G20 Agricultural Ministers approve the International Research Initiative for Wheat Improvement (IRIWI)
The G20 group of nations approved the International Research Initiative for Wheat Improvement (IRIWI) in Paris in June 2011.
The International Research Initiative for Wheat Improvement (IRIWI) aims to enhance cooperation and coordination between national and international bread and durum wheat research programs, including those operating under the aegis of the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium. The initiative will support improvements in food security, nutritional value, and food safety with consideration for meeting societal demands for sustainable and resilient agricultural production systems capable of adapting to changing climates and extreme weather patterns. The G20 agreement included support for a high quality, reference sequence of the wheat genome, consistent with the goals of the IWGSC. The historic agreement in Paris underlines the importance of increasing world agricultural production, in particular that of wheat, to resolve the urgent challenge of sustainably providing enough safe, nutritious and affordable food for a growing global population.
Coordination activity by IRIWI in its first four years will be supported by the BBSRC, INRA, and CIMMYT. IRIWI itself is supported by research and funding organizations from 10 countries which have, or intend to develop, national programs for wheat improvement. The number of partner countries is expected to increase and the coordination will ensure that information from these national programs will be available for global applications. For more information on the initiative and to participate in its activities, please contact Hélène Lucas at Helene.Lucas@versailles.inra.fr.