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Dry areas

Dry areas cover 41% of the world’s land area and are home to one-third of the global population. ICARDA’s research focuses on dry areas in developing countries – some 3 billion hectares, supporting over 1.7 billion people.


About 16% of this population lives in chronic poverty, particularly in marginal rainfed areas. The dry areas are challenged by rapid population growth, frequent droughts, high climatic variability, land degradation and desertification, and widespread poverty. The complex of relationships between these challenges has created a "Poverty Trap."

ICARDA's founding mandate to promote agricultural development in the dry areas of developing countries remains highly relevant today. ICARDA’s research is implemented through a network of regional programs and country offices across Asia and Africa.