Board of Trustees meets in New Delhi

November 15, 2011 at 7:49 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ICARDA’s Board of Trustees with senior management and South Asian research partners in New Delhi

ICARDA’s Board of Trustees met in India on 26-30 October 2011.  The meetings were generously hosted by the Indian Agricultural Research Council (ICAR) at their campus in New Delhi.

The meetings were attended by ICARDA senior staff and representatives from ICARDA’s partners in South Asia: ICAR in India; Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Afghanistan; Ministry of Agriculture and  Forests, Bhutan; Nepal Agricultural Research Council; and the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council.

The Board was also honoured by a visit by H.E. Dr. Shri Prabeer Kumar Basu, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC) of the Ministry of Agriculture of India, who shared his perspectives on the role of research for agricultural development for the drylands of India.

In his opening address, the Board Chair, Mr Henri Carsalade, thanked the Government of India and the Director General of ICAR, Dr Ayyappan, for hosting the meetings. He reminded the Board that in November 2010, ICARDA had been honoured by the visit to its headquarters in Syria by H.E. the President of India.  “The presence of ICARDA’s Board in New Delhi shows the importance we place on our collaboration with India.  We recognize the importance of Indian research, and of the ICAR system, not only for India but for the whole world”, he said.

The Board reviewed and discussed the Center’s research program and outreach activities; the implications of global developments and the renewed interest in food security and agricultural productivity for the Center’s future research for development program; developments in the CGIAR, particularly with respect to the Center’s involvement in the new CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs); and financial and governance issues.

Two new members were welcomed to the Board: Ms. Eve Bosak, an Australian national with extensive experience in public and private sector financial management, and Dr. Naif Al-Salti, Director General of the General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research of Syria, as a host country representative.  The Board reappointed Mr. Henri Carsalade for another term as Board Chair. It was agreed that the next meeting of the Board will be held at the Center’s headquarters in Aleppo, Syria, in April 2012

ICARDA Board and senior staff view an ICAR display of value-added products

ICARDA’s Board of Trustees met in India on 26-30 October 2011.  The meetings were generously hosted by the Indian Agricultural Research Council (ICAR) at their campus in New Delhi.

The meetings were attended by ICARDA senior staff and representatives from ICARDA’s partners in South Asia: ICAR in India; Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Afghanistan; Ministry of Agriculture and  Forests, Bhutan; Nepal Agricultural Research Council; and the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council.

The Board was also honoured by a visit by H.E. Dr. Shri Prabeer Kumar Basu, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC) of the Ministry of Agriculture of India, who shared his perspectives on the role of research for agricultural development for the drylands of India.

In his opening address, the Board Chair, Mr Henri Carsalade, thanked the Government of India and the Director General of ICAR, Dr Ayyappan, for hosting the meetings. He reminded the Board that in November 2010, ICARDA had been honoured by the visit to its headquarters in Syria by H.E. the President of India.  “The presence of ICARDA’s Board in New Delhi shows the importance we place on our collaboration with India.  We recognize the importance of Indian research, and of the ICAR system, not only for India but for the whole world”, he said.

The Board reviewed and discussed the Center’s research program and outreach activities; the implications of global developments and the renewed interest in food security and agricultural productivity for the Center’s future research for development program; developments in the CGIAR, particularly with respect to the Center’s involvement in the new CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs); and financial and governance issues.

Two new members were welcomed to the Board: Ms. Eve Bosak, an Australian national with extensive experience in public and private sector financial management, and Dr. Naif Al-Salti, Director General of the General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research of Syria, as a host country representative.  The Board reappointed Mr. Henri Carsalade for another term as Board Chair. It was agreed that the next meeting of the Board will be held at the Center’s headquarters in Aleppo, Syria, in April 2012

India, ICARDA broaden partnerships

November 15, 2011 at 7:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dr Ayyappan, ICAR Director General, stressed the need to expand ongoing India-ICARDA partnerships

Dryland farming is getting more taxing due to the exacerbating challenges facing today’s agriculture. The long and fruitful ICAR-ICARDA partnership has played a commendable role in addressing various issues related to dryland farming and farming system research. This fact was highlighted by Dr Ayyappan, Secretary of the Department of Agricultural Research and Education, and Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research – ICAR, in his remarks as Chief Guest at the ICAR-ICARDA Day, celebrated on 31 October in New Delhi.

