New International Wheat Initiative Aims to Improve Global Wheat Yields
Updated at 1357229741

As one of the world's most important staple crops, wheat plays a crucial role in the global agricultural economy and in global food security. The grain accounts for an estimated 20 percent of calories consumed throughout the world. But a burgeoning global population and changing climate are putting ever greater pressure on wheat farmers to produce bigger yields. A new multinational initiative, the Wheat Yield Network, has recently been launched to help raise global wheat yields and develop new wheat varieties that are better adapted to meet the world's changing needs.

The Wheat Yield Network, or WYN, comes out of the 2012 G20's Wheat Initiative and will support research and development activities to increase global wheat yields and develop new wheat varieties adapted to different geographical regions. Drawing on transparent collaboration and data sharing, the network's goal is to increase wheat's genetic yield potential by 50 percent over the next 20 years.

The WYN brings together members of the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), USDA, USAID, CIMMYT, ICARDA, and Syngenta, as well as representatives from Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, China, Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, Germany, India, Mexico, France, Japan and Ireland. To date, the network partners have committed US$50-75 million over the next five years.