Innovative aspects

  • The proposed programme entails a highly integrated study, where biological, economic and institutional aspects of parasitic weeds and their management are simultaneously addressed. Using such a broad range of integration levels and disciplines creates opportunities for cross-pollination among scientific disciplines.
  • The extent of the stakeholder analyses to account for the diversity in biophysical constraints and socio-economic conditions with respect to parasitic weeds in African rice production systems, is unique. Conducting the research across three different countries generates options for synergy and mutual-learning.
  • Relatively few studies have been conducted on parasitic weeds with relevance to rice, and extremely little is known on the biology and ecology of Rhamphicarpa. The proposed study is aimed at closing this knowledge gap. The comparison between obligate and facultative parasites in one agricultural system offers potential to gain new insights in ecological and evolutionary strategies of parasitic weed species in agro-ecosystems.
  • The indirect economic impacts study of parasitic weeds in Africa and the evaluation of the social and environmental impacts of parasitic weeds at both farmer and community level have not been conducted before.
  • Data is lacking on distribution and economic losses caused by parasitic weeds and impact assessments on control technologies are scant. Data scarcity will provide a unique challenge to push the boundaries of impact assessment under imperfect information.
  • Institutional analyses of crop protection services in three countries in SSA, are conducted and compared, in a stakeholder participatory manner using newly developed approaches that have only recently been applied in the context of developing countries and only sporadically with crop protection services before. We will fine-tune this approach and develop a comprehensible methodological framework for future research efforts in this domain.