Rice belongs to the genus Oryza L. that consists of over 25 species, but only the African rice (O. glaberrima Steud.) and the Asian rice (O. sativa L.) are the two cultivated species in this genus. The Rice Biodiversity Center for Africa (RBC) holds 21,300 registered rice samples of which 85% of the collection originated from Africa. This collection represents five African indigenous wild species (O. barthii, O. longistaminata, O. eichingery, O. punctate, and O. branchyata), as well as both modern and traditional varieties of African rice and Asian rice. The African rice accounts for approximately 17% of the collection conserved at our genebank.

The germplasm was either directly collected by the AfricaRice since the 1970s or received through donations. The major rice germplasm donors include various National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) in Africa, the Office de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique d’Outre-Mer (ORSTOM), the Institut de Recherches Agronomiques Tropicales (IRAT), the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). All material introduced into the genebank was acquired in compliance with applicable national and international laws and other applicable policies.

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