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CIMMYT to help enhance wheat productivity in Iran

May 31, 2014

By M.R. Jalal-Kamali/CIMMYT

CIMMYT will assist Iran with a new pilot plan to increase wheat production and will upgrade its office there to a Regional Research and Training Center, under agreements reached when CIMMYT leaders visited the country in early May.

Visit to the National Wheat Breeding Program at SPII, Karaj, Iran. Photos: Courtesy of spii.ir

Thomas A. Lumpkin, director general; Hans Braun, director of the Global Wheat Program; and Bruno Gérard, director of the Global Conservation Agriculture Program, visited the National Irrigated Wheat Breeding Program in Karaj and met with agriculture officials as well as the DGs of national agricultural research institutes. They agreed to strengthen technical and scientific collaboration on wheat improvement and agronomy, with an emphasis on conservation agriculture and precision agriculture.

Developing appropriate agronomy practices to enhance wheat and maize productivity will be one of CIMMYT’s contributions to the pilot program, along with providing improved and adapted wheat germplasm. CIMMYT has collaborated with Iran since the early 1960s and has played a vital role in improving its food security. More than 90 percent of wheat varieties grown in Iran come either directly from CIMMYT selections or from Iranian cross-breeding programs, and dozens of Iranian scientists have been trained at CIMMYT.

Braun and Gérard also visited rainfed winter wheat growing areas in the northwest of Iran and the Dryland Agricultural Research Institute (DARI) in Maragheh, where they gave presentations on wheat improvement and conservation agriculture research.