Project title:

Preparing African Rice Farmers Against Parasitic Weeds in a Changing Environment (PARASITE)


Rainfed rice is rapidly becoming an important component for Africa’s future food security. Rainfed rice in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is often severely affected by parasitic weeds. Affected areas accommodate some of the world’s poorest farmers and are reported to increase. Parasitic weeds are characterized by their invasive nature due to their ability to adapt to changing conditions (e.g. climate change).

The objective is to prepare rice farmers, their institutions and support services for future invasions, increased infestation levels or harmful effects of parasitic weeds due to environmental and land-use changes.

The programme expects to deliver control and prevention strategies against parasitic weeds, and institutional innovations for organizations involved in crop protection to reduce the socio-economic impacts of any future pest outbreak. As parasitic weeds are typical production constraints of subsistence rice production systems, targeting them through an integrated programme is likely to contribute to poverty alleviation and food security.

Overall aim:

Prepare the rice sector in threatened areas against projected increases in infestation levels of parasitic weeds, such as the upland species Striga asiatica and S. hermonthica and the hydromorphic-lowland species Rhamphicarpa fistulosa.


  • Project coordinator : Dr Lammert Bastiaans , Wageningen University
  • Coordinator Benin: Dr Gualbert Gbehounou, INRAB, currently FAO
  • Coordinator Cote d'Ivoire: Dr Louise Akanvou, CRNA
  • Coordinator Tanzania: Dr Juma Mohamed Kayeke, MARI
  • AfricaRice focal point : Dr Jonne Rodenburg, AfricaRice

Organizations involved / partners:

  • Wageningen University (lead center)
  • Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)
  • The National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) of Benin (INRAB), Côte d’Ivoire (CNRA) and Tanzania (MARI)


The project is funded through the Integrated Programme Scheme of The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, Science for Global Development (NWO-WOTRO).


4 ½ years (from 1 April 2011 to 31 December 2015)