Fwd: [taat_cdto] FW: [tccp] TAAT showcases high-yielding hybrid rice varieties adapted to African conditions

-------- Original Message --------

[taat_cdto] FW: [tccp] TAAT showcases high-yielding hybrid rice
varieties adapted to African conditions

2019-09-06 16:27

"Benjamin Abugri" <babugri@faraafrica.org>

"TAAT Capacity Development and Technology Outreach (CDTO) Enabler
Compact" <taat_cdto@dgroups.org>

"TAAT Capacity Development and Technology Outreach (CDTO) Enabler
Compact" <taat_cdto@dgroups.org>


A set of four high-yielding hybrid rice varieties with excellent grain
quality have elicited strong interest from key stakeholders, especially
seed companies and farmers.

The rice varieties were showcased during field days held recently at
AfricaRice research station in M'bé, Côte d'Ivoire.

The field days to showcase the performance of the hybrids were organized
by the Rice Compact of the 'Technologies for African Agricultural
Transformation (TAAT)' Programme.

Funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB), TAAT's main objective is
to improve the business of agriculture across Africa by raising
agricultural productivity, mitigating risks and promoting
diversification and processing in 18 agricultural value chains within
eight Priority Intervention Areas (PIA).

The programme increases agricultural productivity through the deployment
of proven and high-performance agricultural technologies at scale along
selected value chains which include rice.

The hybrids showcased in the field days included AR051H, an aromatic
variety with high-yield potential (12-13 t/ha under favourable
conditions and about 9 t/ha in farmers' fields) and milling recovery of

Developed by AfricaRice, AR051H, was released by the Senegalese
Institute of Agricultural Research (ISRA) as ISRIZ-9 in 2017.

"This is a wonderful effort which is very promising for Africa, as until
now we had heard of hybrid rice success only in China and India," said
Abdoulaye Sawadogo, head of NAFASO seed company, after the field visit.

"We want our governments to support this initiative, which will improve
our capacity to meet market demand and reduce rice imports."

Representatives of 11 seed companies, two milling companies, two
farmers' organizations, national seed system partners and research and
development organizations participated in the field days.

These participants, drawn from Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali,
Nigeria and Senegal attended the field days to observe first-hand the
performance of the AfricaRice-developed hybrids in the demonstration
plots as well as hybrid seed production fields.

The participants from Nigeria, including two policy-makers, showed a
keen interest to test the hybrids in Nigeria.

"This is a milestone for Africa in terms of raising rice productivity,"
said Hon. Munir Babba Dan Agundi, a member of Nigeria's lower house of
parliament. "The hybrids should be made available to farmers in Nigeria
as quickly as possible, along with training," he added.

The four hybrids showcased in the field days are early-maturing (110-120
days), which will allow farmers to grow two crops per year. They have
15-20% (1.0-1.5 t/ha) yield advantage compared with the best non-hybrid
(inbred) variety grown under the same conditions, and good grain quality
traits (medium and long grains with intermediate to high amylose
content) and high milling recovery.

"Developed after nearly 10 years of intense research, these
high-yielding hybrid rice varieties adapted to African conditions are
ready to be rolled out," said Dr Sidi Sanyang, who coordinates the TAAT
Rice Compact.

"The release of the consumer-preferred hybrid, ISRIZ-9, in Senegal,
offers new opportunities for smallholder farmers to increase production
and access national markets," he added.

"Capacity building of our partners in hybrid rice technology is a key
component of our strategy, so that we can support our farmers and seed

Dr Sanyang explained that an effective public-private partnerships
(PPPs) strategy is critical for the successful deployment of these
hybrid rice varieties in Africa.

"In partnership with national programs, we wish to actively engage with
the private sector to expedite the adoption of promising hybrid rice
varieties in Africa."

At the end of the field days, seed companies expressed their willingness
to host demonstrations of these hybrids within countries for which PPP
modalities will be worked out with support from the TAAT Policy Enabler
Compact, led by African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF).

Because of heterosis (hybrid vigor), hybrid rice can significantly
out-yield inbred varieties. It can thus provide an avenue to African
rice farmers to raise rice yields and profitability and play a central
role in feeding Africa's growing population. Hybrid rice seed production
can be a profitable business and create employment opportunities for
Africa's youth.

Considering all these factors and in response to the strong demand from
its member countries, AfricaRice established its own hybrid rice
breeding program for Africa.

About 50 high-yielding hybrid rice lines/varieties have been developed
by AfricaRice and evaluated in several African countries. The four
hybrids showcased during the field days are part of this set.

TAAT Communications
TAAT Clearinghouse
IITA-Bénin Station, 08 BP 0932 Tri Postal - Cotonou, Bénin
Tel: +234 80 32 49 49 99, Mob: +229 60 85 51 88
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