WHAT WAS THE CGIAR RESEARCH PROGRAM ON WHEAT?

An international collaboration to mobilize global resources in wheat research and development to achieve a food-secure future for producers and consumers of wheat worldwide.

WHEAT IN THE WORLD
From 2012-2022, WHEAT research led to the development and deployment of more than
880
wheat varieties in
59
countries
Maps show the combined contributions from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and International Winter Wheat Improvement Program (IWWIP).

Click on each one for more details.

Select a map to explore:

Our impact
Nutrition
20%
of proteins and calories consumed worldwide come from wheat
50%
expected increase in wheat demand by 2050
Wheat is an essential staple crop that plays an important role in global food security. Over the last decade, the CGIAR Research Program on Wheat has explored the nutritional importance and potential of wheat and wheat products around the world.
Poverty
75%
of the world's poor & food-insecure people rely on agriculture & natural resources for their source of livelihood
WHEAT research has targeted wheat-growing regions of resource-poor farmers. Against the backdrop of increasingly virulent biotic stresses and a changing climate, longstanding wheat breeding research has reduced poverty by raising farm profits and farmer incomes.
Gender
85%
of the world’s youth live in low- and middle-income countries
43%
of the agricultural labor force in low- and middle-income countries is comprised of women
WHEAT has worked with global partners to help improve the access of women, youth, and other marginalized groups to research-for-development products. Furthermore, WHEAT's investment in world-class field and lab trainings have helped to build capacity in wheat breeding and agronomic strategy around the world.
Climate
80%
of the world's croplands rely on rainfall for irrigation
WHEAT has invested in science that equips wheat farmers for more extreme and erratic weather. This work includes breeding more climate change-resilient wheat varieties, utilizing space agency data to guide research, and developing crop management strategies that help farmers conserve resources.
Environment
1/3
of global greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture
70%
of agricultural mitigation potential is in low- and middle-income countries
Conservation agriculture practices and support technologies —such as zero tillage, crop rotations, improved nitrogen fertilizer and water management, nitrogen-efficient wheat, and mechanization— help farmers to mitigate wheat production’s environmental footprint while turning a profit.
Our global community
“The collaborative efforts with CIMMYT are historical”
Gyanendra Pratap Singh, India.
"We receive germplasm for wheat improvement."
Batiseba Tembo, Zambia.
"CIMMYT has converted rice-fallow into rice-wheat cropping systems."
Subhash Upadhyay Lumbini, Nepal.

The average yield in 1999 -2000 was 1 ton/ha, now it has gone to 3.5 tons./ha. with some farmers harvesting 6 tons/ha. The wheat genotypes promoted under the WHEAT/CIMMYT biofortification program occupy a substantial area in Eastern India. Livelihood of farmers has improved, regional food availability has increased, and hunger and malnutrion has been reduced.


Ramesh Chand, Banaras Hindu University, India. Regional partner, led participatory research with farmers.

CIMMYT came up with the CRP-Wheat programme when Bangladesh was experiencing a new threat of wheat blast in 2016. Since the 2016 wheat blast outbreak, CRP-Wheat has been supporting BWMRI for blast screening, surveillance, breeding activities and green house establishment. Out of those actives, BWMRI has released 2 wheat blast-resistant wheat varieties (BARI Gom 33 and WMRI Gom 3).


Muhammad Rezaul Kabir, Senior Scientific Officer, Bangladesh Wheat and Maize Research Institute (BWMRI). Worked as principal investigator in CIMMYT-funded CRP Wheat project.

Since 1960, Nepal released 54 wheat varieties. Wheat area, production and yield increased from 111K ha to 708K ha, 126K to 2,185K metric tons and 1.0 to 3.0 ton/ha, respectively, due to introduction, development and releasing of CIMMYT varieties in Nepal (MoALD, 2021). Cost benefit ratio of wheat is 92 in wheat and in maize 38. Internal Rate of Return is 91% in wheat and 87% in maize.


Dhruba Thapa, Senior Scientist & Wheat Breeder, Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC). Worked as collaborator with CIMMYT, conducted different observation and disease screening nurseries, yield trials at different research stations of NARC.

The research collaboration with WHEAT and CIMMYT helped India not only to become a self sufficient country in wheat production but also become a wheat exporting country… Later on. the advent of the 1BL/1RS variety PBW 343 and its wide cultivation in the country played a significant role in achieving even higher yield levels in the country.


Jag Shoran, Technical Advisor, Dayal Fertilisers Pvt. Ltd., formerly a Wheat Breeder at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Worked with WHEAT & CIMMYT improving wheat varieties for irrigated and rainfed conditions. 

CIMMYT has made an enormous contribution to global wheat improvement. While this has had major impact in the developing world, countries like Australia have also benefited. For many years now, we have worked with Dr. Ravi Singh and colleagues to characterize and utilize minor gene resistance to all three rust diseases of wheat. Many of these resistance sources occur in Australian wheat germplasm thanks to the link with CIMMYT.


Robert Park, Director of Cereal Rust Research, The University of Sydney. Long term collaborator with CIMMYT in the area of rust pathology and genetics

We have been collaborating with the wheat researchers at CIMMYT in Mexico for many years…It has been hugely beneficial. We have done a number of projects together, which led to a number of MSc and PhD degrees.


Maryke Labuschagne, University of the Free State, South Africa

Through the support of WHEAT: 1. More than 65 bread wheat varieties of ICARDA origin were released by the national programs in the CWANA and SSA regions in the last 10 years. 2.) On average, 20 young wheat scientists per year from CWANA and SSA regions have been trained through the the annual wheat improvement course at ICARDA. 3.) More than 15 M.Sc and PhD students carried out their research in ICARDA’s bread wheat breeding program. 4.) journal articles, book chapters, books published.


Wuletaw Tadesse, Principal Scientist – Spring Bread Wheat Breeder, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Morocco.

The CIMMYT program is the “center of the word” for wheat researchers. It’s where we get our germplasm and also where we send our discoveries and introgressed genes to have a global impact.


Jorge Dubcovsky, Wheat Breeder – California, University of California, Davis, United States

I was a CIMMYT trainee in 2000 and participated in the regional nursery germplasm testing. This helped to improve my breeding skills and existing methodology by shifting from the more traditional pedigree method to modified pedigre-bulk method.


Dario Novoselović, Agricultural Institute Osijek, Croatia
Arrow Left
Arrow Right
What we have done

Looking for WHEAT related materials? This is your one-stop-shop for links to the most relevant repositories, tools and documents.