According to the statement made by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, while the preparations for the “Strategy and Action Plan for Combating Agricultural Drought” are continuing, on the other hand, institutes operating under TAGEM are looking for seeds that will ensure high yield and quality even in changing climate and soil conditions. Irrigation work continues.

In this context, 30 bread wheat, 12 durum wheat and 19 barley varieties that are drought tolerant (compatible) were developed by the Research Institute Directorates and presented to the producers.

Tens of thousands of materials are subjected to morphological, phenological and physiological tests at the Drought Test Center, which was established in 2010 under Konya Bahri Dağdaş International Agricultural Research Institute and ranks third in the world. To date, 19 varieties have been registered in the center after successfully passing the tests.

The registered varieties have been transferred to the private sector and the General Directorate of Agricultural Enterprises (TİGEM) in recent years, and seed reproduction studies have been carried out.

Among these varieties, TANER and BOZKIR, thanks to their drought resistance and high water use efficiency, yields increased by 15-20 percent compared to existing varieties planted in dry conditions. In terms of quality, the increase achieved in TANER was 250 percent and 200 percent in BOZKIR.

SELÇUKLU, which was transferred to TİGEM, will be offered to the market with higher efficiency and quality features.

It will be disseminated all over Turkey.

It is aimed to spread drought resistant varieties all over Turkey. Considering the current rate of spread, the utilization rate of the developed varieties is expected to reach a significant level in the bread wheat cultivation areas in the near future.

Projects supported by TAGEM and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are carried out throughout the country in order to develop varieties in the fight against drought, as well as to expand protective tillage and direct sowing practices. With these studies, the soil preparation costs of the producers are reduced and the input costs are reduced. In addition, since the soil is not processed and fragmented, the moisture in the soil is preserved and the effect of drought is reduced. With the studies carried out, the number of producers using this system and the directly planted areas are increasing.

drought resistant chickpeas

With the “Development of Drought Stress Resistant Chickpea Genotypes”, which was proposed last year and will be carried out by TAGEM-Eastern Mediterranean Transition Zone Agricultural Research Institute Directorate in the period of 2023-2027, efforts are being made to develop new drought-resistant chickpea varieties that are suitable for the demands of the producers and the market.

For this purpose, drought-resistant parent lines will be determined and a breeding program will be established. With the new varieties to be developed, the losses experienced by the producers due to drought will be reduced, thus contributing more to both the producers and the country’s economy.

Within the scope of Warm Climate Cereals Research, possible global climate change scenarios were evaluated by an expert researcher in institutes affiliated to TAGEM, and firstly, drought-resistant cultivar development studies were started. In addition, national and international projects are carried out by giving importance to researches on alternative crop plants and other agronomic studies.

With the “Drought Stress Tolerant Variety Breeding Project in Egypt” funded by TAGEM and carried out in the 2017-2021 period, advanced quality lines were obtained from the populations created for drought tolerance breeding, and candidate varieties were developed by crossing the previous successful pure lines with each other.

Roughage studies in livestock

In order to meet the need for roughage, studies on developing drought-tolerant fodder crops (such as Hungarian vetch, grazing weed, boneless bromine, sainfoin) are continuing.

Two varieties of Hungarian vetch, Aksoyak and Özcan, which are resistant to dry conditions suitable for Central Anatolia and transition regions, were developed in 2020. The clover studies carried out in dry conditions are carried out within the framework of the clover breeding project.

Positive results were also obtained from the studies on the bush plant, which is widely used as roughage in livestock in arid and semi-arid regions around the world, but which is not well known in Turkey. Reproduction and research studies are carried out at Ankara Field Crops Central Research Institute and Eskişehir Transition Zone Agricultural Research Institute.

Oat and triticale varieties, which can produce 7 tons of silage per decare, were developed as a result of the development of silage oats and triticale, which can be an alternative to silage corn, which consumes a lot of water and produces 8-10 tons of silage.

A TÜBİTAK project titled “Development of Drought Tolerant Genotypes with Superior Yield and Quality Characteristics in Soybean (2021-2023)” is also carried out at the institutes. Drought tolerant soybean varieties are expected to be developed at the end of the project.

“Drought Resistant Hybrid Sugar Beet Variety Development Project” continues in cooperation with TAGEM-university. At the end of the project, it is envisaged to develop drought tolerant sugar beet varieties.

Agricultural Drought Combat Strategy and Action Plan

The Ministry’s work continues within the scope of the “Strategy and Action Plan for Combating Agricultural Drought”. Some of the goals included in the plan are:

– Developing and spreading the use of drought-resistant cereals in order to combat climate change and drought,

– Developing industrial plants that consume less water and have high water use efficiency,

– Development of drought-tolerant meadow-pasture forage crops,

– Development and dissemination of sheep and goat breeding in Central Anatolia

“We attach importance to the development of drought resistant species”

Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Vahit Kirişci, whose views were given in the statement, drew attention to their plans for the period of 2023-2027 and stated that they are working on both irrigated and dry agriculture.

Stressing that the sustainability of these works is important, Kirişci said:

“We are vigilant against the danger of drought with all our institutions and organizations. Taking measures to ensure food safety against climate change is among our strategic priorities. We consider the issue from a sustainability perspective and shape our work in the light of up-to-date data. Protection of our soil, water and genetic resources, increasing productivity and water in production areas. The creation of crop patterns suitable for their potential is the main framework of our work on this subject. The development of drought-resistant species is one of the most critical issues we carry out in this context. We attach great importance to our R&D studies regarding this. Our climate, soil, water and biodiversity resources we have as a country, prevent the negative effects of climate change. It includes solutions that will minimize it.”

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