Rust-Resistant Wheat Released for Central and West Asia

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Photo of wheat varietyIn 2013-2014, numerous new rust-resistant wheat varieties that are high yielding and broadly adapted were released in Central and West Asia as part of collaborative work by the International Winter Wheat Improvement Program (Turkey-CIMMYT-ICARDA) for winter wheat and CIMMYT for spring wheat. Partners from the region contributed in identification, selection and promotion of these new varieties, which will contribute to food security in this vulnerable region. Central and West Asia grow approximately 15 million hectares of winter wheat and fall-planted spring wheat. The region includes the countries with the world’s highest wheat consumption per capita, such as Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Most of these countries import wheat to satisfy increasing demand. Wheat is grown under both irrigated and rain-fed conditions. Yellow and leaf rusts are the main diseases reducing yield because farmers cultivate susceptible varieties.  Read more…