MSc research Luuk van Dijk

For his MSc thesis at the Crop and Weed Ecology group of Wageningen University Luuk van Dijk set up two rice pot experiments. The objective of these experiments is to understand whether crop-weed competition in rice is affected by the co-existence of a root parasitic weed. This objective resulted from observations done in 2013 in experiments at the trial fields

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Field visit to the experimental sites in Kyela

From 11 to 17 May 2014, Lammert and Aad visited Tanzania. The main purpose of this trip was to visit Kyela, where Dennis is conducting field experiments for his PhD. In Kyela, the experiments are laid out at two sites: one infested with Striga asiatica and a very similar second site, at a slightly lower altitude, infested with Rhamphicarpa fistula.

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Paper: Weed management in upland rice in sub-Saharan Africa: impact on labor and crop productivity

Jonne Rodenburg and collagues published a paper entitled "Weed management in upland rice in sub-Saharan Africa: impact on labor and crop productivity" in Food Security journal. Please cite the paper as: Ogwuike, P., Rodenburg, J., Diagne, A., Agboh-Noameshie, A., Amovin-Assagba, E., 2014. Weed management in upland rice in sub-Saharan Africa: impact on labor and crop productivity. Food Security, 1-11. Abstract Rice is

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New book: Parasitic Orobanchaceae. Parasitic Mechanisms and Control Strategies

This book was written in response to significant recent advances in understanding the mechanisms of parasitism in the Orobanchaceae, and breakthroughs in the control of the parasitic weeds Striga and Orobanche. It consists of 26 contributions by internationally recognized leading scientists. The main book chapters are grouped into two parts: Part I – The Orobanchaceae and Their Parasitic Mechanisms Part

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Rhamphicarpa in maize and upland rice in Uganda

During their recent field visits in Namutumba District in Uganda, Jonne Rodenburg and Mamadou Cissoko observed again quite some inland valley arable fields infested by Rhamphicarpa fistulosa. They found this species in a maize field and also in an upland rice field on the upper parts of an inland valley (near Ivukula; 0°51’21” N – 33°40’56” E and 0°48’46’ N – 33°39’16”). In

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The Parasite team wishes everybody a happy and healthy 2014

The Parasite team wishes all colleagues, partners and friends a fruitful and healthy 2014! In 2014 we will continue our research and development activities on parasitic weeds in rain-fed rice production systems in Tanzania, Benin and Cote d'Ivoir.

Systems approaches to innovation in crop protection. A systematic literature review

As part of the sociology subproject 4 we have published a review entitled: "Systems approaches to innovation in crop protection. A systematic literature review" in Crop Protection. The paper explores the extent to which systems approaches to innovation are reflected in the crop protection literature and how such approaches are used. A systematic literature review was conducted to study the relation between crop protection and

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Internship report Elifadhili Daniel: Assessment of agricultural extension services in Tanzania

The report of Elifadhili Daniel's internship entitled "Assessment of agricultural extension services in Tanzania. A case study of Kyela, Songea Rural, and Morogoro Rural Districts" is now published on the website. Please refer to the report as: Daniel, E., 2013. Assessment of agricultural extension services in Tanzania. A case study of Kyela, Songea Rural, and Morogoro Rural Districts. Wageningen University, the

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Publication: Sustainable rice production in African inland valleys: Seizing regional potentials through local approaches

Jonne Rodenburg and collagues have published a review paper entitled: "Sustainable rice production in African inland valleys: Seizing regional potentials through local approaches" in Agricultural Systems. The paper's highlights are: Inland valleys are common landscapes in Africa with an estimated area of 190 M ha. Inland valleys can significantly contribute to food security in sub-Saharan Africa. 9.1% Of the total

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Africa Rice Congress, 21-25 October 2013, Yaoundé, Cameroon

Between 21 and 25 October 2013, the 3rd Africa Rice Congress was held in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The Parasite programme was well represented at the congress. During the first two days of the congress, several thematic sessions were organised. Different papers and posters were presented by members of the Parasite team: Jonne Rodenburg and Marc Schut presented the overall programme and

