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ICARDA and Barley in the Dry Areas “A New Age for an Endemic Crop”

Place: Not Applicable, _NO_MAIN_REGION
Quantitative & qualitative enhancement of crop products Quantitative & qualitative enhancement of crop products
Total Budget: € 9.469.080,00 | Period: From January 1984 To

Summary

 291 of barley varieties released since 1977, 250 in developing countries.
 Nearly 100 Masters and PhDs graduated and several hundreds others were trained in capacity bulding on barley since 1977.
 The world’s biggest barley for the development research program supported by Italy and implemented by ICARDA in support of more than 40 developing countries with dryland agriculture.
 Unique knowledge of barley genetics is developed and shared with some 40 developing countries as public goods in science.
 Global barley genebank supported by Italy and created and managed by ICARDA since 1985, and the genebank is a unique resource for barley for development.
 Better scientific understanding of genetics of drought tolerance in wild relatives of barley and landraces and introgression the identified favorable alleles into cultivated/improved barley germplasm.
 23 countries with millions of hectares and millions of small ruminants fed by ICARDA barley varieties.

Partnership

International Center for Agricultural research in the Dry Areas - Lebanon

Lead applicant

ICARDA’s Vision is improved livelihoods of the resource-poor in the dry areas. ICARDA’s Mission is to contribute to the improvement of livelihoods of the resource-poor in dry areas by enhancing food security and alleviating poverty through research and partnerships to achieve sustainable increases in agricultural productivity and income, while ensuring the efficient and more equitable use and conservation of natural resources. ICARDA has a global Mandate for the improvement of barley, lentil and faba bean and serves the non-tropical dry areas for the improvement of on-farm water-use efficiency, rangeland and small-ruminant production. ICARDA’s research portfolio is structured under four themes: • Biodiversity and Integrated Gene Management • Integrated Water and Land Management • Diversification and Sustainable Intensification of Production Systems • Social, Economic and Policy Research Alongside research, and integrated within it, capacity development (training) lies at the heart of ICARDA’s purpose. ICARDA works with partners such as national research/extension agencies, NGOs, development investors, universities, specialized research institutes, farmer cooperatives, and with the private sector.

CRP Dryland Cereals - India

Initiative partner

• Developing improved varieties for feed, food and malt uses • Improving drought and heat tolerance to adapt to climate change • Utilizing rich genetic resources genomic tools to improve tolerance/resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses and the nutritional value of grain and straw • Providing value-addition opportunities in alternative food products.

Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research - Ethiopia

Initiative partner

• Scaling out FRG approach in the NARS • Demonstrating development of appropriate technologies through FRG approach • Developing capacity of researchers to prepare technical information • Expanding seed production of Striga resistant sorghum varieties using existing formal and informal public organizations, • Expanding deployment of officially released Striga resistant and drought tolerant sorghum varieties through small packs of seed and advisory practices. • Conducting a large number of demonstration plots of an ISM packages to promote greater adoption using participatory approaches.

University of Tuscia - Italy

Initiative partner

ICARDA’s Barley Research Inititaive aims to improve the production and dessemination of improved genetic materials, science and information products, back stop National programs, contribute to human resources development and strengthen the pro- activity and interactions of collaborating countries. Barley is a component of the program Biodiversity and Integrated Gene Management BIGMP and is the strategic mandate crop to ICARDA. Its uses for animal feed, malt and food are increasing in a more globally challenging situation of climate change and marginalization of its management, particularly in the Dry Areas. Its present average world area is close to 56 million hectares with about 18.5 million hectares cultivated by the Developing Countries (FAO statistics, period 2001-2010).

The wealth in barley genetic resources combined with outstanding breeders and their persistent interactions with world leading barley scientific communities have produced global achievements and shaped the global barley leading role of ICARDA). The most relevant innovation where ICARDA has unquestionable comparative advantages is the better scientific understanding of genetics of drought tolerance in wild relatives of barley and landraces and introgression the identified favorable alleles into cultivated/improved barley germplasm. Combining biotechnological tools and crop breeding, several useful genes from the widely occurring barley wild relatives in the Fertile Crescent region Hordeum spontaneum and Hordeum bulbosum were introgressed into advanced breeding materials and has led to the development of highly drought tolerant cultivars in countries of the Dry Areas such as Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

