The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) is an international autonomous, non-profit, research organization supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
ICARDA's mission is to reduce poverty, enhance food, water and nutritional security, as well as environmental health in the face of global challenges including climate change. We do this through innovative science, strategic partnerships, linking research to development and capacity development that take into account gender equality and the role of youth in transforming the dry areas. ICARDA works in partnership with governments, universities, civil society, national agricultural research organization, other CGIAR research Centers, and the private sector. With its temporary Headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, ICARDA operates in regional and country offices across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Joydebpur, Bangladesh – ICARDA has begun a new initiative aimed at improving the health and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in northern Bangladesh. Funded by Morocco’s Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP) Foundation, the initiative’s goal is evident in its name: “Sustainable management of soil health to enhance yield and farmers’ incomes under resilient production system in Bangladesh, resulting in food and nutrition security, improved health and livelihoods.”
Hossena, Ethiopia – In 2009, ICARDA introduced community-based breeding program in Ethiopia. Commonly known by its acronym CBBP, the initiative combines selective breeding programs based on production parameters, including body weight and ability to produce offspring. This results in increased productivity and reduced mortality of sheep and goats. More than 30 programs have sprung up since then.
By Aly Abousabaa
Cairo – Water scarcity in the Middle East and North Africa is increasing at an alarming rate. It is already at critical levels in most of the countries of the region. The annual per capita share is continuously declining. Important resources, including water, are being diverted to other priority sectors. As a result, agriculture loses substantial amounts of water every year, even as the demand for food rises due to rapid population growth.
Amman, October 2 - A third phase of Enhancing Food Security in Arab Countries began with the financial support of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD). The project’s technical committee met to discuss the achievements so far and develop the action plan for the next phase.
By Yashpal Singh Saharawat
Parwan province – The lack of availability of quality seeds remains a constraint in Afghanistan, hampering agricultural productivity. Against this background, ICARDA recently reintroduced the concept of village-based seed enterprises, which was pioneered in 2004 and 2005. The business development project targets both men and women in rural areas where farming is the main income for households.
The seed enterprises are managed by farmers and aim to meet the location-specific requirements of quality seed of adopted varieties.