Barley India ILRI

Dual purpose barley eases livelihoods in Himalayas

In the Himalayan mountains of India, feeding livestock during the cold months of winter is a major challenge for rural communities. Typically, village women collect green fodder from surrounding forests to feed their animals. But in peak winter months, there is not much greenery to be found. Scientists have found a solution to promote green fodder production in the lean months of December and January through a ‘dual-purpose’ barley variety. The innovation in barley allows two harvests for one crop…

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Barley is a major crop across the Highlands of Ethiopia, where it is grown by approximately 4.1 million smallholder farmers on close to one million hectares.

Improved malt barley: new income potential for Ethiopian farmers

A new high-yielding, pest-resistant variety of malt barley has the potential to revolutionize Ethiopia’s barley sector, helping to meet growing domestic demand, boost export earnings, and substantially raise farmer incomes. Barley is a major crop across the Highlands of Ethiopia, where it is grown by approximately 4.1 million smallholder farmers on close to one million hectares (ha). The country is one of the major producers of barley in Sub-Saharan Africa, and has a growing malt beverage sector. Yet, despite a…

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Barley varieties with higher antioxidant potential identified

Barley is one of the oldest cultivated cereals and is well known for its health benefits and medicinal value. Barley and malt are now gaining renewed interests as ingredients for the production of functional foods owing to their concentration of soluble fiber, β-glucan and bioactive compounds. Many of these bioactive compounds have high antioxidant activity. Barley varieties with higher antioxidant activity are beneficial as food for human consumption. The Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR), Karnal, India in…

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New malt barley varieties perk up farmers and malting industry in Ethiopia

Two new malt barley varieties with the potential to triple average yield in Ethiopia have been released in May 2016 by the Holetta Agricultural Research Center as a result of decades of research collaboration with ICARDA. The two varieties, HB1963 and HB 1964, can yield up to 6 tonnes per hectare (t/ha) as opposed to the average yield of 2 t/ha in Ethiopia. The varieties also offer excellent malting quality, making them attractive buys for the malting and brewery industry,…

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R4D priorities set for barley in South Asia

At the fourth Regional Coordination Meeting of South Asia and China Program of ICARDA, the research priorities and work plan for barley across different countries in the region has been chalked out. Prioritizing pre-breeding and trait discovery efforts for use of landraces and wild relatives in incorporating better tolerance to different stresses was emphasized. Drought, heat, cold/frost, salinity were identified as key traits for abiotic stresses, and similarly, aphid tolerance spot blotch and stripe rust resistance were identified as priority…

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Closing the gender gap in barley farming boosts production and incomes in Ethiopia - See more at:

When women farmers lead the way

Aselefech Telila is a farmer and enjoys her role as the head of a smallholder women farmers’ association in Welmera district in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. But her job was tough. The farmers in the community grow barley but barely produced enough to meet their own household needs. The local variety of barley seed gave poor yields and were susceptible to diseases. Livelihood was a struggle and families were resorting to selling their cattle to sustain themselves. Life began…

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Prioritizing barley production – a strategic crop for the dry areas

Scientists highlighted the achievements of recent research and identified needs for the coming season. Barley provides the food, feed and fodder that is essential to the health and prosperity of smallholder farming families in marginal environments of the developing world. Progress and the contributions to ‘Dryland Cereals’ were the subjects of a recent ‘interaction meeting’ held in Rabat, Morocco, between ICARDA scientists and partners from six focal countries: Ethiopia, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Morocco, and Turkey.  The meeting provided an opportunity…

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Building resilient and gainful livelihoods with barley

Gosaye Degefa, a smallholder farmer living in Asella in the Oromia region of Ethiopia, mainly grows food and malt barley. The local varieties that Gosaye was using were highly vulnerable to diseases and gave poor yield, barely enough to feed his family. Last year, Gosaye became one of the progressive farmers in Asella who participated in a project where a team of scientists from the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and ICARDA disseminated improved malt barley varieties to smallholders…

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Research and development strategies to combat global challenges in barley production

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. In 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…

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New barley variety released in India; demonstrates resistance to yellow rust

A new variety of spring barley developed from ICARDA germplasm is promising Indian farmers higher yields and resistance to yellow rust disease – a significant and growing threat to crop production in South Asia, and globally. Barley is an important crop for India’s farmers: as an important source of food and feed, and in hilly regions, one of the main sources of subsistence for poor communities. However, barley farmers face a series of constraints – not least the limited availability…

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The CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals (Dryland Cereals) is a partnership between two members of the CGIAR Consortium – ICRISAT (lead center), and ICARDA, along with a number of public and private institutes and organizations, governments, and farmers globally.
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