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West Acholi Cooperative Union roots for new rice variety

GULU, March 21, 2024 – West Acholi Cooperative Union is encouraging more of its members to grow  a new variety of upland rice, saying it will boost the incomes of their households.

The NARO Rice 2, also known as TOCI [Code MET 12], developed by the National Agricultural Research Organisation [NARO], matures in about four months.

The National Crops Resources Research Institute [NaCRRI], affiliated to NARO, says NARO Rice 2 has attributes such as:  Maturing within 95-135 days with a good aromatic taste, texture that extends and soft on cooking and non-pasty preferred by majority of women.

Further, it is aromatic and yield more by 1 tonne per hectare, and it is resistant to Rice Yellow Mottle Virus, Rice Blast and Bacterial Leaf Streak. It is most beneficial to farmers within the low land areas in Uganda.

Bob Albert Ogen, the General Manager West Acholi Cooperative Union told theCooperator that farmers in Acholi Sub-region can grow rice if guided by the extension workers. Upland rice in the region is mainly grown in Amuru and Nwoya districts.

“We saw a business opportunity after noticing that many people consume rice in the region and the fact that quite a number of our members are growing upland rice which is cheaper than super rice,” Ogen said.

A kilogramme of super rice is currently selling at Shs 4,500 while upland rice is selling at Shs 3,500.

“The best rice is super but it is not grown here because we don’t have wetlands like in Teso and Lango,” he said.

“We acquired five tonnes of foundation rice seed last year and multiplied it in our farm. We are now ready to supply the seed to our farmers at a cost,’ he said, adding that  the Union is selling NARO-Rice 2 seed at Shs 3,800 a kilo. An acre requires 30 kilos, according to Ogen.

West Acholi Cooperative Union has 71 primary cooperatives located in the four districts of Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya, and Omoro.

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