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Hybrid rice: breeding by design Project
Attaining self-sufficiency in rice production will save Africa an equivalent of US$ 5 billion that is currently spent on importing about 13 million tonnes of rice each year to cover the deficit. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) produces 16 million tonnes of milled rice per year; but consumes nearly double that amount at 30 million tonnes of milled rice per year. The low rice productivity averages 2.2 t/ha against the global average of 3.4 t/ha largely caused by lack of high performing varieties. Only a few countries in Africa have attained self-sufficiency in rice production and as many as 21 of the 39 rice-producing countries import between 50% and 99% of their rice requirements.
AATF is working with partners who are developing new indigenous rice hybrids that can increase the rice yields from 3 tonnes per hectare to up to 10 tonnes per hectare, thus improving the livelihoods of farmers and reducing Sub-Saharan Africa’s dependence on imports.
Vision of Success/Goal
1) Increase the proportion of African farmers using improved seeds from 30 percent to 60 percent within the next 8-10 years
2) Increase in value addition in Africa from $40 of value added to one ton of processed products to US$80 due to increased value addition created by reliable and competitive supply of feedstock.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supports the TELA, Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa, QBS, the Hybrid Rice: Breeding by Design projects and has contributed to integrating IT into CAMAP. The Foundation previously supported the WEMA project and also provided core funding for organizational operational support.