A new International Wheat Yield Partnership program means the USDA will be making $3.4 million available for research projects. The purpose of the program is to enhance research that could be of benefit to enhancing the genetic component of wheat. It will focus on breakthroughs for breeding with new technologies that lead to yield increases and adaptability. Awards are made through the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture‘s (NIFA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).
“Wheat is one of the world’s most important staple crops, providing a significant amount of daily calories and protein throughout the world,” said Secretary Vilsack. “By 2050, the demand for wheat as part of a reliable, affordable, and nutritious diet will grow alongside the world population, and continued wheat research will play an important role in ensuring its continued availability.”
The programs priorities will focus on breakthroughs for wheat breeding using new technologies and also discoveries that lead to significantly greater yield; further, applications that demonstrate coordination and collaboration with international partners are encouraged.
Along with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the international partners involved with IWYP include the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council of the United Kingdom (BBSRC); Grains Research and Development Corporation of Australia (GRDC); Department of Biotechnology of India (DBT), from Mexico, the Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo (CIMMYT); Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC); from France, the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA); and from Switzerland, the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA).
Applications are due May 3, 2016. More information can be found on the NIFA-IWYP website.