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ICARDA Newsletter Documents Sustainable Agriculture Efforts in Drylands

March 2013: The March Newsletter from the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) describes ICARDA's efforts to encourage long-term salinity management investments in Iraq's agriculture sector, micronutrient research in lentils, conservation farming in Iraq, and training on characterizing goat and sheep diversity for conservation and sustainable use in Ethiopia. 

In Iraq, the ICARDA-led Iraq Salinity Project is linking research results to action by policy makers through advocacy activities and the development of dialogue. Research activities include: irrigation system management; ground-surface water interactions; new salt-tolerant crops; and farmer led innovations at the field level. On conservation farming in Iraq, ICARDA is working to develop locally produced and low cost seeders in response to the high cost of imported farm equipment.

Regarding the micronutrient project through the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research's (CGIAR) HarvestPlus Challenge Program, ICARDA is targeting the biofortification of lentils with high levels of iron and zinc. The program is fast-tracking seed multiplication and distribution to reach over 3000 farmers in India, Bangladesh, Lebanon and Nepal.

The newsletter also reports that the Ethiopia training on characterizing and documenting goat and sheep diversity was implemented by ICARDA and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) to improve livestock productivity by equipping national partners from universities and regional research institutes with the knowledge and skills to genetically improve sheep and goat breeds.

ICARDA and ILRI are members of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). [ICARDA March 2013 Newsletter]