- Enhancing Food Security in Arab Countries - Phase III
Enhancing Food Security in Arab Countries - Phase III
Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco
|OPEC Fund for International Development
|CGIAR, AFESD, NARS
|OPEC Fund Contribution (US$m)
|Total Project Cost (USDm)
This initiative covers phase III of a Program launched by ICARDA in 2011 with the aim of helping Arab countries achieve their sustainable national food and nutrition security goals and improve rural livelihoods in a context of climate change and increasing population. The Program will target eight countries namely, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen, and have a duration of five years, starting from the 2018/2019 agricultural season. The phase III has continued to focus on ways to improve the productivity of the wheat-based production systems. The latter includes wheat but also other commodity crops which are part of these systems. Additionally, it is to be noted that as a result of the additional resources secured through the OPEC Fund grant, the project undertook a prioritization exercise for the activities to be conducted at the country and regional levels. This exercise yielded the following order of priorities across all countries: 1. Dissemination component should remain the priority 2. Continuing with adaptive research activities which are of priority for individual countries and particularly those related to the identification of adapted germplasm 3. Consolidating the capacity of national research and extension systems, particularly the training of national young scientists and extensionists It is within the above prioritized framework that the project Technical Committee met in Rabat, Morocco during 7-8 October 2019. The meeting discussed and finalized the partners’ workplans and the across countries’ activities for 2019-2020 season Expansion of demonstrations’ activities Fortunately, the preparation of the fields and the planting operations took place before the start of the Covid 19 pandemic. This allowed the project national teams to implement their activities in a satisfactory way and in a timely fashion. The total number of demonstration plots implemented reached 1,004. It should be noted that this number exceeded the target scheduled in the workplans (which was 881 plots) by 13 %. It also exceeded that of the 2018-2019 season by about 29%. Improved production package increases farmers’ wheat yield Resulted in increases in wheat yield varying from 15 to 76% depending on the country and the production systems. The average increase across all countries was 25% and the maximum average increase was 71%, indicating that higher potential and greater room exist for further improvement in wheat yield in all countries. The yield differences between what farmers currently achieve and what was obtained by farmers using the recommended practices in the demonstration plots, averages 17% in rainfed systems, 36% under supplementary irrigation and 18% under full irrigation. Upstream research: Promising genetic materials from ICARDA programs conducted on regional platforms and thematic locations provide a solid framework for creating new production options and innovations such as improved crop varieties, resource-conserving technologies, crop diversification and better crop management. It also works through global germplasm improvement networks where a wide variety of advanced technologies are used in order to enhance genetic gains and breeding efficiency. The identified promising advanced lines are made available to project countries for validation and eventually registration and scaling out. Conservation agriculture confirms its potential: The average increase in wheat yield calculated was 28% for Palestine and 5% for Tunisia. Similar increases were observed for barley (35%) in Tunisia and vetch (4%) in Jordan. The total number of participants in various events is more than 7,100. The numbers indicate that farmers continued to be the main target group with 76% of the total number of participants, followed by extensionists (15%).