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Wheat is the most important crop in the world. It's cultivated in 128 countries and is the second most important food crop in the developing world after rice. In sub-Saharan Africa, 14 countries produce wheat; Ethiopia and South Africa are the two main producers, although wheat production is minor compared to other crops. Wheat demands have been growing steadily over the years contributing to large deficits across the region that are currently being filled with import and food aid from developed countries. Many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, however, especially in Eastern and Central Africa, are biophysically suitable for wheat production. CIMMYT is developing and introducing new wheat varieties that are better adapted to African environments and resistant to increasingly important diseases. HarvestChoice is working with CIMMYT to assess wheat production potential in smallholders' farming systems and their economic profitability in sub-Saharan Africa.
Reference to numbers/statistics are from FAOSTAT 2010 for the year 2008