Iraq Turns to Australian Researchers for Advice on Wheat Disease
USAgNet - 09/14/2012
Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture officers have met with Western Australian researchers to learn more about managing a fungal disease which has devastated wheat crops in Iraq. The group has undertaken a training programme with the Department of Agriculture and Food in West Australia, focused on tackling rust in
The visit has been organised by the department's international consulting arm AGWEST Food Security and the training funded by AusAID.
AGWEST Food Security Manager Mar Hube said the course aimed to assist the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) officers to better understand how to manage the fungal disease.
"Iraq faces a major threat to food production from wheat rust," Hube said. "New strains of rust and reduced resistance meant that over a third of the 2010 crop was lost."
Visiting participants are mainly from the MoA Plant Protection Division.
Department research officer Geoff Thomas said the WA plant pathology team had extensive experience in developing and extending integrated crop management for diseases such as cereal rust.