ICARDA plays a critical role in the conservation, development, improvement, and dissemination of climate-resilient, market-driven crop varieties that provide a crucial defence against extreme temperatures, water scarcity, the emergence of new pests and diseases, and nutritional insecurity.
Over the past four decades, ICARDA's improved cereal and legume varieties have been tested and released by national programs in partnership with ICARDA and adopted by farmers worldwide, generating net benefits of approximately US$850 million each year.
ICARDA's new varieties combat a range of challenges typical in dry regions. They can flourish in areas where rainfall is low and erratic, offer greater and more stable yields, and have a higher tolerance to stress factors such as diseases, pests, drought, and extreme temperatures. Many varieties also offer improvements in nutritional value and quality.
ICARDA packages its technologies and innovations into integrated solutions that maximize yields from the new varieties. These include better resource management, cost-effective technology transfer, connections to the private sector and research institutions, and training and capacity development. See our scaling-up proven technologies pages for more information.
ICARDA's programs, genebank network, and international nurseries develop climate-smart crops alongside National Agricultural Research System country partners and global research institutions. ICARDA follows the guidelines of the CGIAR Excellence in Breeding Platform to optimize future breeding efforts.
Watch and learn about our groundbreaking climate smart crops innovations!
ICARDA manages a gene bank network containing some 157,000 samples of landraces and wild relative species of major dryland cereals, food legumes, forage and rangeland species. ICARDA and its national partners utilize the genetic resources conserved in the genebank to develop improved lines, which are shared worldwide through our International Nurseries for a wide range of agricultural systems.
ICARDA and national partners use the genetic resources maintained in the ICARDA gene bank to develop and distribute improved varieties for a wide range of agricultural systems across the global drylands. This is an integral part of an international nursery trialing system through which cooperators are provided with genetically-diverse germplasm to evaluate and select under their own agro-ecological conditions and socio-economic contexts.
Neglected crops improve soil health, reduce water usage, provide a nutritious food source, and enhance biodiversity. Yet they are overlooked. We discuss their benefits and what they offer to climate-smart food system transformation.