Improved NEWEST Rice variety to African farmers

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According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, rice is the fastest growing source of food in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and African farmers are doing what they can to increase production to keep pace. The Current data from USDA showed that 12.5 million tons of milled rice is being produced, however there is a 12 million tons deficit that is costing Africans about $5.7 billion annually to import. Most of the Sub-Saharan Africa rice production is in the hands of small-scale farmers who struggle with nitrogen deficient soils, saline soils and drought conditions.

To improve these conditions, a partnership was formed between the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), California-based Arcadia Biosciences, the Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture (PIPRA) and the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) of Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria, to develop NEWEST rice. An acronym for Nitrogen Use Efficient, Water Use Efficient and Salt Tolerant rice, the NEWEST rice program is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Feed the Future initiative. The objective of the partnership is to increase rice production across Sub-Saharan Africa.

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