A disease-surveillance network in Africa will accelerate detection and actions to prevent the spread of major rice diseases

Share this to :

Pathologists and breeders from 20 East to West Africa countries joined forces as a rice disease surveillance network began operating in Africa. The rice-disease-surveillance network will enable quicker detection of rice diseases in the regions and make immediate actions to address prevention of spread.

IVORY COAST, March 2024 —Rice diseases cause an annual yield loss of 30%, representing enough rice to feed over 70 million people. In Africa, where rice cultivation does not meet consumer demand, such losses are intolerable. Increasing rice trade between Asia, America, and Africa introduces new varieties and risks bringing rice pathogens to the continent. Furthermore, changing climates, including temperature, humidity, and heat variations, significantly impact disease occurrence, making previously disease-free areas more susceptible. Consequently, the dynamics of rice disease in Africa are vast, necessitating urgent surveillance and monitoring of pathogens.

Creating a surveillance network for rice diseases in Africa will enable the quicker detection of diseases and immediate actions to prevent their spread.

On 25-29 March, pathologists, and breeders from 20 African countries participated in a workshop conducted by the Africa Rice Center and CIRAD (Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement), with funding from CG-France, as a first step in constructing the network.

The event marked the beginning of a diagnostic and surveillance network aimed at sharing and empowering the technical capacities and cooperation among Africa’s national plant protection organizations (NPPOs) and national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES) as well as initiatives from the Africa Rice Center, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), IRRI, and French institutions, IRD (French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development) and CIRAD (Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement).

The participants identified the main network activities, including…

Share this to :