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September 30th, 2019

New technologies and policies are needed to meet the skyrocketing demand for wheat, which is expected to increase 50 to 60 percent by 2050.

That was the key takeaway from the recent International Wheat Congress (IWC) in Saskatoon, Canada, which attracted over 900 delegates from 50 different countries, including researchers from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT),theInternational Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), the International Wheat Yield Partnership (IWYP), Cornell University’s Delivering Genetic Gain in Wheat project (DGGW) and the University of Saskatchewan, among others.

Some 2.5 billion consumers in 89 countries already depend on wheat as a staple food, and demand is expected to rise significantly as the world’s population tops 9 billion or more and 6.3 billion city dwellers buy convenience food. With approximately 15 percent of the planet’s arable land planted with wheat, this ancient grain is the world’s most widely grown staple food crop and is thus critical to global food security. However, wheat faces threats from climate change, variable weather, disease, predators and many other challenges. Read more …