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Evolution of varieties and development of production technology in Egypt wheat: A review
- Abdelmageed, Kishk, CHANG, Xu-hong, WANG, De-mei, WANG, Yan-jie, YANG, Yu-shuang, ZHAO, Guang-cai, TAO, Zhi-qiang
- Journal of integrative agriculture 2019 v.18 no.3 pp. 483-495
- abiotic stress, agricultural land, basins, breads, breeding, cultivars, deficit irrigation, fertilizers, grain yield, intercropping, mechanization, planting, production technology, raised beds, sowing date, wheat, Egypt
- Wheat was the first crop grown in Egypt, and it remains highly important. Egypt is the largest wheat importer in the world and consumes an extensive amount of bread. It is imperative for wheat scientists to decrease the large gap between production and consumption. Wheat yields in Egypt increased 5.8-fold (6.7 billion kg) between 1961 and 2017 due to variety improvement and the use of better planting methods such as the raised bed method, ideal sowing date, surge flow irrigation and farm irrigation systems, laser levelling, fertilizers, and intercropping with raised beds. In this paper, the development of wheat production techniques and variety evolution over more than five decades in Egypt have been analyzed. In particular, we have focused on the technologies, cultural practices and causes for per unit area yield increase. The main purpose was to study the issues that have arisen during wheat production and to make recommendations for smart agricultural practices. In 1981, the yield was 3 300 kg ha–1 and through the improvement of varieties, expansion of agricultural land and the adoption of modern agricultural techniques yield reached 6 500 kg ha–1 by 2017. The production growth rate was 4.1% annually, and the total grain yield increased 4.3-fold, from 1.9 billion kg in 1981 to about 8.1 billion kg in 2017. The use of new improved varieties, new cultivation techniques, and modern irrigation techniques contributed to 97.0% of the increase in yield per unit area and 1.5% of the increase in yield was due to planting area expansion. Therefore, the increase in total yield mainly depended on the increase in yield per unit area. Wheat production in Egypt has been improved through the development of breeding and cultivation techniques. The use of these new techniques, the popularization of new high-quality seed varieties, and the use of the raised bed method instead of the old method of planting in basins have made the largest contributions to increased yield. In the future, wheat yield could be further increased by using the tridimensional uniform sowing mode and the development of wheat varieties that are resistant to rusts, deficit irrigation, and abiotic stress, that are highly adaptable to mechanized operation and have high yields. Based on our analysis, we propose the main technical requirements and measures to increase wheat yield in Egypt in the near future.