The Wheat Initiative will launch its updated Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) next week, highlighting current challenges in global wheat research and potential scientific solutions.

The international organisation aims to increase food security and wheat’s nutritional value and safety, while considering societal demands for sustainable and resilient agricultural production systems.

Its SRA provides a mechanism to identify major international research priorities and opportunities for enhancing sustainable wheat production globally, according to the organisation.

The Wheat Initiative is currently hosted at the Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, the Julius Kuehn Institute in Berlin, Germany. The launch will take place at the Botanical Gardens in Berlin on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 at 4:00p.m. local time.

Ireland is one of 14 member countries that are part of the Wheat Initiative. Its global research network consists of over 450 scientists from 47 countries.

The event aims to raise awareness and create an understanding of the importance of wheat research to support global food security. Previous achievements, since the last agenda was launched in 2015, will also be presented at the launch.

“Wheat production around the world faces numerous challenges, in particular, through the impact of an increasing variable climate and political conflict. Addressing these challenges requires input from the research community to deliver continuous innovation, and keep production levels where they can meet global demand.

“Global coordination and networking are vital to respond to challenges that are beyond the capacity of any single country, organisation or industry. Our members represent a tremendous human resource for addressing current and future challenges in agriculture and food security,” the organisation said.

The Wheat Initiative was endorsed by the G20 agricultural ministers to provide a framework for strategic wheat research, that addresses international priorities in both developed and developing countries.

Event hosts at next week’s launch will include the head of environment, crops and land use programme at Teagasc - the semi-state authority in the Republic of Ireland responsible for research and development, training and advisory services in the agri-food sector - and chair of the organisation’s Institutions’ Coordination Committee, John Spink.

Further speakers, among others, will include the president of the Julius Kuehn Institute, and chair of the Wheat Initiative’s Research Committee, Prof. Dr. Frank Ordon; and the chair of the organisation’s scientific board, Prof. Dr. Peter Langridge from the University of Adelaide.