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Weed management DVD AfricaRice

AfricaRice has produced a Weed Management DVD entitled ‘Weed Management – Farmer-to-Farmer Instruction Videos on Effective and Labor-Saving Weed Management in Lowland Rice’. The two-disk DVD contains 4 multi-language videos of which two can be accessed online: Effective Weed Management Rice Transplanting Safe and Correct Use of Herbicides Using the Rotary Weeder in Lowland Rice Weeds are important constraints for rice

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Seminar postdoc research, AfricaRice Cotonou, 30 August 2013

On Friday 30 August 2013, Marc Schut gave a presentation on his postdoc fieldwork conducted in Benin. During his fieldwork in Benin, Marc conducted 65 in-depth interviews and organised 3 multi-stakeholder workshops at the three study sites; Dassa-Zoumé, Kandi and Tanguiéta that were attended by 66 participants. In his presentation, Marc elaborated on the overall objectives of the Parasite programme,

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Multi-stakeholder workshops in Dassa-Zoumé, Kandi and Tanguiéta, August 2013

Between 19 and 26 August 2013, three multi-stakeholder workshops were organized in Dassa-Zoumé, Kandi and Tanguiéta, Benin. In these three study sites, parasitic weeds in rainfed rice production are eminent. In total, the three workshops were attended by 66 participants. For each workshop, farmers and representatives of government (department and commune level), civil society organisations, private sector, and research and

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Publication: Towards dynamic research configurations

Marc Schut, Annemarie van Paassen, Cees Leeuwis and Laurens Klerkx have published a paper entitled "Towards dynamic research configurations: A framework for reflection on the contribution of research to policy and innovation processes." The conceptual paper builds on Marc's PhD research and postdoc research in the Parasite Programme and analyses the complex role of research and researchers when supporting mulit-actor

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First round of fieldwork postdoc project Benin

Between 17 and 31 July 2013, Léonard Cossi Hinnou (INRAB) and Marc Schut (WUR) conducted fieldwork in Benin. Based on the earlier work of our PhD-candidate Simon N’cho, three field sites were selected: Dassa-Zoumé Commune (Collines Department), Kandi Commune (Alibori Department) and Tanguiéta Commune (Atakora Department). In these three field sites, parasitic weeds in rainfed rice production are problematic. Key

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2nd Prize for Stella Kabiri in the Africa-wide women and young professionals science competition

Stella Kabiri participated in the 6th African Agricultural Science week and Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) held between 15 and 20 July, in Accra, Ghana. She formed part of the finals of the 3rd Africa-wide women and young professionals science competition. After two rounds of competition, Stella received an invitation to present her paper on: “Landscape scale management

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Parasite Programme presentations during the World Congress on Parasitic Plants, Sheffield, UK

Between 16 and 19 July 2013, the 12th World Congress on Parasitic Plants was held in Sheffield, UK. The congress brought together scientists representing a wide spectrum of disciplines, research approaches, and geographical representation of parasitic plant research. Our Parasite Programme was well represented during the congress. Jonne Rodenburg gave 5 minute plenary oral presentation on a poster of PhD-project 1 entitled: “Ecological niche differences

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Wikipedia page Rhamphicarpa fistulosa

Jonne Rodenburg started a Wikipedia page on Rhamphicarpa fistulosa. Rhamphicarpa forms an increasing threat to food and income security in Sub-Saharan Africa and is found in rice production systems in several SSA countries. More information on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhamphicarpa_fistulosa. If you want to contribute to the further development of the Wiki page, please contact Jonne Rodenburg.

European Weed Research Society Symposium, Turkey

Lammert Bastiaans will represent the Parasite programme during the 16th symposium of the European Weed Research Society. The Symposium will be held between 24 and 27 June 2013 in Samsun, Turkey. An abstract has been accepted for poster presentation. Both have been uploaded on the Parasite website. For more information, please visit: www.ewrs2013.org.

