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Combatting wheat rust diseases

Strengthening national capacities and international collaboration









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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Stories of change - How to combat wheat rust diseases in Central and West Asia and North Africa: developing synergies and countries’ capacities 2019
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    Wheat rust diseases pose a serious threat to food security around the world. The wheat-producing countries in Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA) are particularly vulnerable to these diseases because new races frequently appear. Without continuous surveillance to ensure effective monitoring and disease control, CWANA countries may face substantial grain yield losses. In collaboration with the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), FAO has facilitated trainings on surveillance, race analysis and management of wheat rust diseases at the Regional Cereal Rust Research Center in Izmir, Turkey. In the last three years, over 50 national officers from Azerbaijan, Iraq, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan have been trained. Rola El Amil, an Associate Researcher from the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI),  was among the trainees who attended the training course in 2018. Together with her peers, she was trained in the management and surveillance of rust diseases and race analysis, especially regarding yellow rust.
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    Regional collaboration is crucial to combat wheat rust diseases in Central and West Asia 2020
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    Wheat is the key crop for world food security. It covers the largest area of sowing, and alone supplies almost 20 percent of the calories consumed by the world population. Wheat productivity is crucial to meet the increasing demand for food. Rust diseases are among the main constraints affecting wheat production globally, especially when suitable climatic conditions prevail. Rusts affect almost all wheat producing regions, from the Americas to Australia. Wheat production in East and North Africa, in the Near East and West, and in Central and South Asia – which account for over 37 percent of total global wheat production area – is severely affected by wheat rust epidemics. To provide support, FAO continuously reinforces collaboration with its partners to boost countries’ ability to detect and manage these emerging wheat rust races.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    FAO Wheat Rust Diseases Global Programme 2014–2017
    Strengthening capacities and promoting collaboration to prevent wheat rust epidemics
    2014
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    Wheat is a source of food and livelihoods for over 1 billion people in developing countries. A major staple food crop in many countries, it is an important source of nutrition, providing on average 40 percent of per capita calorie intake. Drought, floods and diseases severely affect wheat production. Exacerbated by climatic stress, especially in rainfed areas, the impact of wheat diseases is expected to increase. During the past decade a number of virulent strains of wheat rust diseases have eme rged, causing global concerns to wheat production. The wheat stem rust race Ug99 is highly virulent on the majority of world wheat varieties – the risk that it could cause a global epidemic is real. Ug99 is well established in East Africa and Yemen and has spread to the Islamic Republic of Iran. In 2010 and 2013, a new, virulent strain of yellow rust, Yr27, has caused severe outbreaks and losses in many countries in North and East Africa, the Near East and South Asia. Due to ever changing geneti cs of these pathogens they need to be monitored continuously. Wheat production in Northern and Eastern Africa, the Near East and West, Central and South Asia is vulnerable to rust diseases. These regions account for around 37 percent of global wheat production. The cost of a 10 percent loss in areas at risk is estimated to exceed USD 5.8 billion. The impact on food and nutrition security is estimable. To combat wheat rust diseases continuous surveillance as well as a programmatic management appr oach are essential.

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