Launch of the WIKWIO Project
02/01/2014

The WIKWIO (Weed Identification and Knowledge in the Western Indian Ocean) Project was launched on November 21, 2013. This project, which is headed by the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), is funded in the framework of the ACP S&T II programme of the European Union for a three-year duration and a budget of nearly one million Euros.

The WIKWIO (Weed Identification and Knowledge in the Western Indian Ocean) Project was launched on November 21, 2013. This project, which is headed by the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), is funded in the framework of the ACP S&T II programme of the European Union for a three-year duration and a budget of nearly one million Euros. It is coordinated by the UMR AMAP, in partnership with the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP) in India, the UPR AIDA of the CIRAD, the MCIA/MSIRI in Mauritius Island, the FOFIFA in Madagascar, and the CNDRS in the Comoros. Additionally, the ASARECA for east Africa and the CCARDESA for southern Africa are associated to this project.

The proposed action aims to contribute in enhancing the productivity of food and cash cropping systems and help improve food security in Island States of the Western Indian Ocean and South East African region. The selected cropping systems suffer from significant production losses due to weed infestations. The action hence aims at creating a science and technology network serving the farming, extension and research community to foster appropriate weed management practices. The project will strengthen the interdisciplinary approach of existing scientific knowledge on the management of weed infestations by creating a knowledge base of STI data on crop weeds of the area.

The specific objective of the WIKWIO project is to build and use a network of STI knowledge and weed management methods of weed infestations, which will consolidate existing information and facilitate the sharing of scientific and technological acquisitions. This work is to create a database as complete as possible, on weeds in the geographical area concerned. Furthermore, it will develop a collaborative platform for exchange of information on weeds in between stakeholders: researchers, agronomists, extentionists and farmers.

A project website has been launched to disseminate project description and scientific information on the crop weeds in Island States of the Western Indian Ocean and South East Africa. It will provide space for collaborative work between project partners through several tools such as forum, mailing list, document repository and access to the knowledge database on weed species. Existing knowledge on weed identification and control for the selected weed species is gathered in the WIKWIO knowledge base. All the documents and information related to the weed species (descriptions, photos, drawings and scans) will be prepared and integrated into the WIKWIO website. Workshops and local training sessions in the participating countries, students and extentionists will be organized.

The French Institute of Pondicherry will be a key contributor to this project through its expertise in new information technologies.

For more information on the WIKWIO Project: http://www.wikwio.org

Contact: Thomas Le Bourgeois / Pierre Grard thomas.le_bourgeois@cirad.fr / pierre.grard@ifpindia.org