News on... Publications

Parasite ruins African rice culture

At a first glance, Rhamphicarpa fistulosa might look innocent, but it turns rice plants into slaves. PhD candidate Stella Kabiri investigated the effects of this parasitic weed that damages the African rice production at an ever-increasing rate. It is nothing new that Rhamphicarpa fistulosa has been parasitising rice in many African countries, but Kabiri studied how this vampiric plant exhausts the rice

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NEW PUBLICATION: Timing as parasitic weed control strategy in rice

PARASITE is happy to announce a new publication by our PhD researched Dennis Tippe and colleagues entitled: “Delayed or early sowing: Timing as parasitic weed control strategy in rice is species and ecosystem dependent”. Parasitic weeds are a severe problem in rain-fed rice production ecosystems in sub-Saharan Africa. In a recent paper, published in Field Crops Research (Volume 214, pages 14-24),

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Symposium and PhD defence Stella Kabiri

PhD defence Stella Kabiri On Friday 1 September 2017, Stella Kabiri will defend her PhD-thesis at 11.00 a.m. in the Aula of Wageningen University, Generaal Foulkesweg 1a in Wageningen, the Netherlands You are cordially invited to attend the public defence of the thesis entitled: "Ecology and Biology of Rhamphicarpa fistulosa, a New Parasitic Weed of Rain-fed Rice (Oryza sativa) in sub-Saharan

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NEW PUBLICATION: Farmers’ knowledge, use and preferences of parasitic weed management strategies in rain-fed rice production systems

The parasite project has yielded another publication, analysing farmers' knowledge, use and preferences of parasitic weed management strategies in rain-fed rice production systems in Tanzania. This study assessed farmers' awareness, use, preference and adoption criteria of parasitic weed management practices in rain-fed rice production environments in Tanzania. Surveys and workshops were organized in three affected rice growing areas in Morogoro-rural, Songea

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NEW PUBLICATION on the impact of parasitic weeds on rice farmers

Another PARASITE science paper has been published by Dr Simon N'cho and team. The paper shows how productivity and technical efficiency levels in rice production systems are severely constrained by biotic constraints such as parasitic weeds. This paper assesses the impact of infestation by parasitic weeds on rice farmers’ technical efficiency and examines the potential role of managerial factors in improving

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NEW PUBLICATION on Striga spp. in rice

Research on Striga spp. in rice shows genetic variation and host–parasite specificity of resistance and tolerance, underpinning the need for predictive breeding… In a new publication in New Phytologist, scientists of AfricaRice, the University of Sheffield and a host of students and co-workers show that Striga virulence varies across species (S. asiatica and S. hermonthica; see Photo 1) and ecotypes and that the extent of damage these

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New PARASITE publications and media

Although PARASITE has officially come to an end, the outputs keep on coming… One of the more recent outputs of the PARASITE-project on the estimated economic losses following parasite weed infestation in rice in Africa, authored by Jonne Rodenburg, Matty Demont, Sander Zwart and Lammert Bastiaans, entitled: "Parasite weed incidence and related economic losses in rice in Africa. Agriculture, Ecosystems

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PARASITE decision making tool RAAIS applied in Kazakhstan

Rapid Appraisal of Agricultural Innovation Systems (RAAIS) has been applied in a program on climate change adaptation in Southeast Kazakhstan. The authors reflect on the usefulness of the RAAIS approach and consider the overall effectiveness of the method as a research tool, practical issues in the implementation ofworkshops, definition of and selection of participant groups, as well as the questions of participation and

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NEW PUBLICATION: Parasitic weeds in rice cost African economies USD200M per year

A new paper entitled: ‘Parasitic weed incidence and related economic losses in rice in Africa’ by J. Rodenburg, M. Demont , S. Zwart and L. Bastiaans has just appeared in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 235 (306-317). The paper is one of the outputs of the PARASITE-project. The paper presents a method for estimating the economic impact of parasitic weeds in

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NEW PUBLICATION: Facultative parasitism of Rice Vampireweed

A new paper ‘Host influence on germination and reproduction of the facultative hemi-parasitic weed Rhamphicarpa fistulosa’ was published in Annals of Applied biology in which the germination ecology and parasitism of the facultative parasitic plant, Rhamphicarpa fistulosa (Rice Vampireweed) were investigated in comparison with the obligate parasitic plant Striga hermonthica (Purple Witchweed). We hypothesized that, being a wetland species, germination of

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New PARASITE publication on “rice yields under Rhamphicarpa fistulosa-infested field conditions”

This study reports on the existence of resistance and tolerance against Rhamphicarpa fistulosa as well as on yield levels and relative yield losses incurred under R. fistulosa infested field conditions among a range of adapted lowland rice varieties. The facultative parasitic weed Rhamphicarpa fistulosa, is a widespread problem in rain-fed rice production systems in Africa. Little is known about rice

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New video on how African rice farmers can reduce Striga problems in their crop

New video on how African rice farmers can reduce Striga problems in their crop A farmer-to-farmer instruction video on the parasitic weed Striga and soil management in upland rice has been produced by the Africa Rice Center(AfricaRice) and its partners as part of the African Development Bank-funded project ‘Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC). Striga is a

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Stella Kabiri awarded best-poster-award EWRS

