The Agricultural Research Center in Tartous succeeds in growing Aerobic rice

TARTOUS, (ST)- The Agricultural Research Center in Tartous has announced that the experiment of growing aerobic rice succeeded for the first time in Syria. The experiment was conducted at Zahed Research Station where seeds are to be produced and handed over to the General Organization for Seed Multiplication (GOSM) in order to be distributed to farmers in Sahel Akkar (Akkar Plain) next year.

 Aerobic rice is a drought resistant kind of rice with a good grain yield.

According to Dr. Sameer al-Ahmad, member of the Zahed station's staff, the experiment for growing aerobic rice in the station started in 2015 through testing 19 types of rice. Only four varieties have been selected in accordance with the climatic conditions and the nature of the soil in Sahel Akkar.  He clarified that the selected varieties of rice were cultivated on May 17, 2020 in an area of 100 square meters for each type.

 Haitham Eid, head of the Committee Supervising Rice Growing in Sahel Akkar, the cultivation process should have been done in the farmers' lands, but because of the anti-coronavirus precautionary measures over the past period, the cultivation was done in the station's fields.

Rice used to be grown in Syria's Homs and al-Ghab plain. However, the new experiment is different in terms that Aerobic rice doesn't require submerged fields. The water volume needs only be enough to keep the soil moist.

Rice crop is of great economic importance in Syria. It is one of the citizens' most consumed food materials. Local production of rice may limit rice importation, thereby, saving foreign currency and contributing to supporting the national economy in the face of the economic war on the country.

Hamda Mustafa