Rice is one of the most important crops for food security in Africa. However, there is a large gap between its present demand and supply. Weed competition is basically one of the major constraints in rice systems in Africa, leading to 48–100% yield reduction and sometimes complete crop failure, thereby threatening food security. Weed control methods currently employed to avoid such losses are predominantly hoe-weeding and herbicide application. Hoe weeding is tedious, inefficient, time consuming, associated with high labour demands and often too expensive for the average farmer to afford. Herbicide use on the other hand, does not provide season-long weed control. Moreover, there are not many herbicides that can control different kinds of weeds with one application. Thus, to optimise yield, financial, social and environmental costs and benefits, integrated and ecological weed management approaches are advocated. Future weed research should therefore be focused on delivering information for the implementation of these approaches. This would require improved knowledge of weed biology and ecology, prioritization of problematic weed species, development of competitive rice cultivars and timely weed control. To address the diversity of weed problems in rice systems in Africa, however, research innovations must take full account of farmer’s local conditions using farmers’ participatory approaches. This review suggests that knowledge-based integrated novel approaches must be developed to assist farmers in coping with the challenges of weed management for sustainable rice production.

Zeitrahmen der Veröffentlichung:
Volume Open
Fachgebiete der Zeitschrift:
Biologie, Botanik