Few agronomists are familiar with Rhamphicarpa fistulosa, a fragile weed with white flowers, from the broomrape family. Yet this root parasite is increasingly affecting rice cultivation in Africa. This has become clear from the initial results of the research programme PARASITE on parasitic weeds in rice in sub-Saharan Africa.
The rice pest was described by the Beninese agronomist Gualbert Gbèhounou in the early 1990s. More than twenty years later, still very few people are familiar with it. This was the motivation for seven Dutch and African research groups, led by Wageningen UR, to start investigating the problem in 2012.
For more information, please read the full blog can be accessed here: http://www.wageningenur.nl/nl/nieuws/Unknown-rice-parasite-threatens-harvests-in-Africa.htm.