Technology research news Return to previous page
 New Chickpea Variety Survives Drought in Turkey

A new kabuli chickpea variety, Gokce, developed by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), in collaboration with Turkish national scientists, has withstood severe drought in Turkey and produced an impressive yield in adverse weather conditions.

Media contacts: Suren Varma (s.varma@cgiar.org) , Ravi R. Prasad (r.prasad@cgiar.org)

A new kabuli chickpea variety, Gokce, developed by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), in collaboration with Turkish national scientists, has withstood severe drought in Turkey and produced an impressive yield in adverse weather conditions.

Gokce is not only drought tolerant but also has moderate tolerance to Ascochyta blight, a disease that devastates chickpea crop. It has survived the acute drought in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey that has wreaked havoc for farmers. In most areas where wheat, barley, and other crops have failed, Gokce’s yield is high.

Turkish newspapers have quoted the Turkish Union of Agricultural Chambers (TZOB) as claiming that the loss from the drought is estimated to be about 5 billion Turkish Lira or US$ 4 billion. The government has allocated YTL 514 million (US$411 million) for compensation to farmers.

However, farmers cultivating Gokce in the Central Anatolia region say that the yield is expected to be around one-and-a-half tons per hectare, while other crops have been badly hit by the current drought.

“Work on developing this variety began in 1984/85 as part of an international yield trial,” says Dr R. S. Malhotra, senior chickpea breeder at ICARDA. “Gokce was released for field trials in Turkey in 1991.”

ICARDA, based in Aleppo, Syria, is a non-profit international agricultural research center in a worldwide consortium of 15 centers, supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

Based on the success of the field trials, the Exporters’ Union Seed and Research Company (ITAS), a non-profit organization set up by agricultural exporters of Turkey, introduced Gokce into the country in 1997. “The results of field trials were excellent and we got the variety registered,” says Ismail Kusmenoglu, general manager of ITAS.

ITAS initiated an Integrated Technology Transfer Project in 1997 and planted 1400 kg of foundation seed in Konya in the Central Anatolia region in the spring of 1998. The seed was then distributed to growers in 2000. Since then, 100-150 tons of certified seed has been provided to farmers for cultivation.

As Gokce cultivation expanded, the average yield of chickpea increased noticeably from 861 kg per hectare in 2000 to 1071 kg per hectare in 2006. Chickpea is now grown in some 600,000 hectares in Turkey, of which nearly two-thirds is in the Central Anatolia region.

This year Gokce has been planted in almost 85 % of the chickpea production area such as Gaziantep and Adiyaman in Southeast Anatolia, Ankara, Eskisehir, Konya, Karaman, Isparta, Corum, Kirsehir, Yozgat and Sivas in Central Anatolia.

Turkey is one of the largest exporters of kabuli chickpea in the world and Turkish farmers have quickly adopted Gokce because of its large seed size and tolerance to drought and Ascochyta blight.

For more information: Dr R. S. Malhotra (r.malhotra@cgiar.org)

Please download the attachment for this press release and an image of "Farmers harvesting Gokce, a drought-tolerant variety of kabuli chickpea, in Yozgat province of Central Anatolia region in Turkey. The region has been hit by a severe drought causing failure of crops."

----------

About ICARDA: Established in 1977, ICARDA (www.icarda.org) is one of the 15 international research centers supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). ICARDA serves the entire developing world for the improvement of barley, lentil, and faba bean; and dry-area developing countries for the on-farm management of water, improvement of nutrition and productivity of small ruminants (sheep and goats), and rehabilitation and management of rangelands. In the Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA) region, ICARDA is responsible for the improvement of durum and bread wheats, chickpea, pasture and forage legumes and farming systems; and for the protection and enhancement of the natural resource base of water, land, and biodiversity.

The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) (http://www.cgiar.org) is a strategic alliance of countries, international and regional organizations, and private foundations supporting15 international research centers that mobilizes cutting-edge science to promote sustainable development by reducing hunger and poverty, improving human nutrition and health, and protecting the environment.

Associated links

Associated files available for download

Download IconView/download the file 'Gokce media release-Aug 22-2.doc.
Keywords associated to this article: chickpea, drought
Create Account...