Monday, October 15, 2007

[Guinean and development news] New rice seed increases output but faces obstacles

The New York Times had an article about an intriguing project called New Rices for Africa. The piece also touches on the rice seed distribution system in Guinea and other parts of West Africa.

The new seeds increased yields even without fertilizer and more than doubled them with it. From planting to harvest, they also took three months rather than the five or six required by traditional varieties, putting rice on the family table during the hungry season.

But to sustain increased yields, farmers need a reliable source of fresh seed. Productivity declines when the new seeds become degraded after mixing with local varieties in storage sheds and fields and on the floors of the farmers’ huts.

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