International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

BSF Project - Second Cycle

Using local durum wheat & barley diversity to support the adaptation of small-scale farmer systems to the changing climate in Ethiopia
ETHIOPIA HOUSES AFRICA’S LARGEST genebank, with a total holding of 60,000 accessions. This national genebank is maintained by the Ethiopian Institute of Biodiversity Conservation (IBC). The country, which is rich in agricultural biodiversity and considered a major center of crop domestication in Africa, is characterized by a high percentage of rural poor, high rates of subsistence agriculture and food insecurity, which affects more than 44% of the Ethiopian population. Diversification of crop varieties is one of the main adaptation strategies available to Ethiopian farmers; however, the majority of them are unable to use different varieties, principally due to the lack of access to seeds and appropriate information. This BSF project, a partnership between the Ethiopian Institute of Biodiversity Conservation (IBC) and Bioversity International, aims to develop a mechanism to allow Ethiopian farmers access to locally adapted varieties of durum wheat and barley in order to ensure food security, reduce the risk of crop failures, build resilience in the face of unpredictable climatic changes, strengthen national self-sustainability and improve the seed industry through the development of market-based seed distribution systems. This will be achieved by using innovative Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and participatory evaluation practices. Our partners will make available and distribute seed material of locally adapted durum wheat and barley varieties to farmers in six regions through local seed distribution systems. As a result, Ethiopian farmers will have access to new, tested, locally adapted varieties to better cope with climate change and ensure sustained crop production.
Barley, Wheat
Window 2 - Immediate action projects
Region: Africa
Target Countries: Ethiopia
Implementing institution: Bioversity International & Institute for Bioversity Conservation

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