Africa heading towards green revolution: ARICA rice

May, 2013 added a new chapter in the rice breeding programs of Africa with the launch of five varieties of improved rice under the name ARICA. These varieties were identified by the scientists of Africa Rice Center (Africa Rice) and were launched by Africa Rice Breeding Task Force. ARICA simply refers to “Advanced Rice Varieties for Africa”. These varieties are far much superior to the miracle rice NERICA in terms of yield. In fact we can call it brand rice and next generation rice which gives a hope to bring green revolution in Africa.
In Africa cultivation of rice has many constraints due to diversity of growing environments. Hence, a variety was needed which can perform well under diverse environments and help to boost the domestic rice production in African countries.
NERICA were considered to be the best varieties of rice till date in Africa but the new rice ARICA stands apart with 15-50% higher yield and performance than NERICA varieties. Three ARICA varieties are suitable for lowland ecosystem and two varieties are launched for upland ecosystem in Africa.
• Lowland ecosystem ARICA varieties:

a) ARICA 1
ARICA 1 has 30% more yield than lowland variety NERICA L 19. It is expected to be released in Mali.
b) ARICA 2
ARICA 2 has 50% more yield than NERICA L 19. It is expected to be released in Nigeria and Mali.
c) ARICA 3
ARICA 3 has 30 % more yield and has qualities like low chalkiness with high grain quality and less cooking time. ARICA 3 will be released in Nigeria and Mali.

• Upland ecosystem ARICA varieties:

d) ARICA 4
It leads NERICA 4 with 15% more yield. It is released in Uganda.
e) ARICA 5
ARICA 5 also leads NERICA 4 with 15% more yield. It is also released in Uganda.

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