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Conservation Agriculture planning meeting held in Iran

May 28, 2018
A group photo taken during the planning meeting in Iran. Photo: CIMMYT archives

A group photo taken during the planning meeting in Iran. Photo: CIMMYT archives

The Iran-CIMMYT Project conducted a very successful planning meeting on Strategic Conservation Agriculture Research and Development  for the conservation agriculture (CA) components of the project from 12-15 May 2018. The meeting was hosted by CIMMYT-Iran at the Seed and Plant Improvement Institute (SPII) in Karaj, Iran, and was attended by representatives from the Deputy of Crop Production of the Ministry of Jahad-e-Agriculture of Iran, AREEO, SPII, the Soil and Water Research Institute (SWRI), the Iranian Research Institute of Plant Protection (IRIPP), the Agricultural Engineering Research Institute (AREI), the Dryland Agricultural Research Institute (DARI) and the Agricultural Research and Education Canters of Fras and Golestan provinces. Experts from CSIRO Australia, CIMMYT and ICARDA also attended the meeting. The Iran-CIMMYT project has the mandate to increase wheat production in Iran by 25% and 35% in target rainfed and irrigated ecologies, respectively, through integrated crop management, and will operate from 2017 to 2023.

The aim of the meeting was to consult with Iranian and international experts on different agronomic aspects which are important for CA-based crop management. Presentations and discussions covered the following topics: agronomic management practices, weed management, nutrient management, water management and mechanization. Additionally there were sessions on cropping and farming systems simulation, genotype x environment x management research, and CA-centered capacity development.

Through vigorous discussion and exchange of ideas, meeting participants increased their understanding of the challenges facing wheat-based agriculture in Iran in general, as well as particular challenges that hinder increased adoption of CA in wheat-based systems in target ecologies of Iran. The meeting identified many opportunities through which research and development strategies can be applied to test the efficacy of different management and varietal interventions in different agricultural regions across Iran. It was a very full and productive three days, which concluded with revised plans for upcoming field trials and for extensive capacity building.

After the workshop, guest participants, together with some Iranian counterparts, joined the traveling seminars to the Zarghan CA Research Platform and farmers’ fields in Fars province on 15 May 2018, as well as to the Margaheh CA Research Platform and the Rainfed Winter Wheat Breeding Program on 16 May 2018 in Maragheh, Iran.