Delivering Genetic Gain in Wheat (DGGW)

Demonstration of Collection and Storage of Rust Inoculum in NARC, Nepal during in-season surveillance training

Delivering Genetic Gain in Wheat project proposes to strengthen the pipeline for delivering new varieties of wheat with disease resistance for all rusts (stem, stripe and leaf), septoria and spot blotch and improved heat tolerance, and to increase wheat yields for smallholder farmers in Ethiopia and South Asia.

Project Duration: 2016-2020  Awarding Organization – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UK Aid

Prime Contractor: Cornell University Geography: – Wheat Growing Countries of the world

Project Value: USD 35 Million Sathguru Responsibility: – South Asia​

Project Website

  • Strengthen the pipeline for delivering new varieties of wheat with disease resistance for all rusts – converging national systems with private sector
  • Support increased rates of genetic gains for wheat by investing in new tools and techniques through modernized breeding programs to enhance efficiencies and accelerate genetic gains
  • Surveillance: Broaden horizon of introduced platforms
  • Establishing seed village model in Nepal in order to create accessibility to quality certified wheat seed to small holder farmers in the region
  • Seed village model resulting in economic gains for small farmers from wheat seed multiplication leading to improvement in the actual farm level yield due to superior planting materials
  • Strengthened research capacity of the partner nations on advanced methods of development of disease resistant varieties by adopting technology driven practices
  • Making SAARC nations self-sufficient to track, evaluate and predict the pathogen movement for wheat diseases, bringing vigilance on crop protection from the pathogens thereby preventing intra-country movement
Seed Processing unit at AFU, Nepal

Project Conceptualization & Management​

  • Successful installation and operationalization of seed processing unit at Agriculture Forestry University (AFU), Nepal with capacity of 1 ton/hour for wheat and 0.5t ton/hour for paddy (for major cereals)
  • For the first time AFU mobilized progressive wheat farmers to grow wheat seeds ​
  • Wheat seed producers, extension professionals and wheat farmers received trainings on certified wheat seed production practices​

Information, Communication and Technology​​

  • Enhanced SAARC tool box and survey app with capacity to capture wheat blast in SAARC Countries​ ​
  • Effective adoption of the SAARC Surveillance Tool Box is ensured by conducting timely trainings on the usage of Tool Box and continuous follow-up​​
  • Increase in the number of records in these countries compared previous years​​
Demonstration of rust infection in Barberry leaves during In-season survellance training

Research and Technology Management​​​

  • South Asian nations geared up to send improved wheat lines to wheat rust hotspots for screening against Ug99 and its variants​​​

Capacity Building​​​

  • Capacity building of scientists on usage of SAARC Surveillance Tool Box, rust surveillance and monitoring and also on wheat blast identification and surveillance​


BGRI: Delivering Genetic Gains in Wheat: Protecting food security in the UK and Abroad

Innovative Seed System, Nepal

Innovative Seed System was initiated in Chitwan region of Nepal by Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU) with the support of the Delivering Genetic Gain in Wheat (DGGW) project supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and UK aid. The project is led by Cornell University and implemented by its regional partner for South Asia, Sathguru Management Consultants.

The objective of this project was to create a first of its kind Seed Village Model with the Agricultural University system by creating awareness of and providing access to quality certified wheat seed to smallholder farmers in the region. The project also focused on supporting capacity building of the farmers and other stakeholders in the public and private sector.

In the four years of the project, the farmers have benefitted tremendously. With the trainings, support and extension work carried out by AFU, many grain growing farmers have now shifted and become seed growers. They are now practicing the recommended package of practices right from land preparation to sowing to nutrient management and disease management. This has resulted in significant increase in yields (~1.5 fold) in the farmer fields which eventually increases their monetary gains. Through this project most of the farmers have now realized the benefits of mechanization and are opting for it.

The seed processing unit and the seed testing laboratory were also funded by the project which have been functional at AFU since 2017 and are now nationally recognized.