Rice crop tour highlights breeding and seed systems in Tanzania

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The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Tanzanian Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) recently embarked on an extensive crop tour across Tanzania, spanning the Eastern and Southern regions from 9-14 May 2023.

With the aim of revolutionizing rice production and enhancing seed quality, the team of researchers, experts, and farmer groups took on a one-week journey to evaluate the different on-farm trial sites of IRRI, TARI centers, and local stakeholders.

Rice cultivation occupies over 1 million hectares in Tanzania producing 2.2 million tons, establishing rice as Tanzania’s second-most important crop, next to maize. Recognizing the significance of this staple crop, the recently concluded crop tour proved instrumental by providing valuable insights into rice breeding, seed systems, and the challenges faced by farmers in Tanzania. The collaboration between IRRI, TARI, and local stakeholders will play a crucial role in improving rice production, seed quality, and the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the country.

During the visit to TARI Uyole, the team engaged in discussions with Dr. Dennis Tippe, the Director of the TARI Zonal office. Tippe highlighted the research projects, activities, and challenges and provided insights into the potential of the center’s current projects.

“The tour is important as we were able to share our views, our plans, and our focus in the coming years. During the tour, we came to the conclusion that we have a lot of potential and we have a lot of chances to progress and make our rice program advance and make some impact on the farmers’ community,” he said.

The team then proceeded to Kyela District, where they visited one of the 20 on-farm trials under the rainfed ecosystem conducted in collaboration with TARI Uyole. These trials aimed to assess the performance of recently released varieties and potential…

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