Bayer CropScience and the National Agricultural Research and Development Institute (NARDI) in Fundulea/Romania have signed a license agreement. With this agreement, Bayer gains access to winter wheat germplasm of NARDI, the leading Romanian agricultural research institution. Its germplasm pool is renowned world-wide for its winter hardiness, high tolerance against drought, broad disease resistance and good milling and baking quality. Financial details were not disclosed.
"Improving the productivity of wheat cropping will be critical to achieving global food security. Our customers have turned to us to find new ways to help them, we have listened and are building a world-class research platform for wheat genetics. Our agreement with NARDI is another key building block in this strategy", said Hartmut van Lengerich, Head of Cereals and Fungicides at Bayer CropScience. "To speed up development of new varieties, we have already entered into collaborations with the best partners in wheat research and breeding, reaching from Australia to Israel, France and Ukraine to the United States - and now Romania."
"Producing enough wheat to feed the world is an immense challenge and anyone willing to invest in the effort to meet this challenge is welcome", said Marian Verzea, General Director of NARDI. "NARDI is proud that the wheat germplasm developed by its breeding program will be used to speed up genetic progress in breeding better wheat cultivars for other parts of the world, too."
With about 25 percent of the global agricultural land under wheat cultivation, it is the largest cereal crop in terms of acreage and one of the world’s most important staple foods. Wheat is the second most-produced cereal crop after corn with more than 650 million tons produced every year. Wheat productivity is increasing at less than 1 percent annually, while the annual global demand is growing at approximately double that percentage. Main wheat producing regions are Australia, the Black Sea Region, China, the EU, India and North America.