Ethiopia's geography is marked by mammoth depressions and mountains ranges due to the rift valley system that cuts across the country. Consequently vast arable lands are located at high altitudes more than 2000 meter above sea level. Rice was introduced to the country few decades ago nevertheless the production area is rapidly expanding. Rice can be grown in wide agroclimatic zones; however, low temperature stress is a series problem for rice growers at high elevations in the tropics. Although there are some accessions with tolerant reaction to cold in the rice germplasm, the unavailability of suitable cold tolerant variety to farmers posed a big challenge to increase productivity. Sasakawa Africa Association initiated a large cold tolerant rice evaluation program at three different locations in Ethiopia to identify cold tolerant genotypes. Large number of germplasm were obtained from INGER, AfricaRice, and other sources and evaluated both in dry and wet season at the selected locations in the year 2007-08. The result of this experiment showed that during wet season, where the temperature was as low as 10°C during the night and about 27°C during the day. Many entries have shown various degrees of tolerance at different growth stages, but only 7 of them were identified with both good seedling and reproductive stage tolerance. At present such cold tolerant project is being carried out at a regional level involving six African countries under the Africa Rice Center and International Rice Research Institute initiative. Under this project more germplasm screening and validation is being carried out including the seven potential accessions identified in this experiment. The evaluation effort complemented with good breeding activity for yield and grain quality is expected to result identification of more accessions that can contribute to intensification of rice production by resource poor farmers in Africa.
Cold tolerant rice evaluation in Ethiopian highlands.
Zenna, N. E. G. U. S. S. I. E., & Tareke, B. (2009). Cold tolerant rice evaluation in Ethiopian highlands. In 9th African Crop Science, Conference Proceedings, Cape Town, South Africa, 28 September-2 October 2009 (pp. 309-311). African Crop Science Society.