MSc-thesis presentation Stefanie Pflug

On 29 May 2013, Stefanie Pflug presented the results of her research conducted at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. In her experiments she studied the interaction between the parasitic weed Rhamphicarpa fistulosa and its host rice (Oryza sativa). The research focussed on two aspects of the host-parasite interaction: 1) The influence of host plant size, developmental stage and parasite size on growth of both

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Willingness of farmers to adopt rice intercrops in Uganda

Stella Kabiri has co-authored a publication that analyses the willingness of farmers to adopt rice intercrops in the Lake Victoria Crescent Agro-ecological Zone of Uganda. Paper summary In Uganda we found that upland rice farmers spent more time cultivating rice, an income crop that is labour intensive, at the expense of other food security crops. The problem was that when rice failed

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Week of Agricultural Innovation in Africa

Between 27 and 31 May 2013, Marc Schut and Laurens Klerkx participated in various activities during the Week of Agricultural Innovation in Africa (WAIA). The various activities were held in and around Nairobi, Kenya. Innovation Platform Writeshop During the first part of the week, we participated in a writeshop (e.g. http://www.mamud.com/writeshop.htm) on Innovation Platforms organised by the International Livestock Research

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Rhamphicarpa in Uganda

Together with Prof. Julie Scholes, of the University of Sheffield, Jonne Rodenburg and Mamadou Cissoko visited Uganda to select a field site for the DFID, BBSRC and Bill & Melinda Gates funded STRIGA project and to discuss with farmers and partners from Makerere University and Africa2000. On our field trip we observed Striga infested rice in the uplands and, unexpectedly

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Parasite Programme mid-term workshop, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Between 22 and 26 April 2013 the Parasite Programme mid-term workshop was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The workshop was attended by 19 participants from the Netherlands, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Among the participants were the programme leaders, PhD-candidates, postdoctoral researchers, supervisors, advisors and the FAO Weed Officer who was one of the original co-applicants of the Parasite programme. The main objective of

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CCAFS Science Meeting

Between 17-20 March 2013, Jonne Rodenburg and Marc Schut participated in the Science Meeting of the CGIAR research programme on Climate Change in Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Jonne represented AfricaRice and Marc was invited to provide input on social learning, which was a key theme during the meeting. The science meeting started from the idea that social learning can

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Update postdoctoral research project

Marc Schut has been analysing data and writing on two articles. Paper 1: Systems approaches to innovation in crop protection The first article is a literature review of systems approaches to innovation in the crop protection literature. The literature review includes the analysis of over 100 research papers and reviews to explore (a) the importance of technology-oriented approaches versus systems-oriented

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Update PhD-project 1

Stella Kabiri has been working on two manuscripts. The first paper is titled, ‘Ecological differences between Rhamphicarpa fistulosa and Striga asiatica in parasitism of rain-fed rice in Sub-Saharan Africa’. This paper describes that both Rhamphicarpa, a facultative parasite and Striga spp., an obligate parasite, have their distribution in similar regions in the continent. Yet rice cultivation has been driven into the

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Parasite Programme Poster

We have developed a Parasite Programme poster that can be used for promoting our project during conferences, seminars and meetings. The poster includes a general description of the three PhD-projects and the postdoctoral project. Furthermore, the integrated framework and expected results are described. The poster is printed on A0 and A1 format. Please contact Marc Schut when you would like

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IDS Knowledge Exchange Event on learning for climate and development policy

Marc Schut participated in a Knowledge Exchange event that was held at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) in Brighton on 5 and 6 March 2013. The knowledge exchange attracted a variety of participants, representing international development organisations, universities and CGIAR agricultural research institutes. The knowledge exchange was organised around the theme of “learning for climate and development policy”. Marc

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Jonne Rodenburg on “Uprooting underground killers”

