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Role of food legumes in food security and sustainability of dryland farming in the Caucasus

By: Djumakhanov, B | Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo (CIMMYT) | Tbilisi (Georgia) 14-17 Jun 2004.
Contributor(s): Bedoshvili, D [ed.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookAnalytics: Show analyticsPublisher: Tbilisi (Georgia) CIMMYT : 2004Description: p. 388-389.Subject(s): Chickpeas | Cicer arietinum | Cropping systems | Developing Countries | Dry farming | Legumes AGROVOC | Lens culinaris | Lentils | Micronutrients | Protein content | Vitamins | CIMMYT | Food securityDDC classification: 633.1147 Summary: Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) and lentil (Lens culinaris Medik) are important cool-season food legumes. Because of their biological nitrogen- fixing ability, these crops playa significant role in the cereal-based cropping systems of developing countries. Seeds of chickpea and lentil are rich in protein, micronutrients and vitamins and are known for high digestibility. Hence, they play an important role in the diet of poor people in the developing world. In addition, their straw has a good forage value, compared to the foliage of other crops, and thus serves as important livestock feed in arid areas. In the Caucasus, like in other developing countries, wheat and barley have become predo- minant crops. Food legumes, being a part of the sustainable cropping systems in the past, are no lon- ger grown extensively. Moreover, they have become "forgotten crops" for the farmers, consumers and the scientists in the Caucasus (Malhotra et al, 2000). Old Soviet texts evidence that people used to consume chickpea and lentil as food (mostly as soup), which is indicative that these crop were cultivated in the region. These crops are still grown and consumed in Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. A need to keep food legumes in diets of people in the Caucasus has become more pressing currently, due to the shortage of animal protein and its high costs. Scarcity of animal feed further drives a need for higher production of leguminous crops in the region. The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has established its Program Facilitating Unit (PFU) for Central Asian and the Caucasus (CAC) countries. with its headquarters in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The estab- lishment of the Program has brought the scientists on a common platform, where research problems could be jointly discussed and resolved. With due regard for the importance of food legumes in the sustainable cropping systems and nutritional security of the growing population of the region, ICARDA has given a needed push to the improvement of Kabuli chickpea and lentil. Chickpea and lentil are generally grown as rain-fed crops during spring on conserved moisture. except for some lowland areas. Among the stresses affecting food legumes, the most important include a drought -among biotic stresses, Ascochyta blight, caused by Ascochyta rabiei [Pass.] Labr., and fusarium wilt -among abiotic stresses. Drought is a common stress throughout the- region, whereas in some areas cold at the seedling stage and drought and high temperatures at the flowering and pod-setting stages are other abiotic stresses affecting these crops. Ascochyta blight caused by Ascochyta rabiei [Pass.] Labr. is an important biotic stress affecting seed yield in chickpea in Azerbaijan (Amanov et al, 1990). In some areas, weeds also cause serious damage to the both crops. The traditional cultivars being of short stature and spreading habit are not suitable for mechanization and thus are labor demanding. Besides, information on the agronomy of these crops is lacking in the region. Given a decreased domestic demand for the crops presently observable in the region, the marketing of these crops is also a problem. Under the Collaborative Research Program for Sustainable Agricultural Development with NARS in the CAC region, we have initiated a project on germplasm conservation, adaptation and enhancement to diversify and intensify agricultural production. Since 1998, a large number of elite lines of chickpea and lentil have been supplied by ICARDA to various national programs and jointly evaluated under conditions of the Caucasus. Preliminary results indicate that with the advancement of planting date from spring to early spring or winter in milder areas, the productivity of chickpea and lentil can be increased substantially. Furthermore, in order to diversify the existing production system, the incorporation of such food legumes as chickpea and lentil will improve the soil health and make the cropping systems more sustainable and profitable. To strengthen the national agricultural research programs' (NARSs) capability and linkage within and between the Caucasus and Central Asian countries, ICARDA has been contributing towards human resource development through training courses at the Headquarters. Also, through countrywide or regional training courses, study visits and training workshops of scientists in the region. Considering the progress made so far, both Azerbaijan and Georgia have selected and released promising chickpea and lentil varieties. Attention must now be given to the dissemination of these varieties through supplying quality seeds, farmer field demonstrations, organization of field days, etc. Farmers are also to be trained in the legume production technologies. A strong linkage needs to be established among farmers, extension experts and researchers. It is hoped that in the near future, with the existing partnership between the national research programs and international organizations, considerable areas will be brought under both chickpea and lentil cultivation. These efforts will help increase soil fertility and the nutritional safety of the people, together with the increasing of incomes of the resource-poor farmers in the Caucasus. This paper highlights some of these issues.Collection: CIMMYT Publications Collection
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Conference proceedings CIMMYT Knowledge Center: John Woolston Library

