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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Allemagne → 2020 → Developing cropping systems for the ancient grain chia (Salvia hispanica L.) in two contrasting environments in Egypt and Germany

Universität Hohenheim (2020)

Developing cropping systems for the ancient grain chia (Salvia hispanica L.) in two contrasting environments in Egypt and Germany

Mack, Laura

Titre : Developing cropping systems for the ancient grain chia (Salvia hispanica L.) in two contrasting environments in Egypt and Germany

Entwicklung von Anbausystemen für die alte Körnerfrucht Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) in Ägypten und Deutschland

Auteur : Mack, Laura

Université de soutenance : Universität Hohenheim

Grade : Doktor der Agrarwissenschaften (Dr. sc. agr.) 2020

Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seeds have been revived as functional “superfood” for human nourishment especially for vegan and vegetarian diets and are becoming increasingly widespread and present in new food products in Europe. The seeds are beneficial because of being gluten-free, containing antioxidants and a high concentration of α-linolenic acid, and having a high content of dietary fiber and high-quality protein. Chia is originally adapted to short-day conditions and grows naturally in tropical and subtropical environments. Nevertheless, it can survive under water stress and could, therefore, be cultivated in arid regions. Egypt has been classified as a water-scarce state. Due to its drought tolerance, chia might contribute to saving the scarce source “water” in Egypt and offer the chance to export these high value seeds, generating foreign exchange for reimporting e.g. wheat characterized by a higher water demand. Worldwide, the biggest problems and key challenges under climate change (CC) are water and food security in arid and semiarid regions. In the future, CC and water scarcity will significantly threaten agriculture and sustainable development. A rising population requires on the one hand an increase in food grain production, but also a change toward environmentally sound sustainable agriculture. Chia has been suggested as a favorably economic alternative for common field crops sustaining diversification and stabilization of the local agricultural economy. However, broad experience in growing chia in new environments is missing. The agronomic management has not been improved from formerly small-scale production systems. Most of the previous studies focused on seed characteristics. Information on fertilization, plant protection, and improved varieties is scarce, which are reasons for its low productivity in the countries of origin.
Field experiments were conducted at the experimental station “Ihinger Hof” of the University of Hohenheim in southwestern Germany from 2015 to 2017 and in Egypt during the cropping season 2015 to 2016 at SEKEM’s experimental station located 50 km Northeast of Cairo. The present doctoral thesis was based on a project embedded in the graduate school Water-People-Agriculture (WPA) at the University of Hohenheim funded by the Anton-&-Petra-Ehrmann foundation that focuses on key water issues and water related challenges of todays society. On a final note, the main results of this thesis provide further information and expanded knowledge on chia cultivation in two contrasting environments (including a desert region) out of its center of origin. Overall, the current doctoral thesis presents a combined approach of experimental field research and crop modeling to support the optimization of farming practices of chia in new environments. A universal and nondestructive LA estimation model for chia was developed. Further, the CROPGRO model was adapted for chia to provide a preliminary model for a realistic simulation of crop growth variables. The approaches presented in this thesis may contribute to testing new environments for chia cultivation and to improving its production. Moreover, this study helped to develop further general model source codes to simulate the growth of tiny seeds. The adaptation to other Salvias should be much easier with this developed model. Future research requirements and issues requiring model improvement such as N-response and the development of code relationships that can simulate parameters of seed quality could improve the plant growth model for chia.

Mots clés  : Chia , Seeds , Cropping systems , Adaption , Crop model


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Page publiée le 28 décembre 2020