Trials of new NUE rice show increased productivity
In 2008, Arcadia donated key agricultural productivity technologies to the AATF for use in African NERICA type rice. Under the agreement, AATF received a cost-free license to Arcadia's NUE, Water Efficiency and Salt Tolerance technologies. As part of Arcadia's stated commitment to agricultural and environmental improvement in the developing world, the company received no monetary compensation for the licenses granted to AATF.
The NUE rice field trials at CIAT resulted from nearly five years of collaboration between Arcadia and AATF, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under Feed the Future, the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative. The CIAT field trials served as initial validation and screening of NUE rice lines prior to field trials in Africa, which are now underway. These trials are part of the Nitrogen Use Efficient, Water Use Efficient and Salt-Tolerant (NEWEST) rice project to improve the productivity and sustainability of rice production across Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to Dr. Prince Addae, the NEWEST Rice Project Manager at AATF, the enhanced performance of the NUE lines at CIAT is expected to be duplicated in Africa for use by smallholder farmers.
"The improved rice varieties will enable farmers to improve their rice production and food security for their families and also get more proceeds from the sale of increased produce," Dr. Addae said. "The expected benefits from the NEWEST rice project include a reduction of the continent's dependence on imported mineral nitrogen fertilizers to boost rice yields, reclamation of croplands abandoned because of soil nutrient depletion and salt accumulation and farmers access to improved rice varieties better suited to nitrogen-deficient, water-deficient and saline environments," he added.