ICARDA’s 2018 Annual Report
The 2018 Annual Report highlights the outcomes and impacts of ICARDA’s research strategy and our efforts last year to break the cycle of poverty, improve food and nutritional security, and reverse natural resource degradation across the dry areas.
Research activities included reconstructing the active and base collections in our gene banks; phenotyping and genotyping plant genetic resources to identify critical resistance traits; using conventional and molecular breeding strategies to develop highly adapted crops and livestock; improving agronomic practices to reduce yield gaps, and enhancing water productivity to achieve more crop per drop. We also worked with a wide range of partners to improve the extension of new climate-smart technologies and innovations—ensuring they reach smallholder farmers.
Our research strategy was strengthened with the arrival of a new Deputy Director General for Research who leads a highly motivated and experienced team of scientists intimately familiar with dry area farming systems and the challenges they face. With vast expertise accumulated over several decades, Dr. Jacques Wery and his team are now setting priorities and implementing a cohesive research agenda tailored to rapidly changing climatic conditions.
This is reflected in the planning of a new research-for-development program—highlighted in the Annual Report—which takes a comprehensive, cross-sectoral systems approach to the challenges facing agricultural sectors in the dry areas. DryArc will draw on the collective knowledge of the CGIAR centers working in the drylands to mobilize a rich diversity of technological, managerial, socioeconomic, institutional, and policy innovations tailored to major agroecosystems.
The program will build on several on-going ICARDA initiatives—from enhancing iron and zinc levels in lentil to address micronutrient deficiency to determining the genetic variability of spring bread wheat under heat-stressed environments, harnessing Big Data to deepen knowledge of degradation and desertification, and understanding soil-water interactions to enhance the management of fragile rangelands.
We invite you to read ICARDA’s 2018 Annual Report to explore these and other successes, and find out how our research is helping to transform livelihoods and strengthen the resilience of rural communities across the dry areas.