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New rice specie discovered in Abakaliki
Research on how to increase rice production has yielded fruit as New Rice Era for Africa (NERICA) variety has been discovered in Nigeria and would be used to achieve rice sufficiency in the country in 2005.

THISDAY gathered that NERICA was discovered after a two-year research conducted in selected states in Nigeria, including Ebonyi State.

The programme manager of Ebonyi State Agricultural Development Programme (EBA DEP), Dr Emmanuel Echiegu told THISDAY in Abakaliki that NERICA is "high-yielding and early maturing specie", adding that it is superior to other species available in Nigeria and it is also milibug resistant, a disease that affects the growth and development of rice cultivation.

Echiegu stated that the current breed of rice yields about 1.5-3 metric tons per hectare while per hectare yield of NERICA is about 5-8 metric tons.

The programme manager disclosed that trials were conducted for two years before they could come out with the new breed, stating that five varieties suitable for Ebonyi ecology were identified saying "We are awaiting the official release to enable us start multiplication for distribution to farmers."

Echiegu noted that most of the NERICA breeds are upland variety while most farmers are used to lowland rice farming.

He urged researchers to come out with NERICA suitable for lowland (swampy) areas, noting that Ebonyi rice farmers need special incentive as the state is the core rice producing area in the South-east.

Estimates of rice production in 2002 showed that out of the 277,000 metric tons of rice produced in the south-east, Ebonyi accounted for 116,000 metric tons.

MGR Archive 21.10.2003
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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