Faba bean and plant team system
Being extremely concerned by the sustainability of agriculture al sustainability in the dry areas, ICARDA (International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas) is investing in conserving natural resources and developing technologies and approaches to reach food security in the semi-arid and arid regions (Mauget and de Pauw, 2010). The intercropping, and more precisely, the mixed cropping systems are currently being addressed in ICARDA programs. Plant team would be one of key solution to integrate faba bean as legume in cereal based system that would help to enhance quality and seed yield. This will contribute to ICARDA mission that intends to reduce poverty and enhance food, water, and nutritional security and environmental health in the face of global challenges including climate change. In this M1 manuscript, we will present the literature review relevant to faba bean importance Introduction Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) cultivation traces back to the beginning of agriculture (Cubero, 1973). It is one of the oldest crops grown in the Fertile Crescent 10,000 years BC (Caracuta et al., 2015). Today, faba bean remains an important crop because of its high-yield potential, nutritiondense grains, its high protein content and its role as forage crop (Burstin et al., 2011) and is classified as the fourth most widely grown cool season legume after pea (Pisium sativum), chickpea (Cicer arietinum), and lentil (Lens culinaris) (FAOSTAT, 2018). Presently Faba bean is one of the most important grain legumes in China, South America, and the Near East and North Africa region. Weeds remain a major problem of faba bean cultivation in addition to several diseases such as Chocolate spot and Ascochyta blight (Maalouf et al., 2013) and various abiotic stresses e.g. drought and heat (Hammoud, 2015; Maalouf, 2015). Faba bean crop is normally grown in rotation with cereals especially in the Mediterranean region and the Near East countries due of its biological nitrogen (N2) fixation (BNF) ability supplying N for agriculture, recycling of N-rich crop residues and the break-crop effect in cereal-rich rotations (Jensen et al., 2010; Saia et al., 2016). More than any other leguminous, faba bean plays a critical role in improving cereal based system and increasing yield associated with better resources use and the occurrence of complementarity effects due to its important role in reducing CO2 emissions, inhibiting the growth of weeds and enhancing soil quality as compared to sole crops or monocrops (Kirkegaard et al., 2008; Peoples et al., 2009). More than any other leguminous, faba bean can fix up to 90% through BNF (Jensen et al. 2010). In rotations, grain legumes often increase the yield of the succeeding crop by their N-rich residue, and also have been recognized to improve soil fertility and water-holding capacity (Peoples, 2015). Moreover, faba bean plays an important role as mixed crop in improving soil fertility that helps sustainable production of cereal crops mainly wheat (Xue et al., 2016). Compared to monocrops, faba bean / cereal crop combination leads to better grain quality and mostly higher yields. In North and West African countries, where Agriculture is mainly based in intensive agricultural systems often characterized by low crop diversity associated with a large use of chemical inputs (to control emergence of weeds and diseases) and a high land fragmentation, farmers grow faba bean mixed with cereals for better land use efficiency as reported by Agegnehu et al. (2008), Hauggard-Nilsen et al. (2011) and Wahbi et al. (2016). with a special attention on the fava bean / wheat copping mixture. For the next M2 phase, the experimental work will be conducted at ICARDA Terbol station (Bekaa). It consists in the evaluation of a large set of ICARDA faba bean varieties and lines in mixture with two varieties of wheat to evaluate the impact of such plant team on yield improvement and to identify the suitable faba bean / wheat combinations for dry areas.