News on... General news

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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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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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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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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MSc research Stefanie Pflug

I am a student of Utrecht University and started the research for my MSc thesis at Wageningen University in March 2012. I plan to finish my thesis in January 2013. The focus of my research is the mutual interaction between the parasitic weed Rhamphicarpa fistulosa and its host, rice (Oryza sativa). During my thesis research I conduct two pot experiments,

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New LI6400XT leaf photosynthesis meter AfricaRice

The LI6400XT of LI-COR is an advanced leaf photosynthesis meter. AfricaRice has purchased this equipment for use in the Parasite project. It will enable us to get a better understanding of host‐parasite interactions (of parasitic weeds in rain-fed rice) as affected by present and future environmental conditions. Parasitic weeds extract nutrients, water and plant metabolites from their host and they

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Fieldwork Morogoro (part 2) and rotary weeder workshop

9-12 July 2012 Jonne Rodenburg Juma Kayeke Marc Schut Rotary weeder workshop This week, AfricaRice organised a workshop for blacksmiths from different parts of Tanzania on how to make rotary weeders to mechanically weed lowland rice fields. The workshop started with a general introduction on weed and weed management in rice. Subsequently different types of rotary weeders were presented. After

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MSc-research Damien Lenglet

Damien Lenglet is an Erasmus student in Wageningen since February 2012. He started his internship at the Crop and Weed Ecology Group in May and will finish on August 31. Damien pursues an MSc in Crop Science in Anger (France) at the Ecole Supérieure d'Agriculture (ESA). During his internship he is supervised by Aad van Ast and Lammert Bastiaans. Rhamphicarpa

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Sustainable Agricultural Innovation Systems (SAIS)

The Sustainable Agricultural Innovation Systems (SAIS) for Food Security and Environmental Protection. This essay by Diana Alarcón and Christina Bodouroglou is part of a series of think pieces reflecting on the importance of bringing the social dimension back into discussions about green economy and sustainable development. The Agricultural Innovation Systems approach provides a theoretical framework in the Parasite postdoc project. The full essay

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Tanzanian Government invests in boosting food production

The government has allocated 16.7bn/- in the 2012/13 fiscal year for implementation of the Tanzania Agricultural Food Security Investment Plan (TAFSIP) in the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT). Minister for Agriculture, Food security and Cooperatives Christopher Chiza said the government also introduced the National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS) in 2009 which aims at improving cultivation of the crop,

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Interesting newsitems on rice in Tanzania, science and sustainable development and CGIAR-reforms

A number of interesting webpublications on rice in Tanzania, the role of science towards sustainable development and an update on CGIAR reforms.

Interesting websites for agricultural research in Tanzania, Benin and Cote d’Ivoir

In this post you find some very interesting websites that can support our research in Tanzania, Benin and Cote d'Ivoir. Tanzania This website provides an overview of Agricultural Legislations and Regulations in Tanzania – http://www.kilimo.go.tz/legislation%20and%20regulations/legislations/legislations.htm. There is even a document that contains the Rules of the Plant Protection Act (2010) specifically on Striga. Another interesting website provides an overview of the Agricultural

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Photo Parasite dinner, Dar-es-Salaam

On Monday evening 11 June 2012, the Parasite team of Tanzania (and our visitor from Madagascar) had a nice dinner to celebrate the succesful first growing season of the project and to say goodbye to Djoeke Langeloo (MSc-student) and Stella who is going to Wageningen next month. The food was very good and conversations were nice; a really good and informal way

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Rhamphicarpa, a growing problem

Please check out this article in Plant Life, news letter on plant sciences of Wageningen UR in which Lammert Bastiaans sheds his light on the growing problems of Rhamphicarpa in different parts of Africa. A major parasitic plant that is thriving in relatively humid low-lying countries in Africa is Rhamphicarpa fistulosa. Rhamphicarpa fistulosa is at home in boggy fields where it finds

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Weedsbook: a social network for weed science students and professionals

Weedsbook is an open-access collaborative platform that enables students and professionals, to share information and publications on weeds (e.g. management, identification, biology, ecology, distribution) and any other relevant issues (e.g. events, funding opportunities, scholarships, conferences, workshops), with a broad community of peers working in and/or for Africa. While membership  to Weedsbook is free of charge and obligations, it enables access

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MSc-research Djoeke Langeloo

I am studying the reproductive success of Striga asiatica and Rhamphicarpa fistulosa related to different sowing dates and crop cycle length. So I am looking if the number of capsules and the number of seeds produced by the weeds will change with a different sowing date of the rice (sown between half December 2011 and half February 2012) and/or with different crop

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The new website of the Parasite project is now live!

Today the new website of the Parasite project has gone live! Please carefully check the pages of your subproject and your personal information under 'project members'. In the coming days we hope to further add and complete missing information. Changes, comments and updates Changes, upcoming events, new publications and additional information for the website can be send to Marc Schut. Please

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Working hard to get the website up-to-date

Hard work is being done to get the website 'live'. We are still waiting for and processing additional information to get all the subpages updated. For more information please mail to: marc.schut@wur.nl.

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