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Tanzanian Rice Swells Yield From Salty Soil

Scientists in Tanzania have developed a high-yielding, salt-resistant rice variety that could benefit millions of farmers across Africa. The variety, dubbed SATO1, can yield several tonnes of rice per hectare even in salty ground — up from just 0.5 tonnes for traditional varieties that grow poorly in such soil, the researchers say.

The rice is being used as part of a wider project that combines salt-tolerant varieties identified in Japan after the 2011 tsunami with treatments designed to reduce salt concentrations in the earth.

The combination of better rice and soil treatment has led to the reclamation of 680 hectares of land previously almost incapable of producing rice.

Anton Matthee

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