Rice is grown on approx. 4.3 million hectares in West African countries constituting the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA), and demand for rice is growing faster than any other major staple food. Rice blast caused by Pyricularia grisea is one of the major constraints to rice production and is found in all the rice-growing ecosystems of West Africa. A lack of understanding of the blast pathogen variability has hindered efforts towards the identification and development of blast-resistant cultivars adapted to local agro-ecological conditions. To address this, WARDA, Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) and Crops Research Institute (CRI), Ghana, Horticulture Research International, UK, and associated organisations have been involved in a collaborative research programme funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID)-Crop Protection Programme (CPP). Through these projects, considerable progress has been made on pathogen diversity, potential host resistances and characterisation of screening sites. These proceedings of a stakeholder workshop present papers under three themes - Breeding for blast resistance and the process of varietal selection; DFID-CPP blast project activities and outputs; and Blast management in some West African countries.
Crop Protection Programme. Rice Blast in West Africa : Characterisation of pathogen diversity, key screening sites and host resistance. (2004) ISBN 92 9113 266 7