Rice Centre for Africa (AfricaRice) - Six varieties of rice with improved tolerance to environmental stress, have been discovered by researchers at the rice Centre for Africa (AfricaRice), according to a statement issued by the organization, based in Abomey-Calavi in Benin.
The organization said the six rice varieties, under the name 'advanced rice varieties for Africa (ARICA), is the second in the series of discoveries since the launching of the trademark ARICA last year to offer agricultural producers a new generation of high-performance varieties for Africa.
The statement said that the ARICA varieties are selected through a strict multi-environment test process, including regional and national tests, as well as the participative variety selection involving producers.
To be eligible for the nomination as ARICA, the variety must have a significant advantage compared to the reference in the region over three years and must be backed by strong data, adds the statement which highlights that the improved rice varieties approved by countries are also taken into consideration.
On the basis of the criteria, six ARICA were nominated, one among them distinguished itself particularly, for it associates tolerance to two stresses – the ferrous toxicity and the cold.
For environmentalists, it’s essentially about pluvial and irrigated soils: the varieties 'WAS 21-B-B-20-4-3-3': tolerant towards ferrous toxicity (identified for approval in Ghana)/ tolerant towards ferrous toxicity (approved in Burkina Faso and identified for approval in Guinea), 'SIM2 SUMADEL': tolerant towards the cold (identified for approval in Mali) and 'WAS 200-B-B-1-1-1': tolerant for the cold (identified for approval in Mali).
For the pluvial soil environment, the variety 'IR75887-1-3-WAB1': tolerant towards ferrous toxicity (approved in Guinea and identified for approval in Ghana) and 'IR 63275-B-1-1-1-3-3-2': tolerant towards salinity (approved in Gambia) for mangrove swamp environment.
The varieties were evaluated by the Project tolerant rice towards stress for Africa and South Asia (STRASA). The project helps agricultural producers who cultivate in pluvial condition where stress such as drought, submersion, cold, salinity and ferrous toxicity reduce outputs.