Through the HSAD initiative, ICARDA has initiated collaborations with Iraq’s national wheat program to multiply the seed of six varieties registered by the Ministry of Agriculture: HSAD, Azmar, Maaroof, Alaa, Shaho, and Hamada.
Ineffective seed legislation and strategies are perceived as one of the most significant barriers to improving food security and agricultural production in Iraq. Reforms are desperately needed to establish standards related to the production, registration, and dissemination of seeds – thereby improving the limited access that farmers currently have to improved varieties.
Improved varieties of wheat, a key strategic crop, have been planted across Iraq since the HSAD project was implemented late last year, an effort to demonstrate their effectiveness and promote their dissemination to farmers. Tolerant to a range of stresses, including salinization and drought, the crops are crucial to Iraq’s long-term food security.