The African Rice Centre has launched mobile to help farmers to make decisions on the most cost effective weed management strategies suitable to their farming conditions and available resources.
Known as WeedManager, the interactive app will help African farmers improve their weed control efficiency, productivity and incomes, according to the experts.
The app offers a wide range of adapted recommendations for weed management –before, during and after the main rice cropping season.
Estimates by the African Rice, a research body based in West Africa, at least 2.2 million tonnes of rice, worth $ 1.5 billion is lost each year from weed infestation.
Researchers say that a timely and reliable advice to make better decisions on weed control will provide an appropriate option for farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa .
“The app will help to reduce reliance on manual weeding. This will help contribute to sustainable productivity and enhance food security and income generation,” observed Dr. Jonne Rodenburg, formerly an agronomist with AfricaRice who was instrumental in the apps development.
Beyond the smallholder rice farmers, the app can also be invaluable to extension workers and private companies involved in rice agri-business development.
It can be downloaded freely from Google Play Store on any Android device.
It is available in English and French.