Identification of new drought tolerant 6-row barley genotypes for the drylands of North Africa
Miguel Sanchez-Garcia. (31/12/2020). Identification of new drought tolerant 6-row barley genotypes for the drylands of North Africa.
Barley is the main crop in the drylands of North Africa, particularly in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. It covers 3.3 Mha (average of the last 4 years; FAOSTAT 2021) and is the last resource of the most vulnerable farmers. For these farmers, barley is the only and often last option to feed their livestock, especially in the dry years. Climate change is expected to reduce rainfall up to 50% and increase temperatures up to 4ºC in the region by the end of the century. Therefore new technologies need to be developed and deployed to increase the productivity per unit area in a scenario of worse climatic conditions. Besides the use of optimum agronomic technologies, hard to implement in a region with low income small-holder farmers, the only successfully tested technology to alleviate climate change effects is to exploit the genetic diversity to improve resilience of locally adapted varieties. To this aim, the ICARDA Global barley breeding program is developing new elite barley genotypes capable to increase the productivity of the farms in the region. The new lines must be genetically diverse and better adapted to the target environment, highly productive in terms of grain and straw and more stable. The aim of the present study is to identify new climate-smart feed barley genotypes for the drylands of North Africa.