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Appropriate technology changes in agronomy and crop management can have strong impacts on productivity, sustainability, and profitability in dry areas. Applying over 30 years of experience, ICARDA will act as a knowledge provider and promote key information on new technologies. The use of simulation modeling will facilitate the out-scaling of proven interventions to similar environments as international public goods.

Improved varieties – ICARDA and its partners have developed varieties and associated technologies that suit the region’s agro-ecologies, including drought-affected areas. Productive, sustainable, and profitable cropping systems require the development of high-yielding wheat and legume varieties that are adapted to a range of biotic and abiotic stresses.

Strengthening seed systems – strengthening the dissemination of new varieties in collaboration with public and private seed distribution systems.

Crop management practices – there is considerable scope to increase the area grown to food legumes in wheat-based production systems, helping to enhance soil nitrogen levels and thereby reducing the incidence of disease, promoting long-term sustainability and raising productivity. ICARDA and its national partners will build on the success of previous attempts to integrate wheat and food legumes into production systems. 

Supplemental irrigation – an integral part of the packages being developed which reduces soil water stress, stabilizes yields, and ultimately raises yields and improves water productivity. Adaptive research will be conducted in representative sites on deficit irrigation and improved fertility.

Conservation agriculture – this practice involves not plowing farmlands and leaving crop residue in the field for improved soil fertility and water conservation. Building on the successes of ICARDA research in West Asia, the technique will be demonstrated to smallholder farmers in North Africa.

ICARDA will utilize its 30-plus years of experience in West Asia and North Africa to implement these activities, relying on its in-depth knowledge and familiarity with the region’s conditions and production systems to introduce appropriate and strategic interventions.

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Harpenden, United Kingdom, March 9 – ICARDA scientist Mustapha El Bouhssini received a lifetime achievement award from the International Association of Plant Resistance to Insects.