Nerica-L-19 is the most widely adopted lowland Nerica in SSA.

Shuttle breeding uses diverse ecological environments to develop improved varieties with higher adaptability. Alternate generations of early breeding materials are grown under different environments.


In total there are now 82 Nerica varieties – 18 upland, 60 lowland and four irrigated. The success of these varieties has now expanded beyond the African continent, with Nericas being used by farmers and breeders for rice production and varietal improvement programmes in Bangladesh, China, India and several other countries around the world.

A broad-based partnership

A project like the Nerica breeding programme cannot be implemented by one organisation alone. Various research and development partnerships were forged to support the development and dissemination of Nericas (see lower Box on page 15). A major landmark was the launching of the African Development Bank (AfDB)-funded Multinational Nerica Rice Dissemination Project (2005-2010). The project sought to widely establish Nerica and other improved varieties in seven countries: Benin, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.