Bringing Back Food Legumes in Wheat-Based Cropping System in the Highlands of Ethiopia
- Impact Area
This work is part of the Africa Research In Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) program supported by the American people delivered through the USAID Feed the Future initiative
In Ethiopia, bread wheat is the third most important cereal crop after maize and teff for domestic food products (64%), and farmer incomes (24%). Wheat straw is also an important animal feed source. The government of Ethiopia already imports huge amounts of wheat. To fulfill the increasing wheat demand, the government of Ethiopia is expanding irrigated wheat production besides narrowing the yield and quality gaps of rainfed wheat. To capitalize, many farmers have turned to unsustainable monocropping, which exposes large wheat growing areas to disease epidemics due to the reduction of genetic diversity and repeated depletion of soil nutrients. ICARDA’s successful approach to sustainable wheat production is diversifying wheat-based cropping system by bringing back previously shelved high-yield and disease-resistant food legume varieties into the production system.