To tackle recurrent rural poverty, a priority is to improve the climate resilience of farming. Dryland cereals are essential for the food security of many households. Postrainy season sorghum
, called berbéré
in Chad, is the major staple crop in many isolated and difficult environments in the Sahel zone and can be the only source of food for rural families at harvest time. Its production has increased in the last decade. Due to a drier climate, some Sahelien farmers have replaced cotton production with climate-adapted berbéré
. Yields have also significantly improved as more farmers adopt improved cultivars.
For instance, sorghum variety S35 has had great impact since its release in 1989 in Chad. This improved variety is now grown on over a quarter of sorghum fields, with 50% higher yields and a third less of production costs compared to local varieties.
Groundnut is also an important legume crop for family nutrition, cultivated on about 500,000 hectares. Researchers are assessing the performance of groundnut varieties based on drought and high temperatures, which can severely impact pod yield.
Together with ensuring food security for all, Chad in recent years has been investing in developing the agribusiness sector and improving agricultural value chains. ICRISAT is supporting this agricultural transformation, building Chad's capacity in food testing, as well as rural business incubation, connecting science, farmers and entrepreneurs.