Quinoa has become a basic ingredient of several Lebanese salads. (The Daily Star/Ahmad Azakir)
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With 70 percent of Middle Eastern agricultural production dependent on rain, the sector is highly vulnerable to the temperature fluctuations and the drop in annual rainfall projected to be consequences of climate change.In Lebanon, breeding resistant crop varieties and importing new varieties are some of the measures currently being tested by research institutes.A two-degrees-Celsius increase in the region's temperature would cause a rainfall decline of 20 to 40 percent, which would in turn reduce economic growth by 6 to 14 percent by 2050 .Data collected by LARI, which is responsible for multiplying and distributing ICARDA's resistant seeds, last year recorded a yield of 4,000 tons of wheat obtained through resistant seeds, over a total of 20,000 tons of wheat produced in Lebanon, and 1,000 tons of barley over a total of 10,000 . Barley is in high demand, so LARI potentially could distribute more resistant seeds. But, as Breidy explains, LARI's resources are overstretched, and the institute is unable to produce enough seeds to meet demand.
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