Cereal Improvement Program 1988
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Communication Team ICARDA. (1/1/1988). Cereal Improvement Program 1988. Syrian Arab Republic: International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).
The diverse projects carried out by the Cereal Improvement Program were oriented towards assisting national programs to increase productivity and yield stability of barley, durum wheat, and bread wheat, particularly in rainfed areas. The commodity focus of projects within the Program was maintained, but the importance of the unique farming systems present in WANA was considered as each project was formulated. One of the Program's strong points is the multidisciplinary approach employed in cereal improvement. Breeding, agronomy, crop physiology, pathology, entomology, grain quality, biotechnology, and interaction with national programs are welded together into an integrated team. In addition, other ICARDA programs such as the Genetic Resources Program, the Farm Resource Management Program, the Food Legume Improvement Program, and Computer Services contributed in various ways to the Cereal Program's research effort. A major 1987/88 activity for the Cereal Program, as well as for the rest of ICARDA, was the second evaluation by an external review panel called in TAC terminology the External Programme Review (EPR). Over the past year a select panel of TAC appointed scientists examined the Program’s activities, achievements and projections. Their review effort culminated in an intensive series of discussions at Tel Hayda in June 1988 with scientific and management staff. We in the Cereal Program greatly appreciated this opportunity to review in-depth our activities and to receive constructive suggestions for further endeavors. We were especially gratified that the panel recognized the full sweep of Cereal Program contributions to cereals research and training, encouraging staff and management to continue for the most part in the direction already charted. We have embraced the EPR collaborative project with CIMMYT with the aim of providing NARS with the benefits of two complementary international centers. A new agreement has subsequently been reached between ICARDA and CIMMYT for collaboration in cereal improvement in the WANA region. The agreement will allow the efficient use of CGIAR resources for increased benefit to NARSs. The agreement includes the posting of a third CIMMYT wheat scientist at ICARDA and the implementation of a new system of wheat germplasm distribution in WANA. Wheat germplasm derived from ICARDA Aleppo, and CIMMYT, Mexico, will be pooled in joint screening nurseries to be distributed from ICARDA to NARSs in WANA.
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