Improving chickpea production in Iraq

June 30, 2010 at 6:04 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Visits to farmers’ fields helped better understand chickpea production constraints in Iraq

A workshop in Iraq has created new momentum for chickpea research and development, by linking funding agencies and implementing partners of two major research and development projects. The workshop, held at the Ain Kawa Research Center in Erbil province, 10-11 June, brought together 20 researchers from various institutions involved in two projects funded by IFAD and Australia. Both projects focus on rainfed areas in northern Iraq, and include a food legume component.

Participants at the workshop included Dr Saleh Bader, Director General of the State Board of Agricultural Research; Eng. Maqsood Khalid, Director, Ain Kawa Research Center; and Dr Hamed Hadwan, National Coordinator of the IFAD project. ICARDA was represented by Dr Nasri Haddad, Head of the West Asia Regional Program; Dr Seid Kemal, legume pathologist; and Dr Imtiaz Muhammad, chickpea breeder and geneticist.

The discussions centered on the two most important chickpea diseases in Iraq, ashochyta blight and wilt. The national research program will work with ICARDA to identify disease-resistant lines (building on 3 years of research trials). The selected lines will be tested on-farm next season, at multiple sites in Nineveh and Erbil Governorates. Research on ascochyta blight will be expanded, because a new strain of the pathogen has appeared in Iraq. Future efforts will also focus on promoting winter cultivation and improved crop management methods.

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