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Improvement of faba beans in China and Australia through germplasm evaluation, exchange and utilisation

Overview of Project

This project aims to develop improved varieties of faba bean for planting in China and Australia. Identification of research priorities concluded that a project involving five Chinese provinces Zhejiang, Gansu, Jiangsu, Sichuan and Yunnan and Australia, with links to the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), should be developed.

One element of the project will be a collecting mission to southern China to increase the range of germplasm. Seed gathered from farmers’ fields and marketplaces will augment the World Faba Bean Collection maintained by ICARDA in Syria, which currently holds 4490 open-pollinated accessions and 5238 pure-line accessions. Faba bean (Vicia faba) is an important crop helping maintain soil fertility as well as contributing to human nutrition and intensive livestock production.

China is the world’s largest producer, utilising the grain legume in intensive crop rotations, however, the area planted fell from 3 million ha in the 1950s to 2 million ha in the 1980s. Prevalence for farming systems based on two rice crops during the summer means that current faba bean varieties are too late maturing for incorporation in these systems. Other factors include relatively low and variable yields and disease susceptibility.

In Australia, the Grains Council has targeted faba bean production at 500,000 tonnes a year by 2000 compared with 130,000 tonnes now. The Grains Research and Development Corporation is supporting a national research and development program.

In Australia, disease resistance, time of maturity and other attributes are also constraining the expansion of faba bean plantings."

Project Dates

01 Jul 1995 - 31 Dec 1999

Partners

NSW Agriculture - Australia
Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences - China

Leaders

Dr Harry Marcellos

Email

harry.marcellos@agric.nsw.gov.au

Phone

02 67631168

Website
Launch Website