New drought-tolerant crops for resilient dryland livelihoods
- Impact Area
An international collaboration of world-leading scientists led by ICARDA Morocco has delivered six ground-breaking new durum wheat and barley varieties tolerant to increasingly severe droughts ravaging the region.
As the climate crisis intensifies, so too do the frequency and strength of drought episodes, especially in dryland countries such as Morocco, which has experienced unprecedented droughts in the last decade. The impact on agriculture and cereals can be devastating as demonstrated by a record 69% drop in total cereal production over the 2021-22 season due to one of the worst agricultural seasons in the country’s history.
Under the DIIVA-PR project, funded by the Crop Trust, ICARDA in Morocco, alongside its partners, INRA-Maroc and Benchaib Semences, has recently developed six promising new drought-tolerant varieties of durum wheat and barley, to help increase production, resilience, and nutritional quality for farmers. With their climate-smart and enhanced food quality traits, such as heat, drought, and pest resistance, the new varieties aim to strengthen food and nutrition security and improve the livelihoods and resilience of Moroccan farmers.