Productivity of rice in Ethiopia is increasing with consistent deployment of new improved varieties into production. However, the productivity levels attained in both research managed fields as well as farmers’ fields are low compared to world average. This makes variety development critical. In an effort to develop upland rice variety, two independent pipelines were set. One was targeting the upland & high elevation environments, while the other one the typical upland. Both pipelines followed the established variety development and evaluation procedures of the research system in the country. Single site analysis was used for preliminary variety trials to promote promising genotypes to the national variety trials. Multi-environment analysis was employed to select candidate genotypes to be verified and for possible approval by the National Variety Releasing Committee (NVRC). In both sets, promising genotypes were identified at the preliminary variety trials and promoted to national variety trials. Results of the upland national variety trial showed that two genotypes (ART16-5-9-22-2-1-1-B-1-2 and ART16-9-33-2-1-1-1-B-1-2) found promising and promoted to verification and approval. These candidates outsmarted the standard check in terms of high grain yield, earliness and larger grain size. ART16-5-9-22-2-1-1-B-1-2 has been approved and registered by the NVRC and named Azmera as vernacular name. It showed more than 10% yield advantage compared to the standard check. Azmera is an improved variety profiled with high grain yield, earliness, larger grain size and white caryopsis. It is recommended to be produced in lower altitude and high temperature areas such Pawe, Assosa, Metema and similar agro-ecologies.
azmera, high elevation, rice, upland, variety
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