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Rice vampireweed

Published: 11th Apr, 2024


Rice vampireweed (Rhamphicarpa fistulosa) affected more than 140,000 farm households and caused losses worth USD 82 million per year to the continent’s economy, a new report showed. 


  • Rhamphicarpa fistulosa is a facultative, parasitic weed that grows on rice in Africa,
  • It is the most problematic and widespread species among the facultative parasitic weeds in Africa.
  • R fistulosa also affects sorghum and maize and, potentially, other cereal crops. Although infestation in other crops does not seem to be as common as in rice, the total economic losses inflicted by this weed may be higher. 
  • Weeds constitute important production constraints to rice in particular in Africa.
  • As yet, R fistulosais not controlled by fertilisers. Rice cultivars NERICA-L-40 and -31 were identified as resistant and high yielding under R fistulosa infested conditions.

New Rice for Africa (NERICA) 

  • The New Rice for Africa (NERICA) varieties are the first wide-scale success of crossing of the two cultivated species: Oryza sativa, known as ‘Asian rice’, and O glaberrima, often called ‘African rice’ and found only in Africa.

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