Scientists in Tanzania have developed a high-yielding, salt-resistant rice variety that could benefit millions of farmers across Africa.
The variety, dubbed SATO1, can yield several tonnes of rice per hectare even in salty ground— up from just half a tonne for traditional varieties, which grow poorly in salty soil.
Sophia Kashenge works for the Chollima Agro-Scientific Research Centre in Dakawa, Morogoro Region, Tanzania. She says, “Farmers are now able to produce six tonnes per hectare, the highest yield ever recorded in the history of rice production in the entire eastern and southern Africa countries.”
The variety is being promoted in Tanzania as part of a project that combines salt-tolerant varieties identified in Japan after the 2011 tsunami with treatments designed to reduce salt concentrations in the earth.
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Photo credit: Charles Ngereza