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New Rice in Tanzania to Boost Production

23 April 2013

TANZANIA - Tanzanian farmers can now boost rice production two to three times by combining good agricultural practices with the adoption of two new high-yielding rice varieties, IR05N 221 and IR03A 262.

After extensive evaluation and screening across the country since 2008, farmers chose IR05N 221 (named Komboka, meaning be liberated) and IR03A 262 (named Tai, meaning eagle) for their promising yield potential of 6.5–7 and 7.5 tons per hectare, respectively.

Currently, Tanzania’s average yield is around only 1.8 tons per hectare due to low-yielding varieties with long growth duration and susceptibility to diseases. Komboka and Tai will help uphold Tanzania’s position as the leading rice producer in East and Southern Africa by helping farmers produce more rice.

These new varieties also possess grain quality that meets the needs and preferences of farmers and consumers in Tanzania – essential to ensuring their adoption and marketability.

“Komboka is strongly desired for its aroma, which is highly regarded by farmers and consumers, and therefore it is very marketable,” said Dr Zakaria Kanyeka of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), which led the development of the varieties.

“Tai, on the other hand, is nonaromatic, yet has strong potential in parts of the country where aroma is less important.”

Beyond the aroma difference, Komboka and Tai are highly preferred by farmers for their long, slender, and translucent grains, and soft texture for cooking, as the texture remains soft after overnight storage.

Both varieties can be grown twice a year – during the rainy season from January to June and during the dry season from August to December.

TheCropSite News Desk

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