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Kenya, a net rice importer, may double production of the grain over the next seven years after introducing a drought-resistant seed variety that thrives in drier environments, the Agriculture Ministry said.

The government is encouraging use of the seed type, known as New Rice for Africa, or Nerica, which may increase output to 178,000 metric tons by 2018 from 80,000 tons, Johnson Irungu, director of crops at the ministry, said in a phone interview yesterday from Nairobi, the capital. So far, about 60 tons of the seed has been distributed, he said.

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Courtesy: Bloomberg

6th April 2011