Biotechnologists Identified and Incorporated Useful QTLs The impact is that an important number of present national barley scientists in countries of North and East Africa, West, Central and East Asia have partially or fully benefited from the backstopping of ICARDA’s barley program to earn higher studies degrees (more than 150 persons) and an impressive number of their assistants (over 200) hold a non-degree ICARDA capacity building certificate
Crosses with the Wild Relative Hordeum Spontaneum in Dry Areas Crosses with the wild relative Hordeum spontaneum has helped ICARDA produce germplasm with significant drought tolerance in environments receiving less than 100 mm as total annual rainfall
Participatory Selection in Barley on-farm Trials by Women in Ethiopia This picture demonstrates a pilot case on the identification of the role women have in participatory barley breeding and variety selection. Typical successful cases are Ethiopia and Eritrea

The present structure of the barley program is composed by the main following vertical sub programs: Low input barley, High input barley and Winter barley.
The main target regions are the non-tropical Dry Areas of Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA), East Africa (EA) South East Asia (SA) and Latin America (LA). CWANA is the most important barley growing region. The other regions are also strategic targets for ICARDA, despite the relatively smaller area of cultivation, because of the use of barley as food and the high rural poverty dimension. The CGIAR deployed a new strategy based on its Strategic Long-term Objectives (SLOs): reduced rural poverty, improved food security, nutrition and healt and sustainable management of natural resorces and enhanced environmental sustainability and their translation into global long term (15 years) commitments and investments in agriculture research.

CRP-DC barley target regions and localization of the focal countries Six focal countries: Morocco, Ethiopia, the Turkey (Dry Areas, only), Kazakhstan, Iran and India would be organized to favor the emergence of quality research, leadership and regional interactions. Each focal country would provide backstopping and deliverables to benefit other partner countries located in the same agro-region countries
ICARDA’s main barley research target regions and their importance The main target regions are the non-tropical Dry Areas of Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA), East Africa (EA) South East Asia (SA) and Latin America (LA). CWANA is the most important barley growing region. The other regions are also strategic targets for ICARDA, despite the relatively smaller area of cultivation, because of the use of barley as food and the high rural poverty dimension
Main Barley Research Target Regions and their Importance Main Barley Research Target Regions and their Importance

291 of barley varieties released since 1977, 250 in developing countries.
Nearly 100 Masters and PhDs graduated and several hundreds others were trained in capacity bulding on barley since 1977.
The world’s biggest barley for the development research program supported by Italy and implemented by ICARDA in support of more than 40 developing countries with dryland agriculture.
Unique knowledge of barley genetics is developed and shared with some 40 developing countries as public goods in science; total Hordeum: 31 761 accessions Wild Hordeum relatives: barley accessions 29 703 comprising  a valuable number of Landraces: 16 376 (one of the most important world collection of barley genetic resources.
Global barley genebank supported by Italy and created and managed by ICARDA since 1985, and the genebank is a unique resource for barley for development.

 

First Conference of Farmers Attendance by farmers from 9 developing countries (Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Morocco, Algeria, Eritrea, Ethiopia) and representatives of farmer’s groups from Italy, France, Austria and Canada)
ICARDA’s Gene Bank ICARDA’s Gene Bank is named after Dr Nazarro Strampelli, a world leading wheat breeder
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Plant Breeding with Farmers- A Technical Manual Plant Breeding with Farmers- A Technical Manual

The main beneficiaries as set by the CRP-DC program would be farmers of target with particular attention to small farmers. Expectations are to see barley production rise by 16% over the next 10 years in countries where barley is sustainable asset to livestock and the most important commodity that keeps farms farming and living in rural areas with harsh environment It is expected that 15.8 million smallholder will benefit from the barley-livestock integration and their of poverty reverted to descent sustainable livelihoods. On the other hand, it is expected that about 34 million beneficiaries would take advantage from better farm generated income, access to existing and emerging markets induced by increased urbanized demand for feed malt and food barley. These expectations translate to a projected increase in production of 3 million tons generating 1.5 billion USD (for farmers and value chain operators).

The cover page of the CRP-DC Program document Year 2012 brought other significant changes to barley research, this time fully positive. The CGIAR deployed a new strategy based on its Strategic Long-term Objectives: -reduced rural poverty, -improved food security, -Improved nutrition and health and -sustainable management of natural resources and enhanced environmental sustainability and their translation into global long term commitments and investments in agriculture research.
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The following four breeders are involved:

Dr Mohamed Salah MEKNI (Tunisia) who has bred, at the start of ICARDA, the long lasting cultivated variety Rihane 03, grown up to now by many countries of CWANA.

Dr Salvatore CECCARELLI (Italy) who spent more than 30 years as main barley breeder in many developing and developed barley countries. High potential feed barley for grain and straw (valuable feed in CWANA) carrying drought tolerance and disease resistance, both in spring and winter types, were a priority goal.

