Tratado Internacional sobre los Recursos Fitogenéticos para la Alimentación y la Agricultura

BSF Project - Third Cycle

Improving food security by enhancing wheat production and its resilience to climate change through maintaining the diversity of currently grown landraces
Where are we working?
In Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey, wheat plays a very important role in food security and resilience. While wheat landraces are still cultivated by farmers, climate change has resulted in unstable wheat production across Central and West Asia and increased vulnerability of the rural population.
This Benefit-sharing Fund project is expanding on-farm wheat diversity through introduction and promotion of improved wheat landraces, capacity building and establishment of community-based conservation systems.

What are we doing?
  • Evaluation and selection of superior wheat landraces that are collected in farmers’ fields;
  • Crossing program to develop new germplasm using wheat landraces and technology transfer for breeding/research programs;
  • Distribution of seeds of improved landraces to farming communities in the target provinces and promotion of on-farm wheat diversity;
  • Training in sustainable cultivation of wheat landraces;
  • Biodiversity maintenance and establishment of community based wheat landraces conservation systems.

What has been achieved to date?
National meetings with stakeholders have been conducted in all three countries. Technology transfer for wheat characterisation and breeding has taken place through the provision of physiological and genomic tools.
More than 300 wheat landraces have been selected and multiplied for promotion amongst farmers in targeted provinces in all three countries. The crossing program has resulted in the development of more than 100 segregating populations originating from wheat landraces. The landraces included in the project have been well characterised and described. Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) have been assigned to all accessions, which are thus incorporated in the International Treaty’s Global Information System. The materials have been transferred to the national gene banks of the targeted countries to be made available through the Treaty’s Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing.
More than 650 farmers have received improved seeds of wheat landraces in two provinces of Afghanistan, two provinces of Iran and 12 provinces of Turkey. A gender team established as part of this project interviewed more than 300 farmers’ wives. Training and capacity building involved more than 2,500 individuals.

Who has benefited?
As of today, a total of 1,638 farmers in three countries directly benefitted by receiving seeds of improved landraces and relevant training. In addition, a total of 1,220 policy-makers, researchers, extension agents, university teachers and NGO workers have directly benefited from the project so far, including 109 women.
It is estimated that a total of 21,710 people will indirectly benefit from this project’s implementation which is improving their resilience and food security.
Window 2 - Immediate action projects
Region: Near East
Target Countries: Afghanistan, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Türkiye
Implementing institution: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

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