Studies indicate that rice is consumed by the half of the world population and it is also a staple food in the middle east and in Asia. In Ethiopia rice is not a widely cultivated crop but there are vast paddy fields which have the potential for cultivating rice. Rice has sufficient nutritional content and if the cultivation is expanded in various parts, it could play crucial role in easing food insecurity.
The Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute can be said as a pioneer in experimenting rice cultivation in the Melka Werer Research Centre, Afar State. Currently, the institute, in collaboration with China Aid Technical Cooperation Programme of Senior Agricultural Expert Group, is working towards the wide cultivation of the crop.
Shiferaw Hassen is an agriculture expert working there. As to him, the Werer Agricultural Research Centre which has 250 hectares of land used for various experimental activities and the cultivation of rice, was began ten years ago. The objective of cultivating rice in that area is to transform pastorals into sedentary farmers in their respective land. Read more