Lic. Jose Juan Caballero Flores

 

CIMMYT Publications Collection 633.1147 BED (Browse shelf) 1 Available 6A630072
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Abstract only

Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) and lentil (Lens culinaris Medik) are important cool-season food legumes. Because of their biological nitrogen- fixing ability, these crops playa significant role in the cereal-based cropping systems of developing countries. Seeds of chickpea and lentil are rich in protein, micronutrients and vitamins and are known for high digestibility. Hence, they play an important role in the diet of poor people in the developing world. In addition, their straw has a good forage value, compared to the foliage of other crops, and thus serves as important livestock feed in arid areas. In the Caucasus, like in other developing countries, wheat and barley have become predo- minant crops. Food legumes, being a part of the sustainable cropping systems in the past, are no lon- ger grown extensively. Moreover, they have become "forgotten crops" for the farmers, consumers and the scientists in the Caucasus (Malhotra et al, 2000). Old Soviet texts evidence that people used to consume chickpea and lentil as food (mostly as soup), which is indicative that these crop were cultivated in the region. These crops are still grown and consumed in Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. A need to keep food legumes in diets of people in the Caucasus has become more pressing currently, due to the shortage of animal protein and its high costs. Scarcity of animal feed further drives a need for higher production of leguminous crops in the region. The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has established its Program Facilitating Unit (PFU) for Central Asian and the Caucasus (CAC) countries. with its headquarters in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The estab- lishment of the Program has brought the scientists on a common platform, where research problems could be jointly discussed and resolved. With due regard for the importance of food legumes in the sustainable cropping systems and nutritional security of the growing population of the region, ICARDA has given a needed push to the improvement of Kabuli chickpea and lentil. Chickpea and lentil are generally grown as rain-fed crops during spring on conserved moisture. except for some lowland areas. Among the stresses affecting food legumes, the most important include a drought -among biotic stresses, Ascochyta blight, caused by Ascochyta rabiei [Pass.] Labr., and fusarium wilt -among abiotic stresses. Drought is a common stress throughout the- region, whereas in some areas cold at the seedling stage and drought and high temperatures at the flowering and pod-setting stages are other abiotic stresses affecting these crops. Ascochyta blight caused by Ascochyta rabiei [Pass.] Labr. is an important biotic stress affecting seed yield in chickpea in Azerbaijan (Amanov et al, 1990). In some areas, weeds also cause serious damage to the both crops. The traditional cultivars being of short stature and spreading habit are not suitable for mechanization and thus are labor demanding. Besides, information on the agronomy of these crops is lacking in the region. Given a decreased domestic demand for the crops presently observable in the region, the marketing of these crops is also a problem. Under the Collaborative Research Program for Sustainable Agricultural Development with NARS in the CAC region, we have initiated a project on germplasm conservation, adaptation and enhancement to diversify and intensify agricultural production. Since 1998, a large number of elite lines of chickpea and lentil have been supplied by ICARDA to various national programs and jointly evaluated under conditions of the Caucasus. Preliminary results indicate that with the advancement of planting date from spring to early spring or winter in milder areas, the productivity of chickpea and lentil can be increased substantially. Furthermore, in order to diversify the existing production system, the incorporation of such food legumes as chickpea and lentil will improve the soil health and make the cropping systems more sustainable and profitable. To strengthen the national agricultural research programs' (NARSs) capability and linkage within and between the Caucasus and Central Asian countries, ICARDA has been contributing towards human resource development through training courses at the Headquarters. Also, through countrywide or regional training courses, study visits and training workshops of scientists in the region. Considering the progress made so far, both Azerbaijan and Georgia have selected and released promising chickpea and lentil varieties. Attention must now be given to the dissemination of these varieties through supplying quality seeds, farmer field demonstrations, organization of field days, etc. Farmers are also to be trained in the legume production technologies. A strong linkage needs to be established among farmers, extension experts and researchers. It is hoped that in the near future, with the existing partnership between the national research programs and international organizations, considerable areas will be brought under both chickpea and lentil cultivation. These efforts will help increase soil fertility and the nutritional safety of the people, together with the increasing of incomes of the resource-poor farmers in the Caucasus. This paper highlights some of these issues.

English

0409|AGRIS 0401|AL-Wheat Program

Juan Carlos Mendieta

CIMMYT Publications Collection

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