Received: January 10, 2020 Accepted: January 14, 2020 Published: January 14, 2020
The introduction of rice to Ethiopia is associated with the mission to address different challenges mainly targeting insuring food security for settlers in the beginning of 1960s. Formal research on rice has started in 1986 with the establishment of the Pawe and Abobo research centers. Since then multi-environment breeding trials were conducted across the three ecosystems with major objective of developing high yielding, stable, early maturing and major disease resistant rice varieties. In the past three decade a total of 35 varieties were released nationally of which 15 targeted the rain fed upland, 11 rain fed lowland and 9 irrigated growing environments. Under research station, the productivity of released lowland rice variety increased from 3.0 ton ha-1 (1998) to 4.6 ton ha-1 (2016), raised by 34.8 % and 1.9 % of an annual yield increment achieved. For rain fed released lowland rice, grain yield increased from 3.8 ton ha-1 (1999) to 6.8 ton ha-1 (2017), raised by 44.1 % and 2.5 % annually. Similarly, irrigated rice yield increased from 4.7 ton ha-1 (2007) to 6.5 ton ha-1 (2011), raised by 27.7 %. Although a number of varieties have been released, only a few are adopted by farmers this could be related to lack of extension service, lack of mechanization, lack of quality trait on released varieties for “injera” making and preference of high biomass yield for animal feed. This suggested the importance of including preferred traits and introduces product oriented research in the program. Product based variety development requires incorporation of multiple traits in to the existing adapted rice varieties and elite lines, as a result basic facilities are necessary. Considering product based variety development, consisting of all the important traits preferred by the end users would help to increase the adoption of released varieties.