Dr Stefania Grando (Italy) spent more than 25 years at ICARDA working with Dr Ceccarelli. She has impacted the domain of the use of wild relatives in breeding and food barley with the development of a core collection of genetic resources, uses of barley as functional food and the establishment of a consistent naked barley program.

Dr Flavio Capettini (Uruguayan-Brazilian with Italian roots). He was based in Mexico and later in Syria.

Dr Capettini Dr Capettini fully impacted Latin America with breeding materials that led to the release of a long list of varieties. He also impact highland barley niches with several varieties release in Ethiopia and the Andean countries
Dr Salvatore Ceccarelli Dr Salvatore Ceccarelli, dedicated years of his career fighting drought with barley and to establish participatory breeding with farmers of the Dry Areas
Dr. Stefania Grando Dr. Stefania Grando working with great dedication with Salvatore on drought and barley but put tangible efforts into food barley at all levels
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Plant Breeding with Farmers- A Technical Manual Plant Breeding with Farmers- A Technical Manual

The most important limitations to barley as a commodity and sector are:

  • Adverse policies towards barley in most developing countries
  • Diverse and risky production environments of barley growing areas
  • Marginal crop management from low to no inputs
  • The lack of strategic recognition of barley in the sustainability of livelihoods of millions of rural household because of its role in maintaining livestock, the most important asset of rural poor(Figure . Livestock associated to barley is the key cropping system behind reduced rural exodus and the lack of social unrest in many rural areas of limited resources countries
  • Global climate change which affects more the drylands.

At macro level, limitations are the lack of organisation of the balrley sector, the lack of interest from the private sector, the scarcity of financial resorrces, fluctuations in the market at all regional, national and international levels, unfair trade practices. This is true for feed barley, the domin countries.

Articulation of the participatory barley breeding strategy as it began in t Articulation of the participatory barley breeding strategy as it began in the nineties

As barley is linked to the livestock commodity, the most import asset for rural poor as livestock feed is important to safeguard household income, barley would have to play a key role in securing the biggest part of the daily livestock feed ration and contribute to reduction of degradation of rangelands and grazing spaces. The increase in productivity of barley with high potential drought tolerant cultivars would surely mitigate the negative effect of overgrazing and climate change as it is the challenge of the hour. Improved water use efficient with new technologies such as conservation agriculture and the integration of legumes (feed of food) would bring more sustainability to the preservation of the environment but also to the most important resources in agriculture: the land.

In the CRP-DC, long term research would be implemented to:
Improve grain and biomass productivity of barley
Identify and promote genotypes for alternative uses
Integration of legume and others alternative food

Small ruminant, the most important asset of small farmers Livestock associated to barley is the key cropping system behind reduced rural exodus and the lack of social unrest in many rural areas of limited resources countries
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Innovations are used in barley technology by a growing number of developing countries.
Backstopping with germplasm enhancement methodologies approaches and tools (adapted breeding approaches and biotechnological tools) as well as appropriate seed production and delivery systems enabling the fast promotion of high potential released cultivars to benefit small farmers.
Dynamic and strong breeding program producing steadily better germplasm every year. Transferability is ensured by exploiting the data provided back by partners, its analysis, cross interpretation and sharing.
Duplicability is dictated by the breeding strategy. Both, wide and specific adaptation was advocated and implemented and both are rewarding in the case of barley and this is recognized by research partners.
Advocacy and implementation of community-based of quality seed production and delivery systems ensuring local seed security to rural communities.

Syrian-made seed cleaning machine used by VBSEs Village-based Seed Enterprises was strongly advertised and implemented in several pilot countries of the Dry Areas. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Jordan, Syria, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco were successful pilot cases where VBSEs were established and are serving the barley sector, usually neglected for seed issues in most developing countries.

The Barley team, as well as all the others research teams, uses these outreach program as proximity relays for dissemination of technologies, information and documentation and relies on them for feedback and concerns of partners. Besides direct contacts, mechanisms are set to facilitate interactions and communication. These are regional and country coordination meetings and workshops during which dissemination strategies and workplans are established.
With the CRP-DC the dimension of “focal country” has been set as another mechanism to ensure sustainable interactions, efficient research and proper interactions and collaboration. Within these tasks provisions are made to favor generation of technologies but also their promotion as well regional interaction activities. The responsibility of technology dissemination within countries of a same focal region is left to individual countries but backstopping in approaches and methodology, is often provided by ICARDA.

Global articulation of ICARDA’s Regional and Country program To impact the mandate regions, ICARDA has well distributed geographical articulation with its Regional and Country Programs
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../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Plant Breeding with Farmers- A Technical Manual Plant Breeding with Farmers- A Technical Manual