Use of double haploid, genomics and marker based selection techniques to support overall improvement of barley production and to combat abiotic and biotic stresses including drought, heat, cold stress; new races of pathogens and insect pests were identified as some of the focus areas for collaborative project on improvement of barley in focal countries.

Barley Int Meeting Morocco_April15 copyIn a recently held review meeting of the country focal points for barley improvement project of CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals, the focal points identified and discussed the current gaps and potential areas for barley research.

Exploiting the potential of hydroponic barley to supplement green forage in dry areas during lean period by effective use of water and barley germplasm; breeding for early maturing barley varieties tolerant to drought and cold in west and central Asia; developing salinity tolerant varieties for central, west and south Asia region were discussed as areas of focus.

Lack of policies supporting barley seed markets in several focus courtiers was observed as major constraint for involvement of private sector and lack of use of high yielding varieties by farmers. The team decided to include seed multiplication and distribution to farmers in future projects.

Discussion on modes for sharing germplasm among the focal countries and ICARDA was also discussed.

The review meeting held on 24-25 April, 2015 at ICARDA, Rabat was participated by fourteen Scientists and Program Managers from six focal countries including Ethiopia, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Morocco and Turkey.