Jabal: The New Wheat Scientists Say Can Withstand Extreme Heat and Drought
4 December 2022
The variety is a cross between commercial and wild wheats – bred in a bid to develop crops that are more resilient to the climate crisis.
A new drought-tolerant variety of durum wheat has been created as part of an international breeding programme to boost climate resilience in the food system by increasing crop diversity.
Durum wheat is used to make pasta, pizza crusts, and flatbreads such as pitta and chapatis, as well as for couscous, bulgur and pastry for desserts such as baklava.
The new wheat Jabal, which means “mountain” in Arabic, was developed by farmers and crop scientists by crossing a commercial durum wheat with a wild relative from an arid region of Syria, to create a new durum variety which can withstand drought.
It’s part of the Crop Trust’s crop wild relatives project, which is using genetically diverse crop varieties to help develop more resilient and adaptive varieties of wheat, barley, rice, and potato that can withstand erratic and extreme weather conditions caused by the climate breakdown.