The American University in Beirut, Lebanon, has contributed much to the Middle East. One important?
The American University in Beirut, Lebanon, has contributed much to the Middle East. One important development, by the Agriculture Faculty, is a new strain of wheat which produces two to three times the yield of other wheat grown in the region.
The wheat, called Naja - Arabic for 'success' - yields 35-40 bushels per acre, and has a non-shattering head, which means that wheat does not fall to the ground after ripening. There is, therefore, less waste.
Most of the research into all aspects of agriculture is done at the American University farm, 50 miles outside Beirut. Seventy students from 13 countries study there, and the agronomist who developed Naja, Professor W.W. Worzella, was awarded that Lebanon order of Merit for his work in agriculture.
The emphasis on field study taking precedence over classroom theory is revolutionary for the Middle East, and is said to have produced some of the best agriculturists in the region.
The Faculty of Agriculture, which has been in existence for 18 years, has a continuous research programme into crops and livestock -- including sheep, cattle, wheat and maize.