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Hybrid Varieties of Rice are Producing Higher than Expected Yield

The first hybrid rice varieties developed in sub-Saharan Africa are yielding up to four times more than other improved varieties, say scientists, who are using web-based tools to identify the right climate conditions to maximize harvests.

The 15 hybrids, bred in Kenya and Tanzania, are also tolerant to diseases and the high temperatures found in Kenya's western Lake Region and coastal areas.

Local farmers have always depended on imported hybrid rice varieties, particularly from Asia, which sometimes do not adapt well to conditions in sub-Saharan Africa.

As the climate shifts and arable land shrinks under population pressure, experts say there is a need for more innovative ways to produce food.

Ollivier Girard/CIFOR

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