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The effect of the planting date on the African rice gall midge, Orseolia Oryzivora H. & G., and its parasites on the rice-growing plain of Boulbi, Burkina Faso.

Mopougouni Honoré TANKOANO student laureate

°1978 Burkina Faso
Rural Development Engineer, Université Polytechnique de Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, 2005

Impact de la date de repiquage du riz sur la cécidomyie africaine du riz, Orseolia Oryzivora H. & G., et son cortège parasitaire sur la plaine rizicole de Boulbi/Burkina Faso

With this study, Mr Tankoano endeavours to understand the conditions in which the African rice gall midge (Orseolia oryzae) develops and to find long-term solutions to the damage caused by this destructive pest. Rice production plays a major role in the fight against hunger and poverty in Africa in that this food-grain provides food for the population on the one hand and financial revenue for the producers on the other. Conditions in Burkina Faso are favourable for the development of the African rice gall midge, and this results in major damage to cultivation. It is therefore vital that methods are put in place for the long-term limitation of the damage caused by this destructive pest. In this context, Mr Tankoano shows that a long-term fight against the African rice gall midge could be feasible in the conditions that exist in Burkina Faso. In his study he clearly demonstrates that by carefully choosing the date of sowing and by encouraging the development of 2 parasitoids (Platygaster diplosisae and Aprostocetus procerae), which would launch a biological attack on the destructive pest, it would be possible to reach satisfactory levels of control in the fight against the African rice gall midge. What makes this work so interesting is the very fact that it has revealed these basic means for a long-term fight against the African rice gall midge. These methods do not require a high level of technicality, which makes them easily accessible to the poor populations, and they are respectful of the environment. At a time when the sustainable management of natural resources has become a central theme in development perspectives, Mr Tankoano’s study is particularly well placed since he produces useable data in a strategy to fight the destructive rice gall midge without, however, resorting to methods that pollute the environment or are dangerous for the health of workers and consumers. This is an important contribution to development work within a perspective of increasing food resources and one which is highly suited to the local conditions of Burkina Faso.

Report: Prof. J-P. Busogoro, Phytopathology Unit, Faculté universitaire des Sciences agronomiques de Gembloux, Belgium