During the recent EWRS (European Weed Research Society)-symposium on ‘Weed Management in Changing Environments’ held in SupAgro, Montpellier, France, from 23-26 June 2015, Stella Kabiri was awarded the prestigious best-poster-award. The title of her poster was: ‘Exploring the life-history strategy of the facultative root parasitic weed Rhamphicarpa fistulosa’. In her poster, co-authored by Aad van Ast, Jonne Rodenburg and Lammert

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New publication: Participatory appraisal of institutional and political constraints and opportunities for innovation to address parasitic weeds in rice

Our most recent paper is published with Crop Protection. The paper explores the institutional and political dimensions of parasitic weeds in rice in Tanzania and Benin. Key lessons learned include: Institutional and political dimensions of parasitic weed problems are underexposed Constraints are often embedded in broader crop protection and agricultural systems Examples include: access to credit, high quality inputs, information and training Stakeholder

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Lunch seminar Josey Kamanda

On Thursday 26 February 2015 he gave a lunch seminar at the Knowledge Technology and Innovation (KTI) Group. In his presentation, Josey talked about his PhD work as well as the PARASITE project. He gave a introduction on the challenges posed by parasitic weeds and how the Parasite programme aims to address them. He also spoke about the objectives of

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New publication: Rhamphicarpa; a parasitic weed threatening rice in Africa

Jonne Rodenburg and Lammert Bastiaans published a review paper entitled: “Rhamphicarpa fistulosa, a widespread facultative hemi-parasitic weed, threatening rice production in Africa” in Weed Research. Abstract Rhamphicarpa fistulosa is a facultative hemi-parasitic plant of the Orobanchaceae family, adapted to wet soils. Apart from tropical Australia, it is only found in sub-Saharan Africa, where it is considered a minor weed in cereal crops such

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New paper: Can Striga and Rhamphicarpa co-occur in rain-fed rice?

Stella Kabiri's first paper has been published in Weed Research. The paper describes how Striga asiatica and Rhamphicarpa fistulosa are parasitic weeds of rain-fed rice that are partly distributed in similar regions in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).  Particularly in Tanzania, these two parasites are present in farmers’ fields in the same rice growing landscape. The paper demonstrates a non-overlapping ecological range between the habitats of these two weeds that is dependent

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New paper: NERICA rice cultivars and their resistance to Striga

Please find attached a new paper on parasitic weeds published in Field Crops Research. The online link is: http://authors.elsevier.com/sd/article/S0378429014002883 Summary The parasitic weeds Striga asiatica and Striga hermonthica cause high yield losses in rain-fed upland rice in Africa. Two resistance classes (pre- and post-attachment) and several resistant genotypes have been identified among NERICA (New Rice for Africa) cultivars under laboratory conditions (in vitro) previously. However, little

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MSc-thesis defence Luuk van Dijk

On 29 September 2014, Luuk van Dijk defended his MSc-thesis research entitled: "Influence of parasitic weeds on rice-weed competition". Luuk was supervised by Lammert Bastiaans and Aad van Ast. Niels Anten was the external examiner of the thesis. Luuk's presentation can be found here. Thesis abstract Over the last decades rice (Oryza spp) became more important as a staple food crop

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Blog on Parasitic Weeds: “Unknown rice parasite threatens harvests in Africa”

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

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New publication: Determinants of parasitic weed infestation in rainfed lowland rice in Benin

Simon N'cho and his team have published a research article entitled: "Determinants of parasitic weed infestation in rainfed lowland rice in Benin" in Agricultural systems. This paper explores factors that affect the infestation of rainfed lowland rice fields by the parasitic weed Rhamphicarpa fistulosa and farmers’ ability to cope with the problem. A double hurdle model is used, which analyses

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Presentation Jonne Rodenburg at Tropenzentrum, University of Hohenheim

In the evening of Monday 7 July 2014, Jonne Rodenburg had a talk on “Multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder approaches in crop protection – the case of parasitic weeds in rainfed rice systems in Africa” as part of the seminar series “Tropenzentrum Invites” of the Centre for Agriculture in the Tropics and Subtropics, University of Hohenheim. Tropenzentrum – wants to promote development

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Rhamphicarpa fistulosa datasheet

CABI has recently published a Rhamphicarpa fistulosa datasheet. The datasheet contains amongst others information on the taxonomy, geographical distribution and habitat of Rhamphicarpa. The datasheet has been developed by Jonne Rodenburg and can be found online: http://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/119715.

Update postdoc project (subproject 4)

The postdoc project is in its final phase. A conceptual paper has been written and published in Science and Public Policy. In the paper, we reflect on complex agricultural problems as having four key features: (1) complex problems have different dimensions and can therefore not be fully understood by analysing these dimensions separately (multi-dimensional), (2) complex problems are embedded in

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Parasite progress workshop 17 June 2014

On Tuesday 17 June 2014, the Parasite team met for a workshop in Wageningen, the Netherlands. The key objective of the workshop was to discuss (1) overall progress of the different subprojects (including completed activities and outputs), (2) present work in progress (ongoing activities/ paper(s) in preparation), and (3) the way forward (planning and to be developed outputs). The presentations

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Seminar Jonne Rodenburg at Hohenheim University in Stuttgart

On 7 July 2014, Jonne Rodenburg will give a presentation at Hohenheim University in Stuttgart as part of a seminar series entitled: "Tropenzentrum Invites".  The topic of his presentation will be "Integrated multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder approaches to an underestimated crop protection problem – the case of parasitic weeds in rainfed rice systems in Africa".

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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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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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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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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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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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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