Rice is one of the major staple foods in Burkina Faso and in-country production covers about 60% of the demand and 40% is met from imports. The immense potential of the lowlands in Burkina Faso for durable intensification of rice cropping have not been realised due to biotic and abiotic constraints. Hence, there is an urgent need to increase and improve the production of rice in order to meet up with the high demand. To meet the demand, the rice research program in Burkina Faso evaluated intra and interspecific lowland progenies in 2002 and 2003. The aim of the study is to introduce new lowland NERICAs through a participatory approach and to identify ideotypes that are adapted to lowland conditions. Variations did exist among the 16 rice varieties with respect to the 9 variables that were evaluated. A principal components plot and clustering analysis technique were used to group the accessions. The interspecific varieties formed the most interesting group and have a better capacity for adaptation to the diversity of lowlands. They have acceptable yields, sometimes higher than those of intraspecific varieties and check. Thus, the results obtained were quite encouraging and showed that, the varieties possess good agronomic traits that are well adapted to intensify lowland rice farming. The recent naming of some of these interspecific varieties as NERICA-L (New Rice for Africa Lowland) by AfricaRice Center has confirmed that they compare well with the traditional varieties. Thus from this study, we now have a new set of interspecific lines that are adapted to lowland conditions that can be tested to meet farmers’ needs.
Key words: Oryza glaberrima, Oryza sativa, hybridisation, inter-specific, NERICA, sterility, yields.
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