By 2050, a 60% increase in wheat production will be needed to meet the demand of a growing population.
The Wheat Initiative, an international consortium gathering public institutions and private companies, was created as part of the 2011 action plan of the G20 Agricultural Ministries to coordinate global wheat research and participate to global food security. On May 15, 2013, the Wheat Initiative issues its vision document paving the way for its actions.
Wheat is a major staple crop worldwide but its production has not reached demand in 10 of the 15 past years. Wheat yield models indicate that climate change will reduce wheat yield potential in its major producing areas, and that wheat farmers in South Asia and North Africa will be hit hardest. Hence, all countries share an urgent need to increase the rate of wheat genetic progress for yield, nutrient and water use efficiency, adaptation to biotic and abiotic stress, whilst ensuring the production of high quality and safe products.
To take full advantage of the genetic potential, improved agronomic practices and development of innovative cropping systems are paramount.
These needs are immediate and will most efficiently and rapidly be addressed by ensuring coordination and communication among the international wheat scientific community, establishing common goals, sharing resources and information, enhancing technology delivery to breeders, agronomists, and farmers globally and by improved coordination among public and private research funding organizations.
The main objective of the Wheat Initiative is therefore to co-ordinate global wheat research so that, through international efforts, the progress needed to increase wheat production, quality and sustainability can be achieved, thus contributing to the global efforts towards food security and safety under changing climate conditions.
View press release: An international vision for wheat improvement