Using Agricultural Biodiversity and Farmers’ Knowledge to Adapt Crops to Climate Change in Iran

Date:
January 2011دی 1389
December 2013آذر 1392

Location: three provinces of Iran: Semnan, Chahar-mahal va Bakhtiari and Kermanshah

Specific objectives:

  • To include indigenous and traditional varieties in breeding programs by conducting participatory evaluations of gene bank germplasm collections in a number of field crops according to farmers’ needs and requests;
  • To capture, document, store and share with the farmers’ communities and research institutions the indigenous knowledge about the germplasm that will be elicited during the process of characterization and participatory evaluation;
  • To lay the groundwork for long-term research through “evolutionary breeding” by developing large populations of “barley and wheat” 4
  • To combine participatory research in breeding with agronomic practices such as conservation tillage and suitable rotations to exploit the interactions between breeding and agronomy;
  • To strengthen village-based seed production systems for a rapid multiplication of the varieties selected in the field trials;
  • To build the capacity of national program scientists to conduct integrated participatory research by using the project activities as a training ground;
  • To empower farmers to understand the fundamentals of IPR laws and policies, including their impact on their livelihoods, rights and biodiversity, in order to be able to engage policy makers and legislators in a critical review/development of their national laws and policies.
  • To develop markets for high quality and biodiverse wheat and barley by focusing on quality of bread and animal feed respectively.

Results:

  • A population of the two crops which started to become better adapted to marginal conditions, high temperature and drought available to between 250 and 500 farmers (25 locations with 10-20 farmers/location) and spreading exponentially to other farmers and farmers’ communities;
  • An evolutionary and participatory plant breeding methodology which could be used in other crops and other regions of the world affected by climate change;
  • Combinations of conservation tillage, improved rotations and varieties or populations identified and adopted by farmers;
  • A new methodology for the assessment of the value to farmers’ communities of landrace collections;
  • Guidelines on how to make good variety mixtures;
  • Documentation and dissemination of the farmers’ knowledge for use by future generations;
  • Strengthened legal systems for the protection of farmers’ access to new varieties and recognition of their rights over their own varieties.
  • Two multi-media training cd’s, articles and reports disseminated in workshops, websites and through local media.
  • Results of third national PPB workshop (report and declaration) and Annual progress reports.

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