Wheat is the essential food crop in Central Asia (CA), accounting for more than 85% of all cereals produced in the region. In recent years, yellow rust has become the most important disease affecting winter wheat in CA, which has experienced seven yellow rust epidemics over the past 15 years. Given that most commercially grown cultivars in the region are susceptible to yellow rust, several improved winter wheat cultivars with high yield potential and good levels of yellow rust resistance were recently released in the region through international collaboration. However, the lack of accelerated seed multiplication has restricted the replacement of susceptible cultivars with resistant ones. A project funded by the CGIAR WHEAT research program under a partners’ grant scheme started in 2012 with the aim of accelerating seed multiplication and the adoption of improved, yellow rust resistant winter wheats in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. One of the project’s specific objectives was not only to increase productivity but also help farmers manage yellow rust epidemics in Central Asia and neighboring West Asian countries. Wheat varieties selected for dissemination were planted on different acreages depending on seed availability in the first year of the project (2012-2013 growing season). This has continued in subsequent years and in autumn of 2014, a total of 13,528 ha in Tajikistan and 17,520 ha in Uzbekistan were planted with improved seed. In Tajikistan more than 4,000 small farmers and organizations are participating in the program, while in Uzbekistan, more than 300 farmers grow yellow rust resistant varieties either for seed production, grain production or both.
The work to be performed by the candidate may take three directions that can be negotiated once proposal is approved.
a. Adoption of yellow rust resistant winter wheat varieties (soon improved varieties) in Uzbekistan/Tajikistan;
b. Impact of improved varieties on household income and welfare in Uzbekistan/Tajikistan;
c. Analysis of the productivity and efficiency of winter wheat producers in Uzbekistan/Tajikistan;
The data for this work will come from farmer surveys to be conducted in 2016-2017, both in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Good knowledge of econometrics with STATA skills.
Proficiency in spoken and written English is required; good scientific writing skills.