Wheat being pivotal to the food and nutritional security in world, the centrality of wheat ensures national food and nutritional security in India too. As per the net consumption of wheat, rice and pulses, corresponding per capita availability from these crops for protein is 26.3, 13.4 and 11.8 g per day, respectively. Similarly the per capita per day gain of Fe (7.45, 1.5 and 2.84 mg) and Zn (5.6, 2.0 and 1.5 mg) is the maximum from wheat. Therefore, even amongst the major food crops, wheat contributes maximum towards nutritional security in India. Meantime, an all time high production of wheat at 99.7 million tons during 2017-18 not only ensures food security but also provides substantial scope for value addition and export supporting other countries in exigencies.
The ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research through All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Wheat and Barley has significantly contributed to varietal development by releasing 448 wheat and 98 barley varieties for different agro-climatic conditions of the country. During last five years, 74 wheat and 18 barley varieties have been released and notified. Because of the efficient breeder seed production programme of the country approximately 20,000q of quality seed of improved varieties is produced which corresponds to coverage of 11mha out of total 30 mha area under wheat. The programme has been instrumental in the development and popularization of resource conservation and cost effective technologies. Through concentrated breeding efforts and vast survey and surveillance programme, the country did not witness any disease epidemic in past four decades. Basic research being conducted at the IIWBR and its associated centers in the field of wheat quality, pre-breeding, physiology, biotechnology, resource management and crop protection has several leads for future applications. The project is supported by coordinating centers in conducting frontline demonstrations directly impacting the livelihood security of the farmers. AICRP on Wheat and Barley has played a pioneer role in achieving food and nutritional security of the country since its inception and it stands as a signature for collaborative research networks across the globe.