ICARDA at 20
On Monday, June 2, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, based in Aleppo, Syria, will celebrate its 20th anniversary: an occasion to proudly review the scientific achievements and services rendered to the countries of West Asia and North Africa, as well as to confront the challenge of rapidly rising food demand on top of a huge grain gap in an agricultural ecoregion characterized by environmental fragility and widespread rural poverty.
ICARDA's mission is to meet the challenge posed by a harsh, stressful, and variable environment in which the productivity of winter rainfed agricultural systems must be increased to higher sustainable levels; in which soil degradation must be arrested and possibly reversed, and in which the quality of the environment needs to be assured. ICARDA meets this challenge through research, training, and dissemination of information in partnership with the national agricultural research and development systems.
The Center has a world responsibility for the improvement of barley, lentil, and faba bean, and a regional responsibility in West Asia and North Africa for the improvement of wheat, chickpea, forage and pasture crops-with emphasis on rangeland improvement and small ruminant management and nutrition-and of the farming systems associated with them. The full scope of ICARDA's activities can be appreciated only when account is taken of the cooperative research carried out with many countries in West Asia and North Africa.
The results of research are transferred through cooperation with national and regional research institutions, with universities and ministries of agriculture, and through the technical assistance and training that the Center provides. A range of training programs is offered and these efforts are supported by seminars, publications, and specialized information services.
International Center for Agricultural Research Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)