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Hybrid rice: breeding by design Project
For Increasing productivity and competitiveness of African rice
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 4.3 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 raise rice yields up to over 10 tonnes per hectare, thus improving the livelihoods of farmers and reducing Sub-Saharan Africa’s dependence on imports.
“The hybrid is of good quality. It also has characteristics of Pishori which is loved by Kenyans, and has a more translucent and stronger grain” – Dr Raphael Wanjogu, Chief Research Officer at the National Irrigation Board
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports the Hybrid Rice: Breeding by Design, TELA, and the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa and the projects. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has previously provided core funding for operational support and the WEMA project.
Use of hybrid rice seeds by African rice farmers grows by at least 10% within the next 8-10 years
• Develop 2-line hybrid rice and parental lines that are well adapted to African conditions
• Stimulate private seed companies towards sustainable utilization and commercialization of the Hybrid Rice
• Strengthen the technical capacity of private seed companies in 2-line hybrid technology to ensure continuous breeding, hybrid rice production, release and commercialization
• Develop an IT tool with interpolated weather surfaces to predict temperature regimes and manage 2-line hybrid rice production risk
Number of Hybrid Rice varieties released to market
Yield in tonnes per hectare with Hybrid Rice compared to 3 tonnes per hectare for commercially…
Promising parental lines in the breeding pipeline
In USD - Estimated financial gain to farmers per hectare of hybrid rice