ICARDA lentil breeder Shiv Kumar Agrawal and his team at ICARDA plots at Terbol Station. Photo: Michael Major/Crop Trust
ICARDA and the Crop Trust signed a partnership agreement to transform elite material derived from wild relatives of durum, barley, and lentil into cultivars for farmers in the harsh drylands of the Middle East and North Africa. The crosses derived from wild relatives can help ensure food security for resource-poor communities in the region.
The three-year project DIIVA-PR, short for “Dissemination of Interspecific ICARDA Varieties and Elites through Participatory Research,” allows ICARDA’s scientists to work directly with farmers in Morocco, Lebanon, Ethiopia, and Senegal, and to conduct experimental trials at field stations. Based on the farmer’s preferences and using fast-track pre-multiplication procedures, the scientists will attempt to generate rapid changes in the old cultivars and improve them.