Italy and ICARDA
Italy has a long historical connection with ICARDA and has been instrumental in much of the Center's genetic-resources activities. The Italian Government supported the establishment of a modem gene bank which has facilities for medium- and long-term storage and can accommodate 120,000 germplasm accessions. The gene bank was inaugurated in 1989 and dedicated to Prof. Nazereno Strampelli, a prominent Italian breeder. Italy was also the second major donor of germplasm to ICARDA. The Germplasm Institute at Bari provided more than 17,000 accessions, of which 1,000 are ofItalian origin and over 9,400 were collected by Italian plant explorers in Ethiopia, Tunisia and Greece. ICARDA currently holds over 111,000 accessions in its gene bank of which over 55,000 are of cereals, 27,000 of food legumes and 28,000 of forages. Italy supports three main research projects at ICARDA: the Spring Barley Project; Durum Wheat Project and Kabuli Chickpea Project. More specifically, this support has produced a number of promising results as summarized under the respective projects, below. It also provides core support for other ICARDA research activities.