Workplans for new initiative in Egypt

November 10, 2009 at 10:15 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Scientists from Egypt’s Agricultural Research Center (ARC), together with an ICARDA team, have finalized workplans for the first season of a major new research project. Following a meeting held in Cairo last month, it was announced that research trials will begin next season at ARC’s Sids Research Station, with 250 spring wheat genotypes with various traits — yield potential, water use efficiency, heat tolerance, resistance to rust and septoria diseases, and grain quality traits. Together with wheat, the experiments will also test barley and legume lines, for use in an integrated cereal-legume cropping system.

The experiments are part of a 10-year joint ARC-ICARDA project, for which a formal agreement was signed in July this year. The project aims to develop new wheat varieties with yields 30% higher than currently available ones, with resistance to several key environmental stresses. And while it primarily targets Egypt, the technologies developed will be useful in dry areas across the region. “The project will include not only crop improvement but also crop management and capacity building components,” said Dr Fawzi Karajeh, Coordinator of ICARDA’s Nile Valley and sub-Saharan Africa Regional program. “We are also working with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center to identify additional genotypes for testing; and with other partners to find varieties resistant to new strains of stem rust disease.”

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