International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

BSF Project - Fourth Cycle

Providing producers with high-performance varieties of drought-tolerant rice adapted to rainfed rice farming systems: strict rainfed, shallow, and controlled submersion
Where will we work?
80% of rainfed rice cultivation areas in Mali are seriously affected by drought, drastically reducing yields. Developing rice varieties that are both productive and drought tolerant is hence of great urgency. To do this, breeders must have at their disposal the greatest possible genetic diversity. In this context, local varieties of rice are of crucial importance in the development of more productive and stable varieties.

What will we do?
  • Prospecting and collection of local varieties of rice in the region of Sikasso, Segou, Kayes and Koulikoro;
  • Phenotyping of 100 varieties of rice, and assessment of yield potential and drought tolerance of local varieties collected;
  • Agro-morphological characterization and mass selection of cultivars with the participation of the producers;
  • Molecular characterization of the collected local varieties: study of genetic diversity, and of pan-genomic association;
  • Seed multiplication of local varieties selected by farmers;
  • Strengthen the capacity of seed companies and platforms with regard to paddy rice production, and production and marketing of R1-certified basic seeds;
  • Organization of seed fairs and awareness-raising amongst producers, innovation platforms (rice, potato, corn), traditional leaders and policy makers regarding crop diversification as a means of mitigating the effects of climate change;
  • Establishment of three seed banks.

What is expected to be achieved?
300 local varieties of rice will be collected and listed in the Genetic Resources Unit (URG) of Mali. Five varieties per agro-ecological zone (strict rain, lowland, controlled submersion) will be selected and reintroduced with the participation of farmers. Two tons of pre-bred seed per selected variety, i.e. a total of 30 tons, will be distributed to producers. Several varieties with high yield potential and drought tolerance will be identified. This will help ensure food security in the country, as producers will be enabled to cope with the predicted effects of climate change. The project will also establish the molecular profile of each local variety collected and thereby make the genetic diversity and population structure of Malian local rice widely known. Genes associated with yield and yield components in both normal and drought conditions will be fully mapped. Four tons of pre-bred seeds will be made available to seed companies at affordable prices. Through the establishment of seed banks and awareness-raising at seed fairs and other events, producers will be empowered to manage their own genetic resources more efficiently.

Who will benefit?
The project will involve about 900 farmers, of which about 850 are women, all of whom will directly benefit from access to seeds and capacity building. In particular, the project will involve 553 women from the "Cooperative Women Rice Producers of Niéna" (COFRN), 56 rice growers including 30 women from the "Simplified Cooperative Society of Rice Seed Producers" (SCSPSR), 100 women rice farmers from the Zantièbougou women rice farmers' association, 100 women rice farmers of the circle of Dioila, 60 women rice farmers of N'Tjiba commune, 30 farmers from the village of Damango Diassa. Moreover, the project will benefit three seed companies: FASO KABA, the Improved Seed Production Company (SOPROSA), the National Seed Service (SSN), as well as two postgraduate students (plant breeding and plant protection).
Region: Africa
Target Countries: Mali
Implementing institution: Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER)

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