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Improving wheat productivity in Asia through collaboration

November 12, 2012

BackkwehatDuring 26-27 April 2012, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI), in collaboration with CIMMYT, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), and the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) organized a regional consultation on “Improving Wheat Productivity in Asia” to discuss strategies for increasing wheat productivity, national/regional wheat scenarios, wheat disease management, and emerging challenges.

Wheat and rice constitute two major staple foods in Asia, ensuring the food security of almost 57% of the world’s population and livelihood of 80% of smallholder farmers worldwide. However, the importance of wheat in Asia has been largely overlooked; the average wheat productivity of Asia is even lower than the global average. These issues were discussed during the consultation attended by 53 participants representing national agricultural research systems of Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, China, DPR Korea, India, Iran, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, and Uzbekistan, CGIAR Centers, FAO, APAARI, NGOs, farmer organizations, and the private sector.

The consultation provided a platform to all the stakeholders to share their knowledge and experiences, assess future trends, and prepare a road map to accelerate the overall production and productivity of wheat, taking into consideration the impacts of climate change and the declining natural resource base. The results of the discussions have been summarizes in a publication of proceedings and recommendations, which can be accessed through APAARI ([apaari] [at] [apaari] [dot] [org]).