Launch Of The WIKWIO Project

By IFP Comdir India

The WIKWIO (Weed Identification and Knowledge in the Western Indian Ocean) Project was launched on November 21, 2013. This project, which is headed by the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), is funded in the framework of the ACP S&T II programme of the European Union for a three-year duration and a budget of nearly one million Euros.

It is coordinated by the UMR AMAP of CIRAD, in partnership with the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP) in India, the UPR AIDA of the CIRAD, the MCIA/MSIRI in Mauritius Island, the FOFIFA in Madagascar, and the CNDRS in the Comoros. Additionally, the ASARECA for east Africa and the CCARDESA for southern Africa are associated to this project.

The project aims to contribute in enhancing the productivity of food and cash cropping systems and help improve food security in Island States of the Western Indian Ocean and South East African region. The selected cropping systems suffer from significant production losses due to weed infestations. The action hence aims at creating a science and technology network serving the farming, extension and research community to foster appropriate weed management practices. The project will strengthen the interdisciplinary approach of existing scientific knowledge on the management of weed infestations by creating a knowledge base of STI data on crop weeds of the area.

The specific objective of the WIKWIO project is to build and use a network of STI knowledge and weed management methods of weed infestations, which will consolidate existing information and facilitate the sharing of scientific and technological acquisitions. This work is to create a database as complete as possible, on weeds in the geographical area concerned. Furthermore, it will develop a collaborative platform for exchange of information on weeds in between stakeholders: researchers, agronomists, extentionists and farmers.

A collaborative project portal has been launched to disseminate project description and scientific information on the crop weeds in Island States of the Western Indian Ocean and South East Africa.

The portal contains;
- a species module describing weed species and their management,

- a citizen science module to report observations of weed species

- a map module showing their distribution
- a groups module catering to specific cropping systems or areas of interest

- a document module containing various reports and documents

- a discussion module to facilitate interaction between stakeholders

and finally a species identification module which helps identify around 350 weed species through an user-friendly graphical interface. This can be used by amateurs to identify the weed species.

The French Institute of Pondicherry will be a key contributor to this project through its expertise in new information technologies. It has developed and deployed the Wikwio IDAO [1,2] weed species identification module on the web platform and for android and iOS mobile platforms [3,4]. The Wikwio Citizen Science app has also been deployed for both android and iOS platforms to facilitate uploading of observations to the portal by citizen scientists.

1. Wikwio IDAO Android

2. Wikwio IDAO iOS

3. Wikwio Citizen Science Android

4. Wikwio Citizen Science iOS