The AfroWeeds project was launched at a workshop from 1 to 5 February, at the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) in Cotonou, Benin. The project aims to create the first ICT-based network for weed scientists from Europe, and West, Central and East Africa, and to facilitate the development of a knowledge base to identify and control the major weeds in rice.
For the first time, all the project partners – AfricaRice, Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD) and national research institutions from West, Central and East Africa – met to confirm their participation in the implementation of a collective platform and draw up a list of the major weeds in the regions targeted by the project.
A working guide has been prepared to describe the characteristics of each weed species. The guide includes:
- Descriptive information (e.g. botanical name, local names, synonyms, description, ecology, biology, control measures);
- List of the identification traits (e.g. shape of the leaves); and
- Selection of illustrations (botanical drawings and photos).
During the workshop, participants were trained on how to use databases, manage herbariums, and acquire photos and illustrations relating to rice weeds. A network of European and African weed scientists (from Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, France, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda) was established.