Regional Wheat Landraces Project
Implementing Agency: CIMMYT-Turkey
Turkey: Bahri Dagdas International Agricultural Research Institute, ICARDA-Turkey
Afghanistan: Agricultural Research Institute of Afghanistan, CIMMYT-Afghanistan
Iran: Dryland Agricultural Research Institute, CIMMYT-Afghanistan
Context of the project:
Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iran have among the highest per capita wheat consumption in the world. Remote mountainous and dryland subsistence farming communities are most disadvantaged in terms of exposure to extreme weather events and subjected to food insecurity. These communities still rely on local wheat landraces, despite having access to modern varieties. Farmers grow landraces because their unique adaptations and heterogeneous nature provide stable yields with excellent quality for home products. Farmers’ inability to maintain and improve the landraces as well as to maintain the seed supply results in their erosion and loss at an alarming rate. Currently grown wheat landraces in highlands of Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey represent evolutionary balance of the mixtures of different genotypes comprising the landrace. Modern research and breeding tools will be used to improve currently grown landraces through participatory evaluation, selection and delivery to wider communities through enhanced seed production and promotion.