The Planning of Emergency Seed Supply for Afghanistan in 2002 and Beyond
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Contents Findings Part I Part II Part III References Abbreviations/Glossary Appendix 1 2 3 4 5 Maps
Part I : Context of Providing Seed Aid to Afghanistan « previous page | next page »
1.0 - Introduction
1.1 - Food Production
1.2 - Recent Wheat Improvement Efforts
1.3 - Are different strategies needed for the irrigated and non-irrigated areas?

1.2 - Recent Wheat Improvement Efforts

The CIMMYT bread wheat program began targeting germplasm for dry environments in 1990, with the introduction of the Semi-Arid Wheat Yield Trial (SAWYT). Prior to the deployment of this nursery, the Elite Spring Wheat Yield Trial (ESWYT), containing advanced material developed under optimal, irrigated conditions, was distributed and sown in wheat growing environments around the world . Some promising materials have been identified.

ICARDA plant breeders with national partners made considerable advances in identifying specific cultivars that are well adapted to different growing areas . They also developed improved strains of winter wheat with good tolerance to drought and they conducted research to identify the ideal characteristics for bread wheat in different regions (ICARDA1998)

Some experiences of neighboring countries may be of use in supporting Afghanistan. For example, over 60% of wheat in Iran is grown under rainfed conditions. Drought spells are frequent and a prolonged drought occurred in the 1999/2000 season. The landrace 'Sardari', selected from local germplasm by ICARDA, is widely grown in Iran, due to its ability to withstand such harsh conditions. Although improved cultivars are now grown in irrigated areas, until recently 'Sardari' remained the only choice available to Iranian farmers cultivating wheat in drought-prone areas. New breeding lines have become available. Released in 1999, 'Azar 2', a cross with 'Sardari', retains the drought tolerance of 'Sardari' and is less liable to damage by strong winds, is resistant to yellow rust (a major disease of winter wheat in this area) and it gives a yield advantage of 4 -18% over 'Sardari.' Other improved breeding lines are scheduled for release in Iran. They include 'Ogosta/Sefid' and 'Fenkang 15/Sefid.'

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