Six new rice varieties released in Ghana
For the first time, six new rice varieties ─ four of which were wholly developed locally ─ have been released as commercial varieties in Ghana, by a team of AGRA-funded researchers led by Dr. Maxwell Asante. The effort aims to help boost rice production and quality, as well as reduce dependence on imports. Currently, Ghana’s rice import bill is about $600, despite the fact that the country has the potential to produce to meet local and international demand.
Besides maize, rice is the second most important cereal and major staple in Ghana. Figures from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture show current annual per capita consumption of about 40kg per person is expected to hit 63kg by next year. The new releases will respond to industry challenges of low production, low average yield, and poor grain quality, to be able to contribute to meet this target. They will also satisfy the strong demand for high-yielding jasmine and conventional US long grain rice types in Ghana.
All 6 varieties, which are suitable for lowland and irrigated rice ecologies, are high-yielding, tolerant to Rice Yellow Mottle Virus Disease and Iron toxicity, as well as have high cooking and aromatic qualities, making them farmer- and consumer-preferred varieties. The national varietal Release Committee had no problem at all accepting all six varieties for release onto the local market.
Dr. Asante believes that “the newly-released varieties would go a long way to help reduce Ghana’s dependence on foreign rice imports”. The effort, of developing four (4) varieties from local crosses of the Crops Research Institute (CRI), is unprecedented and a major milestone for national research in Ghana. The locally-developed varies are AGRA-CRI-LOL-2-27, CRI-1-11-15-5, AGRA-CRI-LOL-1-7, and CRI-1-11-15-21. This brings the total number of rice varieties developed and released in Ghana with support from AGRA to thirteen (13).
Below are descriptors of the varieties.
|Line||Release Name||Days to Maturity||Average yields in Multi-locational trials (MT/ha)||Yield potential
over Agra Rice in field trials
|AGRA-CRI-LOL-2-27||CRI-Dartey||120-125||6.5||9.0||15%||Excellent cooking quality, aromatic|
|6.0||8.0||6%||Excellent cooking quality, slightly aromatic|
|AGRA-CRI-LOL-1-7||CRI-Mpuntuo||115-120||5.8||8.0||2%||Good cooking quality, aromatic, good processing quality|
|6.6||9.5||18%||Excellent cooking quality, slightly aromatic|
|Nerica-L-41||CRI-Kantinka||120-125||6.3||8.5||11%||Excellent cooking quality|
|FAROX 508-3-10-F43-1-1||CRI-Oboafo||130-135||6.0||8.5||7%||Good cooking quality, good processing quality|