Call edition 2012
A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.
This doctoral dissertation contributes significantly to the bio-ecology of the African rice gall midge. In Africa, and in south-west Burkina Faso in particular, this rice gall midge causes damage to the rice crop, which results in the loss of more than half the potential yield. Besides socio-economic and climatological factors this plague is responsible for the low rice production in this region of Burkina Faso, forcing the country to rely on imported rice.
This study addresses various topics such as agri-technological, biological and applied chemical treatments, whose integration is the basis for an integrated approach. Importantly, the practical application of the research is within reach of the local small-scale farmer/rice grower.
Among other things the study reveals that the dreaded rice gall midge survives between two rice harvests on a wild rice species (Oryza longistaminata), and that good cultivation hygiene such as the clearing of this wild rice species as a reservoir plant is a crucial step in an integrated approach.
Insight is gained into how certain plants such as Paspalum function as host plants for a gall midge that harbours the same parasites as those that live on the rice gall midge, which is important information as regards potential biological control. Moreover, the study shows that neem extract, as an insecticide of biological origin, can be used very efficiently against the gall midge, sparing the natural parasites of the rice gall midge in the process.
Conclusion: not only because of the fundamental scientific approach to the biology of the rice gall midge but also because of the implementation of these research results in practice, this study substantially contributes to a guaranteed rice production for the small-scale farmer/rice grower in south-west Burkina Faso.
report by Prof. Dr. Jozef Coosemans, Laboratory of Phytopathology and Plant Protection, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium