Registering a New Green Super Rice Variety Named “Selam” for Cultivation in Ethiopia

Cold tolerance; High yield; National variety trial; Standard check; White seed color


January 1, 2023

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Background: Rice (Oryza sativa L.) one of the crops whose importance as a food crop has been rising in Ethiopia. However, lack of high yielding and cold tolerant varieties of the crop has been posing a serious challenge to the production of the crop in the high lands of Ethiopia. This problem undermines the efforts being made to expand the production of the crop in the country.
Objective: Research was conducted to evaluate performances and stability of several cold tolerant lowland green super rice varieties and make recommendations as to which variety is the best to cultivate for high yield and cold tolerance in regions located in northwestern Ethiopia.
Material and Methods: The variety Yungeng 31 was named “Selam” after it was officially introduced from China together with 15 other genotypes of the crop in 2014 from China, Chinese Agricultural Academic Science in 2014 and released in Ethiopia in 2020. “Selam” means peace in Amharic. Quarantine tests and preliminary variety evaluation were conducted in 2014 and 2015 main cropping seasons in Andasa and Fogera districts respectively in the Amhara National Regional State in northwestern Ethiopia. The national variety trial was conducted from 2016 to 2018 main cropping season in Fogega, Shire-Maitsebri Jimma and Dembiaya
districts. The variety verification trial was conducted in 2019/2020 main cropping season in the same places. Ediget and Fogera-2 were used as standard check varieties. Shaga variety which was included during variety verification trial. Fogera-2 and Shaga were released by Fogera National Rice Research and Training Center in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Ediget was released by Adet Agricultural research center in 2011. All these varieties were introduced from Africa Rice Center.
Results: The mean grain yield of Selam amounted to 4977.6 kg ha–1 across the locations over the years, with yield advantages of 32.9% and 17.1% over the Ediget and Fogera-2 varieties, respectively. In the verification trial, Selam produced a mean grain yield of 5200 kg ha–1 across three on-stations and 4700 kg ha–1 across four on-farm sites, enhancing its yield advantage by 17.6% over the Shaga variety. Furthermore, the new Selam variety was found to be cold-tolerant and has a white seed color.
Conclusions: According to the findings of this study, Selam was found to be a significantly higher grain yielder than standard varieties and stable across the locations and cropping seasons. Moreover, the new variety Selam has preferable characteristics like white seed color, long panicle, and uniform maturity. Therefore, the new variety Selam was recommended and officially released in 2020 for cultivation by smallholder farmers as well as large scale rice producing farmers in areas with altitudes ranging between 1350 to 1810 meters above sea level and other similar agro-ecologies in Ethiopia.

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