Cereals and Pulses for Sustainable Agri-food Systems under Climate Change
Jacques Wery1, Yigezu Atnafe Yigezu1, Shiv Kumar Agrawal2, Andrea Visioni1, Michael Baum2, Barbara Ann Rischkowsky3
1International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Egypt
In dry regions food systems are largely driven by cereals, especially bread wheat. Durum wheat is also a major food crop in many parts of the Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA) region. Barley has a specific place as it both contributes to human food (grain and malt) and livestock feed (grain, forage and straw), especially under conditions of water scarcity and low input systems. In response to increasing imports in most of the countries of the region, food policies have been focusing on bread wheat, leading to both increasing areas and yield. A large part of this wheat expansion and intensification is occurring under irrigated agriculture while many countries in the MENA region are already above the threshold level for the use of renewable resources. At the same time the production of other crops such as pulses and forages are stagnating or declining, while they are increasingly recognised as smart foods for human and livestock nutrition. These crops are also essential for adaptation to climate change, improvement of soil fertility, management of weeds, and breaking the pest and diseases cycle of cereal-based cropping systems.
Keywords: Climate smart agriculture, dry areas, transition
Contact Address: Jacques Wery, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Cairo, Egypt, e-mail: j.werycgiar.org