Mr Ayyappan clarified that: “India’s 60 percent farming is done in the rain-fed areas and almost 42 percent of food grain comes from these areas. It is therefore imperative to look at technologies that can help us in developing climate stress resistant crops.”

Developing farm technologies that can help in advancing climate-resistant agriculture potential is one of India’s top priorities in the 12th Five-Year Plan. Dr Ayyappan noted that ICAR is “looking at partnerships with research bodies…., and at forging more partnerships with the expert body in pulses research, bio-fortification and climate change management”.

 

Dr Mahmoud Solh, ICARDA Director General, addresses scientists at the ICAR-ICARDA meeting

ICARDA’s Director General Mahmoud Solh commented that ICARDA is “looking at joint efforts with ICAR to develop cheap and farmer-friendly technologies”, and he expressed sincere gratitude to the Government of India and ICAR for their active support and collaboration for the development of sustainable agriculture in the region.

Mr Henri Carsalade, Chair, Board of Trustees, ICARDA, recognized ICAR’s support of ICARDA’s efforts and desired to have closer collaboration with ICAR network for the cause of food security in the region. Mr Henri presented the coveted ICARDA-shield to Dr S Ayyappan for his support and encouragement to ICARDA programs in the country.

New areas of research at ICARDA

November 15, 2011 at 7:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Experiments at Tel Hadya on nitrogen use efficiency in cereals

Nitrogen is the second most important factor, after water, in cereal production. However, under rainfed conditions, its availability in high concentration in the soil can involve high early biomass production, rapid depletion of soil moisture and crop failure. In fact, farmers are reluctant to apply Nitrogen fertilizer in low-rainfall production areas of WANA, and prefer to employ another alternative – the development of varieties with high nitrogen use efficiency adapted to low water and Nitrogen input conditions. To reach this objective, scientists from the Integrated Water and Land Management Program (IWLMP) and Biodiversity and Integrated Gene Management Program (BIGMP) of ICARDA are now identifying agronomic and physiological traits and adapted genetic material to be used in developing varieties with higher drought tolerance and nitrogen use efficiency in durum wheat and barley. Preliminary data showed high genotypic variation of land and water productivity, nitrogen use efficiency, nitrogen uptake efficiency, nitrogen utilization efficiency and nitrogen harvest index. Nitrogen utilization efficiency is the component that contributes most to nitrogen use efficiency.

Promising wheat genotypes introduced for testing in Algeria

November 15, 2011 at 7:41 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sonoot 10, a promising wheat genotype, in experimental field in Algeria

Ten promising genotypes (2 kg each) were introduced in 2011 to be tested in three stations: El Khroub (moderate rainfall area), Oued Smar (high rainfall area) and Sidi Bel Abbes (low rainfall area). These genotypes enjoy two main features: i) longer spikes than the widely cultivated variety ‘Hidhab’ (HD 1220 or Neelkant); and ii) resistance to yellow rust – a serious constraint, recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture, who is subsidizing up to two sprayings of fungicide trying to combat it. One of these genotypes – Sonoot 10, showed highly promising attributes and will soon be tested in farmers’ fields for promotion and fast release.

Regional collaboration to combat wheat rust

November 15, 2011 at 7:37 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Erbil, Iraq: wheat scientists discuss management of rust diseases

Developing a new strategy to control wheat rust was the key objective of the First Regional Wheat Rust Workshop, held in Erbil, Iraq in 17-18 October, 2011.