Parasitic weeds of the genus Striga—also known as witchweeds—are a major threat to upland rice production in several parts of Africa. The roots of Striga seedlings penetrate the root cells of host plants, among them, rice, and leave them weak and unproductive. AfricaRice and its partners are making significant headway in the struggle to control Striga in rice fields across

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Lunch seminar CSA Marc Schut

Postdoc Marc Schut gave a CSA lunch seminar entitled: "Analysis of agricultural innovation in crop protection and extension systems in Tanzania: The case of parasitic weeds in rainfed rice production systems." In the seminar he discussed how he operationalised the Agricultural Innovation Systems approach to study the institutional and political dynamics of parasitic weeds in rainfed, smallholder rice production systems

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Update PhD-project 3

Between October 2012 and February 2013, a second period of field work in Benin and in Cote d’Ivoire was carried out. The core activities during that period include the implementation of the baseline survey in Cote d’Ivoire, a participatory community base survey in Benin, and data analysis and writing of my first paper. The community base survey in Benin includes

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Lunch seminar KTI Marc Schut

Postdoc Marc Schut gave a KTI lunch seminar entitled: "Analysis of agricultural innovation in crop protection and extension systems in Tanzania: Concepts, methods and preliminary results." In the seminar he discussed how he operationalised the Agricultural Innovation Systems approach to study the institutional and political dynamics of parasitic weeds in rainfed, smallholder rice production systems in Tanzania. The slides can

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MSc-research and colloquium Djoeke Langeloo

In January 2012 I started my MSc thesis research within the Parasite Programme. My research focussed on the reproductive success of the parasitic weeds Striga asiatica and Rhamphicarpa fistulosa. In particular, I explored how the reproductive success was affected by different rice sowing dates, rice varieties and parasitic weed seed densities. The first two aspects were studied in two field

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Articles on research Jonne Rodenburg and Matty Demont in Rice Today

Two Parasite programme team members present their research in the latest edition of Rice Today (January – March 2013 Volume 12(1)). Weed identification tool for African weeds of rice A new interactive tool can now identify nearly 200 different weed species of lowland rice in East and West Africa. Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) recently unveiled this tool built on a

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3rd Africa Rice Congress, 21-25 October 2013, Yaoundé, Cameroon

The Third Africa Rice Congress – to be held from 21-24 October 2013, in Yaoundé, Cameroun – will have as its main theme: ‘Rice Science for Food Security and Agri-business Development in Africa’. The Congress will bring together representatives from the public and private sector, civil society organizations, farmer associations and research and extension communities engaged in the development of

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Summary mid-term review Parasite Programme

On 11 December 2012 Ms. Marije Severs and Ms. Han van Dijk of NWO/WOTRO visited Wageningen for the mid-term review of the Parasite programme. In preparation of the meeting, the Parasite programme team prepared a self-evaluation in line with the WOTRO progress report. The meeting started with a presentation by Lammert Bastiaans and Marc Schut, who reflected on the objectives

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Creating awareness on labor-saving technologies for weed control in rice production

Interesting update and summary of weed control related activities by AfricaRice and partners under the project: "Building local capacities in weed management for rice-based systems". The project conducted a one-day training at the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro, Tanzania, for 22 R&D professionals and 15 weed science students on weed control and management practices and on the use

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Goodbye coffee Marc Schut AfricaRice Tanzania

On Friday morning (2 November 2012) Marc Schut said goodbye to his AfricaRice colleagues in Tanzania. After short speeches by Jonne Rodenburg and Paul Kiepe, Marc thanked everybody for the interesting time he had at AfricaRice in Tanzania. He received a gift on behalf of all AfricaRice staff. Marc will return to Wageningen next week to work on two publications; a literature review, and

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Matty Demont wins International Scientific Prize

The 2012 Louis Malassis Young Promising Scientist Prize was presented to Parasite Project Member Dr Matty Demont, agricultural economist at the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) on 29 October for his ground-breaking research in the field of rice value chain development in Africa.  Matty Demont’s research has shown that to become competitive, Africa’s rice sector needs to place much more emphasis on

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