AATF, the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), and Hybrid East Africa Limited (HEAL) are conducting a second season on-farm multilocation trial (MLT) to evaluate four AATF/HEAL rice hybrids for adaptability and performance in comparison to the three best commercially released rice inbreds in Tanzania across 5 locations: Babati, Ukiriguru, Kilombero, Morogoro and Mombo.
The four rice hybrids were among 6 hybrids evaluated during the first season MLTs; concluded in December 2020. Data from the trial indicated that the four rice hybrids yielded higher than the best commercial inbred checks. The best hybrid yielded 8.1 tons/ha compared to 7.6 tons/ha for the inbred rice variety. In addition, the best hybrid matured 9 days earlier.
During the reproductive and ripening stages of the rice hybrids, over 150 farmers were engaged in a Participatory Variety Selection (PVS) in August 2020. The PVS allowed the farmers to select and rank their most preferred rice hybrids based on yields, early maturity, grain size and shape, milling quality, disease resistance, aroma among other qualities. 46% of the engaged farmers were female. The four best performing hybrids were ranked among the top five most farmer preferred hybrids and were advanced to the second season of MLTs that was planted in May 2021 in the five trial sites. This trial will be concluded in August 2021 and promising hybrids registered for testing in National Performance Trials (NPTs) and for Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS) in collaboration with the Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI).
Commercial release of the new early maturing, high yielding hybrid rice varieties into the Tanzanian market will provide farmers with an opportunity to significantly increase rice productivity and rapidly propel the country towards rice self-sufficiency.