Development of Wheat Breeding Materials Using Genetic Resources in Afghanistan

  • Tomohiro BanEmail author


Afghanistan is still suffering the effects of many years of war, and communities are not yet secure. Wheat is the raw material for the naan bread that is the staple food in Afghanistan, and wheat is a key crop for the farmers who make up the majority of the country’s population and thus for all citizens in rebuilding their country. A Japanese research institute has preserved some of the rich diversity of wheat landraces from Afghanistan, allowing those varieties to be cultivated once more. In combination with research at the gene level that is made possible by science and technology from Japan, breeding materials can be developed for varieties of wheat that are adapted to the Afghan environment. In conjunction with capacity development by wheat researchers, those varieties will contribute to building the foundations for sustainable food production. Research into local Afghan wheat germplasms that can no longer be found in their original country because of the effects of war reveals potentially beneficial varieties. They can be used in the development of new varieties, and contribute immediately to enhancing wheat production and making it more reliable for farmers in rain-fed agriculture regions where most farmers do not yet benefit from irrigation or similar facilities. Our SATREPS collaboration project provided a core basis for the national crop breeding system to increase wheat production and the livelihood of farmers in Afghanistan.



The authors would like to thank Mr. Mir Amanuddin Haidari, Deputy Minister of MAIL, Afghanistan and Dr. Abdul Ghani Ghuriani, former Deputy Minister of MAIL, Afghanistan for their cooperation as the counterparts of this project and their coordination with SATREPS Afghan research team members; Arifi Mujiburrahman, Ahmad Shah Stanikzai, Aziz Ahmad Osmani, Sayed Hasibullah Ahmadi, Eid Mohammad Zaheri, and Ahmad Massoud Maqsodi who graduated with their MSc from Yokohama City University (YCU), and all of our Afghan colleagues. We offer special thanks to SATREP Japan research team members for their dedicated research and training: Dr. Kenji Komatsu, Dr. Yukiko Naruoka, Dr. Manickavelu Alagu, Dr. Quahir Sohail, Dr. Md. Emdadul Haque, Dr. Behnam Babak, and all laboratory members in the KIBR-YCU unit; Prof. Hisashi Tsujimoto, Co-PI (co-principal investigator) for development research of MSD populations and novel wheat experimental lines with the wheat wild relatives, and all of his laboratory members in Arid Land Research Center (ALRC), Tottori University unit; Prof. Minami Matsui, Co-PI and Dr. Youichi Koudou for their work on elemental composition by EDXRF in CSRS, RIKEN unit. We are also deeply grateful for Prof. Hiroyoshi Iwata and his students, The University of Tokyo for GWAS and Genomic Selection (GS) work. Dr. Nobuyoshi Maeno, Dr. Masaaki Suzuki, Mr. Takahiro Suzuki, and all members of the NAPR and CDIS-3 project helped us a lot in the launch and follow-up of this project. TCTC trained the Afghan and Japanese young researchers with cooperation from inifap, SAGARPA, and CIMMYT in Mexico, the International Winter Wheat Improvement Programme (IWWIP), a Turkey–CIMMYT–ICARDA coalition, and Turkish National Agriculture Experiment stations. This project is the outcome of SATRPES-Afghan project with continuous logistic support from all of our colleagues from JST and JICA.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kihara Institute for Biological ResearchYokohama City UniversityYokohamaJapan

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