Changing Barley Fertilization Policy in Syria: The Role of Collaborative Policy-oriented Research
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Barley is a major feed crop in Syria, accounting for 96 percent of the area devoted to rainfed forage crops, 40 percent of the total cereal area, and 27 percent of the total cropped area. Although barley is well adapted to dry areas (200–350 mm annual rainfall), its yield levels were very low because of the limited use of fertilizer and other inputs. A collaborative policy-oriented research (POR) project launched in 1984 by the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the Syrian Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform (SMAAR) was designed to assess the profitability of fertilizer use in barley production and to provide evidence that could be used to inform the government’s fertilizer allocation policy. This brief is based on a longer study1, which presents evidence to support the attribution of changes in Syria’s barley fertilization policy to the collaborative ICARDA/SMAAR research project.