Epidemic of lentil and chickpea viruses in Ethiopia and their adverse impact on production and seed distribution to farmers
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Safaa G. Kumari and Seid A. Kemal. 2022. Epidemic of lentil and chickpea viruses in Ethiopia and their adverse impact on production and seed distribution to farmers. International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Beirut, Lebanon.
Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) and lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) are the major cool-season food legume crops grown in Ethiopia, providing people with balanced nutrition of proteins, minerals, fibers, and carbohydrates. The central highland of Ethiopia is the largest producer, accounting for around 50% of the country's total area planted with these crops. Since 2019, farmers in the highlands of Ethiopia are losing their chickpea and lentil crops because of virus epidemics, and lentil production area in Ethiopia was reduced due to the virus infection. Based on FAOSTAT, lentil production (tonnes) and Area Harvested (ha) in Ethiopia decreased from 166,274 tonnes and 113,685 ha during 2016 to 113,018 tonnes and 84,512 ha during 2020, respectively. Knowing the exact identity of viruses affecting lentil and chickpea crops in Ethiopia is essential for breeding for resistance and crop management purposes. To achieve this, it is important to have available diagnostic reagents to monitor virus incidence and distribution. Accordingly, field surveys were carried out for four consecutive seasons (2019-2022) in collaboration between ICARDA and Ethiopian researchers to identify the major viruses associated with symptoms suggestive of virus infection and determine the factors affecting the incidence of viruses on lentil and chickpea crops in Ethiopia highlands.
- Agricultural Research Knowledge 
Kemal, Seid Ahmedhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1791-9369