The Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) launched a new app, called RiceAdvice-WeedManager in April 2018. The app aims to help African rice farmers to find the most effective and cost-efficient weed management strategies, matching their specific farming conditions and available resources.
The WeedManager app has been developed in close association with Co-Capacity, The Netherlands, with support from the CGIAR Research Program on Rice Agri-food Systems (RICE). It is strongly based on research findings of AfricaRice and its partners, who have long been involved in developing efficient weed management strategies that are affordable and feasible for resource-poor rice farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
The app is now being field-tested with farmers in Nigeria and Tanzania with the help of the Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI), commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The app provides a range of adapted recommendations for weed management – before, during and after the main rice-cropping season – based on information entered for each participating farmer relating to his/her field conditions, available resources (financial, human and natural resources and equipment) and prevailing weed problems. Each farmer decides which of the recommendations to adopt and can then be further advised and monitored by service providers.
The WeedManager app can be used by farmers, extension workers, private companies involved in rice agri-business, development agencies and other stakeholders in Africa, who are interested in getting expert advice on weed management for rice production.
It can also open opportunities for young professionals to serve as service providers by delivering personalised recommendations generated by the app to smallholder rice farmers and by assisting farmers during the implementation of the recommendations.
The WeedManager app can be freely downloaded from the Google Play Store on any Android device (smartphone or tablet). It is available in English and French, and other language versions are planned. The WeedManager app uses the same login data as the RiceAdvice app earlier launched by AfricaRice.