Analysis of chickpea yield gap and water-limited potential yield inIran
Iran is one of the major chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) producing countries of the world. Average chickpeayield in Iran is about 500 kg ha−1while the world average is 900 kg ha−1. The objective of this study wasto investigate chickpea water limited potential yield (Yw) and yield gap in Iran. The analysis was basedon data from five representing chickpea producing locations of Iran. Estimated country Ywand yield gapwere 991 and 463 kg ha−1, respectively, indicating that farmers have reached 53% (range: 38–64%) of Yw.If farmers could reach 80% of Ywof their locations, by improving agronomy practice, country averageyield would increase by 50%, from 528 to 793 kg ha−1. A key finding of the study was that chickpea yieldin Iran is largely limited by inefficient use of environmental resources and not the genetics of the currentcultivars. Much higher yield increase is obtainable via an agronomic option than a genetic improvementoption: using shorter duration cultivars increased Ywto 1237 kg ha−1(25% increase), but applying a singleirrigation of 60 mm at first-pod alone or in combination with shorter duration cultivars increased Ywto1804 kg ha−1(85% increase) and to 1997 kg ha−1(104% increase), respectively. Thus, tripling chickpeaproduction would be feasible using a single irrigation with or without shorter duration cultivars (from528 to 1443 or 1598 kg ha−1). The availability of water for the single irrigation is discussed.