are estimated at US$ 1.5 billion,” said Dr  Jonne Rodenburg, AfricaRice Weed Scientist.

The weed identification tool is the product of a 3-year project on “African Weeds of Rice” (AFROweeds), which is coordinated by the Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD) and AfricaRice with support from the European Union (EU) Africa, Carribean, Pacific (ACP) Science and Technology Program.

The project which is on the point of completion is carried out in close partnership with national agricultural research and extension systems in sub-Saharan Africa.

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