ARICA

ARICA varieties

In 2013, a new generation of high-performing rice varieties was launched by the Africa-wide Rice Breeding Task Force under a new brand called “ARICA” – which stands for “Advanced Rice Varieties for Africa.” ARICA varieties can be considered as the next generation of rice varieties for Africa after the ‘New Rice for Africa’ (NERICA) varieties that were developed in the 1990s and the first decade of this century. The ARICA varieties offer promising opportunities to Africa’s rice sector and can make a difference to the lives of Africa’s rice farmers, because these new varieties are well adapted to the growing environments and have better grain quality preferred by the local markets.

 

Where piloted

ARICA was tested in 30 African countries by the Africa-wide Rice Breeding Task Force using the participatory varietal selection (PVS) method involving over 3000 farmers. The current 18 ARICA varieties selected by the Breeding Task Force have been released or selected for release in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Uganda.

 

Success factors

The Africa-wide Breeding Task Force systematically evaluates promising breeding lines from AfricaRice and its partners (working at national or international level) across the continent, spots champions through detailed genotype-by-environment (G × E) analyses, and stimulates varietal release in African countries. The Breeding Task Force comprises international and national rice breeders from about 30 African countries.

 

A breeding line to be nominated as an ARICA line must consistently and significantly out-yield the best checks in at least one site over at least three seasons and possess acceptable grain quality. In other words, it must represent significant improvement on the current best variety. The outperformance of the 18 ARICAs may result from high yield potential, or better tolerance/resistance to some biotic and/or abiotic stresses, such as blast, bacterial leaf blight (BLB), rice yellow mottle virus (Rice Yellow Mottle Virus), drought, flooding, iron toxicity, cold, and salinity.

 

Moreover, at least one country should show interest in nominating the line for varietal release. Unlike the NERICA varieties, they are not restricted to interspecific crosses. Any line that shows promise, regardless of its origin, can become an ARICA line as long as the data collected are convincing. The important aspect of the ARICA-designation process is the quality assurance. Breeders’ assessments of the material are backed by field data collected over a number of years.

 

A standardized experimental methodology, known as the ‘experimental protocol,’ has been designed with the breeders from the national agricultural research systems (NARS) in the Breeding Task Force. This standardized protocol enables scientists to analyze the data across sites and countries with confidence, knowing that the same practices have been followed at all sites. Moreover, the Breeding Task Force members have agreed on a common set of plant traits to be measured in each of the trials.

 

The ultimate decision on naming an ARICA line is taken by AfricaRice and is based on data gathered in the Task Force trials, and any other data gathered during the breeding process. These breeding lines can come from AfricaRice or its partners or through collaborative work between institutions. An ARICA is, therefore, truly a joint product and a quality label.

 

Benefits and impact on livelihoods at the pilot sites

Due to their better performance—high yield and stress tolerance—compared to the best rice varieties already cultivated by farmers, ARICA varieties will significantly increase productivity and contribute to improving farmers’ livelihood in Africa.

 

​Scalability

Although ARICAs, like the NERICAs, are highly scalable because farmers are involved in its testing across 5-6 representative African countries for an ecology, quality seed remains a challenge to widespread dissemination.

 

 

ARICA 1 WAB 2094-WAC 2-TGR 2-B

  • Rainfed lowland

  • High-yielding over the best check (NERICA-L 19, BW 348-1)

  • Suitable country: Mali, Burkina Faso

 

ARICA 2 WAB-2056-2-FKR 2-5-TGR 1-B

  • Rainfed lowland

  • High-yielding over the best check (BW 348-1, NERICA-L 19, WITA 12)

  • Suitable country: Mali, Nigeria

 

ARICA 3 WAB 2076-WAC 1-TGR 1-B

  • Rainfed lowland

  • High-yielding over the best check (BW 348-1, NERICA-L 19, WITA 12)

  • Grain quality (high milling recovery, low chalkiness, short cooking time)

  • Suitable country: Mali, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Togo

 

ARICA 4 ART3-11-L1P1-B-B-2

  • Upland

  • High-yielding over the best check (NERICA 4)

  • Suitable country: Uganda

 

ARICA 5 WAB 95-B-B-40-HB

  • Upland

  • High yielding over the best check (NERICA 4)

  • Suitable country: Uganda

 

ARICA 6 IR75887-1-3-WAB1

  • Rainfed lowland

  • Iron-toxicity tolerant

  • Suitable country: Guinea, Ghana

 

ARICA 7 WAS 21-B-B-20-4-3-3

  • Rainfed and irrigated lowland

  • Iron-toxicity tolerant

  • Cold-tolerant

  • Suitable country: Ghana, Senegal

 

ARICA 8 WAT 1046-B-43-2-2-2

  • Rainfed and irrigated lowland

  • Iron-toxicity tolerant

  • Suitable country: Burkina Faso, Guinea

 

ARICA 9 SIM2 SUMADEL

  • Rainfed and irrigated lowland

  • Cold-tolerant

  • Suitable country: Mali

 

 ARICA 10 WAS 200-B-B-1-1-1

  • Rainfed and irrigated lowland

  • Cold-tolerant

  • Suitable country: Mali

 

ARICA 11 IR 63275-B-1-1-1-3-3-2

  • Mangrove

  • Salt-tolerant

  • Suitable country: Gambia

 

ARICA 12 FAROX 521-288-H1

  • Irrigated lowland

  • High-yielding over the best check (WITA 9)

  • Suitable country: Senegal

 

ARICA 13 WAB 2151-TGR1-WAT B4

  • Irrigated lowland

  • High-yielding over the best check (WITA 4)

  • Suitable country: Senegal

 

ARICA 14 ART15-11-8-5-2-B-1

  • Upland

  • High-yielding over the best check (NERICA 1, 3, 4, 8)

  • Suitable country: Côte d’Ivoire

 

ARICA 15 WAB 881-SG-12

  • Upland

  • High-yielding over the best check (NERICA 8)

  • Suitable country: Côte d’Ivoire

 

ARICA 16 CNAX 3031-78-2-1-1

  • Upland

  • High-yielding over the best check (NERICA 1, WAB 56-104)

  • Suitable country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali

 

ARICA 17 scrid017-1-4-4-4-1

  • High elevation

  • High-yielding over the best check (X-JIGNA, WAB 56-104, Ediget)

  • Suitable country: Ethiopia

 

ARICA 18 FAROX 521-83-H1

  • Rainfed lowland

  • High-yielding over the best check (NERICA-L 19, WITA 9)

  • Suitable country: Côte d’Ivoire

 

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