The Impact of International and National Investment in Barley Germplasm Improvement in the Developing Countries
Aw-Hassan, Aden A.
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Barley grain is used for animal feed, malt and food for human consumption. Archaeological evidence shows that barley was used in human food several thousand years ago (Bhatty, 1992). Although replaced by wheat and rice in modern times, barley still remains an important food grain in some developing countries, particularly in marginal areas where it may be the only viable crop. The annual per capita consumption of barley for the 1995–1997 period was estimated to be 41.0 kg in Morocco, 20.2 kg in Algeria, 16.2 kg in Iraq, 14.3 kg in Ethiopia, 9.4 kg in Tunisia and 6.1 kg in Kazakhstan (FAO, 2001). The most important use of barley grain is for animal feed. Barley straw is used as animal feed in West Asia, North Africa, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Yemen, in the Andean region of South America and in the Far East. Barley stubble is grazed in summer in large areas of West Asia and North Africa. Barley is also used as animal feed at the vegetative stage (green grazing) or is cut before maturity and either directly fed to the animals or used for silage. Barley straw is also used for animal bedding and as cover material for hut roofs. Malting barley, the second largest use after feed, is grown as a cash crop in a number of developing countries.