Rice farmers in the inland valleys (IVs) of sub-Saharan Africa cultivate under rainfed conditions with little or no bunding. Their fields often alternate between being in flooded and droughty conditions, thus subjecting added inputs, especially N, to leaching and surface runoff. Unfortunately, soil nutrient status in most IVs is very poor and soil is sandy, invariably lowering the efficiency of commonly available N fertilizers, such as urea, and consequently decreasing the yields of improved varieties. Attaining reasonable yields of about 3 t ha-1 requires two to three split applications at 90 kg N ha-1. Farmers do not often attain these yields. Our trial was aimed at finding out the efficiency of polyolefincoated urea as an alternate N source, with one basal application at 60 kg N ha-1 in sandy soil under poor water management.