International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

BSF Project - Fourth Cycle

Participatory conservation and sustainable use of local landraces to improve the livelihood and the resilience of farmers to climate change in Yemen
Where are we working?

Yemen is facing an unprecedented food crisis and ranks in the top 10 countries of the highest levels of food insecurity (affecting more than 60 percent of the population), mainly due to drought and conflicts.
All components of biological diversity are threatened by several factors, including the recent conflict, which has had a devastating effect on the livelihoods of rural communities and local agrobiodiversity.
Conservation and the sustainable use of genetic resources are priorities in efforts to achieve food security and combat climate change; they are also important to ensure adaptation to various biotic and abiotic stresse

What are we doing?

The project is currently implementing the following activities:
  • Collecting and documenting more than 388 landraces and adapted varieties (248 from Dhamar and 140 from Hadramout and Almahrah Governorates), which are stored in refrigerated conditions in the gene bank after the necessary operations and tests have been conducted.
  • Documenting traditional knowledge associated with farming practices related to crops and varieties.
  • Contributing to enhanced capabilities of farmers, extension agents and researchers for the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
  • Reviewing and updating the database of National Gene Bank accessions for the period 1989–2013.
  • Identifying and reintroducing to farmers' fields 20 local landraces of 7 strategic crops.
  • Establishing 4 Farmer Field Schools in 4 villages of Dhamar Governorate, focusing on the conservation and use of genetic resource

What has been achieved to date?

  • The National Gene Bank has been supplemented with about 388 newaccessions of landraces that include more than 20 species of about 30 local and adapted varieties, including some threatened and rare species. These materials were collected from 3 Yemeni governorates that were not covered by previous surveys. The materials will be made accessible to researchers and scientists involved in improvement and development programmes.
  • Some varieties (more than 10 maize, 7 wheat, 4 barley, 3 lentil, 3 pea, 2 sesame and cowpea) that are adapted and have distinctive characteristics were evaluated, and selected with the participation of farmers, researchers and extension agents in the areas targeted by the project.
  • The project distributed more than 1 000 kg of seeds of adapted varieties selected by farmers from the targeted areas.
  • The project supported the National Genetic Resources Center in documenting and reviewing data related to collection sites and crop data for accessions collected from the project areas.
  • More than 200 men and women farmers were trained in the conservation of plant and genetic resources for agriculture (PGRFA) and improvement of agricultural production through good quality seed production.
  • More than 100 researchers from agricultural research stations and universities have been trained in the conservation of genetic resources, the characterization and evaluation of varieties and the use of information systems in the management of genetic resources, as well as in the use of biotechnology in the conservation and sustainable use of PGRFA.
  • The project was able to increase gender equality, by involving women in most of the project's activities, especially in the field of capacity-building and in Farmer Field Schools

Who has benefited?

The number of direct beneficiaries was more than 300 people, including farmers, researchers, government officials and rural leaders, whether through the distribution of good quality seeds and production inputs, the provision of agriculture extension services, or by fostering capacities, or providing financial incentives to enable employees to participate in project activities despite conflict, institutional breakdown and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Barley, Faba Bean / Vetch, Lentil, Pea, Sorghum, Wheat
Region: Near East
Target Countries: Yemen
Implementing institution: Agriculture Research and Extension Authority(AREA)/ National Genetic Resources Center (NGRC)
Contact details: Maeen Ali Ahmed Aljarmouzi National Genetic Resources Center ([email protected]), ([email protected])

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