According to the information available from the reliable sources, it has been reported that Tanzanian scientists have developed three salt-resistant and high-yielding rice varieties, namely SATO1, SATO6 and SATO9, under the AGRA-PASS breeding program to help boost rice production in the country. The program in Africa’s Seed Systems (PASS) is being supported by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). In this context, it has been stated that the Scientists released these varieties in March this year after ten years of research. One of the researchers working on the project at the Morogoro-based Sokoine University of Agriculture revealed that the new varieties could resist increased salt in the soil and yield about six tons per hectares even in salty ground. Further, it was also informed that the rice growers can harvest six tonnes per hectare, the highest yield ever recorded in the entire eastern and southern African region.
Furthermore, in this regard the scientists are also planning to produce 500 tons of the new varieties to satisfy the local market by the next cropping season. It has been observed that in Tanzania, rice is an Msimu/unimodal crop and is grown between November – June every year. Moreover, the Tanzanian farmers generally grow traditional rice varieties with low yield potential and most of the Tanzanian rice growers are dependent on rainfall. Upland systems in the country are prone to drought, weed infestation and attacked by pests and diseases too. In addition, rain fed lowland systems suffer from floods during heavy rains and also have a drought situation occasionally.