ICARDA is improving the productivity and yield stability of faba bean by aiming to make sure responses to biotic and abiotic stress factors, such as climatic conditions and diseases, are effectively controlled and inherent yield potential is improved. ICARDA breeding efforts are underway to develop faba bean with greater tolerance to heat, through the identification and dissection of faba seeds that can survive at 35°C during the flowering stage. In addition, ICARDA is developing the disease resistance of faba bean, deploying cultivated lines that are resistant to Orobanche crenata (a parasitic weed).
Faba bean is the fourth most important cool season legume crop worldwide after pea, common bean and chickpea, and has a total production of 5 millions tons annually. It has a high yield potential and is rich in micronutrients such as iron and zinc, and is thus considered a staple dietary protein source across Africa and the Middle East. Besides being an important food crop, faba bean also contributes to feed and fodder supply for livestock and positively affects the soil productivity of the cereal crops grown in rotation.
Faba bean germplasm and development breeding lines are diverse and offer adaptability to different continents, temperatures, and water gradients. New faba bean lines aligned to products lines can be also found in the ICARDA's International Nurseries.