Rebuilding the Seed System in Syria

Start Date
June 10, 2019
General event
Hettani village in Al-Safireh, Aleppo province, Syria

ICARDA Field day
ICARDA Field day

On 10 June 2019, a field day was organized at Hettani village in Al-Safireh, Aleppo province. The major agricultural research for development partners in Syria represented by the National Agriculture Syndicate and Farmers Union participated in the event. About 100 participants from the research, academia, development practitioners and farmers as well as staff of FAO and ICARDA attended the field day.

The field day aimed at creating awareness and fostering effective partnership among the public and private actors along the cereal and legume value chains such as agricultural research system, development practitioners, agro-industries and end users. It was a major gathering organized as part of a series of visits to project activities by key partners and stakeholders.

ICARDA Field day

Under the agreement with the Food and Agricultural Organization of United Nations and the support of Department for International Development (DFID) of United Kingdom, ICARDA is implementing a project entitled Provision and Multiplication of Cereals and Legumes Varieties in Syria and Improving Access to Knowledge at Community levels.

Within the project implementation plan, ICARDA supplied with pre-basic seed of wheat, barley, chickpea and lentil varieties to initiate local seed production by mobilizing, organizing and training farmers in local seed production in project target regions in of Aleppo province. In total 1450 kg pre-basic seed of bread wheat (Cham 4, Cham 6, Cham 10), durum wheat (Cham 3, Cham 7), barley (ARTA and Furat 3), chickpea (Ghab 3, Ghab 4, Ghab 5) and lentil (Idleb 3, Idleb 4) were provided to be grown by the pioneer farmers. About 21 ha of wheat, barley, chickpea and lentil was planted with an estimated basic seed production of 40 tons.
ICARDA Field day
Transcript of the video @ 6:00 min: Rusting diseases and also changes in rainfall rates are the consequences of climate change that is happening in Syria. Even the types of crops and agriculture techniques have changed as well. The saphera region did not suffer from wheat rust. But we have noticed in the past years and this year specifically that wheat rust epidemic is spreading out because of the reduced crop density regardless of its tendency to get infected. The plant will be infected anyway if it has genetic tendency to rust. Agricultural research centers- have noticed that rust has evolved to be epidemic till 17th of May because of the rising temperature. We have species that can adapt to the changes in a range of temperatures starting from 15 to 33 degree Celsius. this was tested that in the lab. So, now as engineers and farmers, you have to be well equipped to work. And the question that every farmer is asking is: should I spray the field or not? The answer of this question depends on the stakeholder. If the stakeholder ICARDA, FAO or a research institutions: their aim is to preserve the seed. They have the ability to spray the field. For the farmers, the aim is the profit. If the types that have the tendency to get infected and infection reached 50 % - then the farmer should spray the field. There are two types of spraying:  one is preventive, the other is curative. The sprays are produced in Syria by the corporate Mativo. An appearance of infection means loss in production. Also this year black rust is spreading out. It was about to become epidemic but the sudden increase in temperature caused immediate ripeness of the crop - so the disease has stopped.
Field day flyer

A field day flyer, Quality Seed for Higher Productivity, Food Security and Better Livelihoods was prepared both in English and Arabic and distributed highlighting the importance of quality seed and project objectives, achievements and challenges.



Further references:

With financial support from the British Department for International Development (DFID) through FAO, ICARDA organised in May 2019 a three days training course on Community-based Seed Production & Business Management.  The course aimed at improving access to knowledge and skills in seed production of cereals and legumes for the agriculture technical members of the Syrian Agriculture Engineering Syndicate (SAES) and other relevant FAO-DFID Innovation Platforms as well as vulnerable farmers at community levels.

For more information, please contact: Abdoul Aziz Niane, ICARDA, Terbol, Lebanon; e-mail: [email protected]; Majd Jamal, ICARDA, Damascus, Syria; e-mail: [email protected];and Zewdie Bishaw, ICARDA, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia; e-mail: [email protected]