WHEAT Wire Vol. 1
November 2014
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The WHEAT Wire

Welcome to the first edition of The WHEAT Wire, a quarterly newsletter to keep you informed of important events and outcomes in the CGIAR Research Program on Wheat, with a focus on partners. To that end, we would appreciate your comments and invite you to share notes about significant activities and accomplishments (see more below). Thanks in part to your outstanding efforts, 2014 has been an exciting and productive year. There are challenges ahead, but rest assured that many positive developments – including the development and launch of a 2nd phase of WHEAT starting 2017 – lie ahead. 

Warm regards,

Victor Kommerell
WHEAT Program Manager

2014 Food and Research Prizes Go to CIMMYT Scientists

Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram, of India and Mexico and who worked for many years at CIMMYT and more recently at ICARDA, was awarded the 2014 World Food Prize for leading CIMMYT wheat breeding research that produced 480 wheat varieties sown on some 58 million hectares in 51 countries. Read more about the life and work of Rajaram, once called the “sultan of wheat

In other news, the 2014 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application was presented to Dr. Bram Govaerts, associate director of CIMMYT’s Global Conservation Agricultural Program and leader of the Sustainable Modernization of Traditional Agriculture (MasAgro) initiative, for his work to generate and spread productive and sustainable farming systems in Mexico and other parts of the world. Read about how Govaerts and his team have championed conservation agriculture and other farm innovations.
Endorsement for WHEAT Extension Period Proposal

The WHEAT Extension Period Proposal for 2015-16 was approved by the CGIAR Fund Council in November 2014. Read the approved Proposal, the Council’s comments and related documentation
Africa Can Grow the Wheat it Eats
Urbanization, a rising middle class and new lifestyles are driving up wheat demand in Sub-Saharan Africa. With funding from the Multi-Donor Trust of the World Bank and WHEAT, a new ASARECA-led project will link with region-wide efforts to help Africa grow more of the wheat it eats and thereby reduce its annual wheat grain imports from current levels of more than US $12 billion.
Read more about the ASARECA and WHEAT collaboration here.
Studying Gender Norms and Wheat-based Livelihoods 
Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has approved funding for a WHEAT research project that will explore how the differing roles and rights of women, men and youth influence wheat research and development impacts in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Ethiopia, whose inhabitants depend heavily on the crop for protein, carbohydrates and livelihoods.

The project, “Understanding gender in wheat-based livelihoods for enhanced WHEAT research for development (R4D) impact in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Ethiopia” will find out how wheat research-for-development projects can improve upon gender integration and social inclusion. Read more about the gender project here.  
The Vital Grain of Civilization and Food Security
Wheat plays an integral role in feeding the planet’s growing population. “Wheat: the Vital Grain of Civilization and Food Security” infographic was developed to promote and raise awareness about challenges wheat research currently faces.

Launched during CIMMYT’s “Wheat Matters” campaign, designed to promote informed discussions about global food security, the infographic supports this very same mission. Join the conversation about wheat by sharing #WheatMatters on Twitter and Facebook.        
WHEAT Partner Priority Survey
To WHEAT, partnerships are paramount. We aim to involve partners at all levels in decision making and steering, and your feedback matters. The WHEAT Partner Priority Survey was sent to more than 200 organizations — national agricultural research institutes, universities, seed companies, NGOs and international research organizations — in September 2012. The 92 respondents provided information on institutional priorities, engagement and activities in Strategic Initiatives (now Flagship Projects), and their views on priorities for investment in international agricultural research for development. Thanks to a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council(BBSRC)- funded Ph.D. internship at CIMMYT, comprehensive analysis and documentation is now completed. 

So, what do 92 WHEAT partners want from international agricultural research? Click here to read the full WHEAT Partner Priority Survey. 

Have you visited lately? 

WHEAT's website has been undergoing changes the past several months to better suit visitors needs.

Visit the new today for new posts and frequent site updates! 
Call for Expression of Interest and Initial Proposal for Gender Framework

CIMMYT is seeking assistance to develop and pilot a gender competency framework and modular capacity strengthening program. This consultant will work closely with representatives from the CGIAR Research Programs MAIZE and WHEAT. The objective of the project is to strengthen gender-related knowledge and attitudes of scientists and research teams and to support improved CRP gender performance indicators. If you are interested in this project and submitting your proposal, read more here.

To apply, please send your EOI and Initial Proposal in English via email to: with copy to 
We welcome comments and submissions for news notes (500 words plus a good photo or other illustration) to add to social media, our website or upcoming newsletters. To submit, write to Mike Listman, WHEAT communications officer,
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