The following piece is from our sister publication, Germination.
Old’s College’s Field Crop Development Centre (FCDC) triticale breeder Mazen Aljarrah stands at the forefront of agricultural innovation, weaving a tapestry of knowledge and expertise that spans continents and generations. With a deep-rooted passion for plant breeding and a relentless pursuit of excellence, Aljarrah’s journey is marked by accomplishments that have left an indelible mark on the field of agriculture. He sat down for an interview at the FCDC Field Day on Aug. 2 in Olds, Alta. The event took place for the first time as part of AgSmart hosted at Olds College.
With Plant Breeder Status bestowed by the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association (CSGA), Aljarrah is recognized as a luminary in the world of plant genetics and breeding. His dedication has culminated in the registration of two spring and four winter triticale lines in western Canada between 2018 and 2023, a testament to his unwavering commitment to nurturing crop varieties that withstand the rigours of diverse climates.
A distinguished member of the Prairie Recommending Committee for Wheat, Rye, and Triticale (PRCWRT), Aljarrah’s influence extends beyond his immediate endeavours. His insights and expertise contribute to shaping the agricultural landscape, driving advancements in crop cultivation that benefit not only his immediate community but also broader global regions.
Aljarrah has enriched his Canadian experience by seamlessly integrating his international perspective. Armed with over 25 years of impactful service as a Research Associate at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), he has seamlessly bridged the gap between diverse agricultural contexts.
ICARDA’s association with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) further underscores Mazen’s international influence. His commitment to enhancing agricultural practices on a global scale is evident in his relentless work to improve crop resilience and yield in dry regions. His tireless efforts have contributed to ICARDA’s mission to uplift livelihoods and empower farming communities across the world.
Educationally accomplished, Aljarrah holds a master of science in plant breeding and a bachelor of science in agriculture, both of which have provided the foundation for his groundbreaking work. Furthermore, his proficiency is evidenced by certificates in applied plant breeding, wheat anther culture, and DNA and molecular marker techniques for improving cereal crops. These qualifications showcase his versatility in deploying cutting-edge techniques to drive progress in crop genetics and breeding.