The CGIAR Research Program on Wheat 2018 Annual Report
A recent impact study found that global Semi-Arid Wheat Yield Trials, conducted in diverse growing environments in more than 66 countries, improved yields by 1.6% each year over the past 12 years, surpassing previous yield gains by nearly 1%. Likewise, in China, international breeding research partnerships based on access to foreign germplasm have helped to more than double wheat yields over the last 30 years. Joint research with the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, to deliver improved wheat varieties and innovative disease diagnostics such as MARPLE, are helping Ethiopia meet its goal to be wheat self-sufficient by 2022. Improving technical gender research capacity and following through with gender-focused agricultural policies are crucial to meeting this bold goal. A revolution in phenotyping — using state of the art technology to measure traits and breeding performance — allows researchers to accurately and efficiently identify positive traits, speeding up breeding for greater yield and heat and drought tolerance. The newly-mapped wheat genome promises to drive even faster development of high-yielding, climate- and disease-resilient wheat varieties. With its national partners, WHEAT released 48 new CGIAR-derived wheat varieties to farmers in 2018, and developed 11 innovations related to farm management practices or social sciences. In particular, stable CGIAR Window 1 and 2 funding enables WHEAT scientists to develop sustainable solutions that typical project timeframes do not allow for, as well as to improve program level coordination and learning, ensuring impact. The following countries and organizations are Window 1 funders of CGIAR: Australia, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Belgium, Canada, France, India, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the World Bank. Funding agencies of Australia, the United Kingdom (DFID) and USA (USAID) contribute vital Window 2 funding.