The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture in Iraq, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources in the Kurdistan region in cooperation with ICARDA, as part of the project funded by IFAD on ‘Integrated Pest Management and Organic Fertilization’ in Iraq.

Director General of the Organic Agriculture Center at the Ministry of Agriculture in Baghdad and the national coordinator of the ‘Integrated Pest Management and Organic Fertilization’ project Dr Hamid Hadwan gave a statement on the importance of the workshop for Iraq. Dr Nasri Haddad, ICARDA Regional Coordinator for West Asia Regional Program reiterated ICARDA commitment toward the cooperation with Iraq and the control of this menacing disease that threatens the food security of many countries in the region.

The workshop participants discussed the implications of wheat rust on wheat production in Iraq at the national, regional and global levels, and suggested an immediate to short term strategy to respond to the emergency occurrence of wheat yellow rust in 2011-12 cropping season, and another, medium to long term strategy for the future.

The recommendations of the workshop included: i) the establishment of a Rust National Committee ii) the introduction of rust control measures, iii) the establishment of a multidisciplinary surveillance and rust monitoring team at the national level, and iv) holding training courses at ICARDA in some of the aspects of disease control. The participants called for stronger collaboration at the national, regional and international levels to insure efficient control of the disease.


Salinity management in Iraq

November 15, 2011 at 7:36 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Launching meeting of a new project on salinity management in Iraq

When an entire quarter of Iraq’s productive farmlands is rendered uncultivable due to soil salinity, alarm bells are set off. Salinity is exacerbating rapidly and food security is   no longer secure.

To combat this threatening phenomenon, ICARDA launched a new research project- funded by the Italian government – to help find solutions for salinity management.

The 18-month pilot project aims to catalyze large-scale efforts to combat soil salinity. It will target the Al Nassiriah area situated in the lower reaches of the Euphrates, where salinity levels have increased four-fold in the past 30 years. The project will collect baseline data on salinity in the area, set up salinity monitoring systems, and establish on-farm sites to test and promote remedial measures. The project partners include Iraqi government agencies and universities, ICARDA, the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) and other international organizations.

The project was launched in an inception workshop held at ICARDA headquarters on 22-23 October. The workshop started with an opening statement by Dr Mahmoud Solh- ICARDA Director General; Dr Kamel Shideed Assistant Director General, International Cooperation and Communication, ICARDA;  Dr Maarten van Ginkel;  Mr Massimo Belleli from the Italian government; Dr Kasim Ahmed, representative of Iraq, Dr Saliem Manzoor Qadir, Dr Theib Oweis, and many scientists from different disciplines, working with extension experts, policy makers and administrators to develop workplans and implementation strategies.

Mohamad Abdulhai gets his PhD

November 15, 2011 at 7:12 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dr Mohamad Abdulhai

Diligent probing into “the relationship between time of application of entomopathogenic fungi and susceptibility of Sunn pest, Eurygaster integriceps – also the name of his dissertation- helped Mohamad Abdulhai to successfully defend his PhD at the University of Damascus on 26 October, 2011.

This work was co-supervised by Dr. M. Jamal (ADG-Government Liaison) and Dr. M. El Bouhssini (senior entomologist), in collaboration with Dr. B. Parker and Dr. M. Skinner (University of Vermont).

Dr Snigdha Roy awarded PhD

November 15, 2011 at 7:03 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dr Snigdha Roy

Dr Snigdha Roy, a scientist from the Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (BINA), Bangladesh has been awarded her PhD by the Academic Council of the Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh. Her thesis “Study of genetic diversity in lentil using morphological characters and molecular analysis” was jointly supervised by Dr Ashutosh Sarker, ICARDA and Prof. Amirul Islam, Department of Genetics & Plant Breeding, Bangladesh Agricultural University.

 

Based on a multi-environmental evaluation, six accessions (out of 110 accessions studied) – have been selected for higher and more stable yields in a wide range of environments with resistance to Stemphylium blight disease.

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