Global wheat demand might rise by 60% by 2050
Bangladesh is often referred to as one of the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which are wide and far reaching. Wheat production is one such area, which has experienced a severe drop in the past two decades.
Although a part of the decline may be attributed to shrinking wheat acreage, Bangladeshi wheat scientists have said that a more significant concern is that of climate change, which has resulted in warmer and warmer winters each year and, in turn, consistent loss in wheat yield.
To that end, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center’s (CIMMYT) initiative to develop climate resilient wheat is certainly cause for hope. The Mexico-based organization has long helped Bangladesh out in wheat related troubles, such as providing BARI Gom-33 wheat variant which was both resistant to wheat fungal disease and heat tolerant, not to mention rich in zinc.
Bangladesh is not the only country to suffer from decreasing wheat yields. A recent CIMMYT release stated that global wheat demand might rise by 60% by 2050, while production could fall by 30% by then. As such, should the project turn out to be fruitful, it will not only help Bangladesh address its wheat-related concerns, but the world as a whole will benefit from it, wheat being one of the most widely harvested crops across the globe.
Of course, while initiatives such as the CIMMYT’s will go a long way towards mitigating and adapting to the adverse effects of climate change, we must also focus on addressing climate change, which is the root of this problem, and which is likely to be cause for more trouble the longer it is allowed to persist with minimal intervention.