Afritec Seeds Limited received a £500,000 grant from the UK Government, through the FoodTrade East & Southern Africa programme, to implement a project that will improve smallholder farmer incomes through improved rice varieties & hybrids. The company is working to put hybrid rice technology into the hands of small farmers around Eastern Africa, allowing them to benefit from the extra value created. The first round of hybrid testing showed that the hybrid seeds produced up to 3.5 times more output per hectare than drought tolerant varieties. The use of hybrids promises to increase the quality and quantity of rice production in the region, to the point where we can compete with international imports. Hybrids also open up opportunities to expand areas under non-irrigated rice, allowing farmers to penetrate rain-fed area.
Watch an interview that Dr. John Mann, Managing Director of Afritec Seeds Limited, gave on CNBC Africa