The high-yield and nutritious colored wheat varieties are more suitable for promotion in Southeast Asian countries such as Pakistan, said He Yizhe, associate professor of Department of Seed Science at Northwest A&F University, China .
Though rice is the main food in most Southeast Asian countries, the iron, zinc and other micro-nutrients in rice are relatively low.
Therefore, the promotion of colored wheat and its products that are rich in micro-nutrients in Southeast Asian countries is more beneficial to maintaining the body’s nutritional balance, he told China Economic Net (CEN) during the 27th China Yangling Agricultural Hi-Tech Fair held in Xian.
He said that different colored wheat varieties are suitable for different group of people, adding, “At present, we have wheat in colors of black, purple, red, blue, green, super white, etc.
They are rich in nutrients such as anthocyanins, and micro-nutrients such as iron, zinc, manganese, copper, selenium, iodine, and chromium.”
Prof He Yizhe said that these colored wheat breeds are high in vitamins, unsaturated fatty acids, dietary fiber and other nutrients than ordinary wheat, which can improve the body’s immunity and resistance to various diseases, and play a role in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
They have nothing to do with gene modification. They are natural products.
He said that generally, the content of iron and zinc in purple red wheat is high, which is suitable for anaemics and children.
Blue-green wheat, rich in selenium and chromium, can be made into special food for diabetic patients. Super white wheat has good taste and high yield. Farmers like this variety very much. It has been planted over 100,000 mu in Yangling, China, and the response is very good.
In terms of yield, there is almost no difference between colored and ordinary wheat. Ordinary wheat yields can reach up to 500 kg per mu, and colored wheat yields can also reach 400 – 450 kg per mu.
In terms of cost, there is no increase in investment at the current stage, and the cost may be further reduced without applying chemical fertilizer and pesticide, he added.
As for how to increase the added value of wheat products, Prof He Yizhe said the added value of colored wheat products is at least five times higher than that of ordinary wheat products.
According to him, colored wheat can be made into flour, nutrition powder, whole wheat flour, as well as biscuits, bread, crust, wheat seedling juice, etc. Wheat seedlings are collected once a month and squeezed into wheat seedlings juice.
They can also be made into wheat seedling powder after superfine grinding. Besides, chlorophyll content extracted from colored wheat can be made into high-end nutrition products.
Regarding whether colored wheat is suitable for growing in Pakistan, He Yizhe said that the grain yield per hectare in countries along the “Belt and Road” is not high, yet they have vast expanses of growing area, and the planting cost is lower than that in China.
After being processed into nutritious food, the added value is higher. The product can be sold back to China or promoted to other developed countries in the world.
The people in Pakistan like high-stem wheat, but the yield is not much as the straw grows too much. Strengthen cooperation and there will be no problem for Chinese wheat varieties to be introduced to Pakistan in the future, said Liu Dian, a science and technology promotion staff at Northwest A&F University, China.
Currently, more than 70 varieties of Chinese seeds have been promoted in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and other countries, including wheat, corn, coarse cereals and apple, “the output of our varieties has doubled compared with the local ones,” he added.
Currently, many Chinese seed companies export rice and vegetable seeds to Pakistan, and guide local producers to increase crop yields.
“In the future, we are willing to support interested companies to establish joint ventures in Pakistan.
If Pakistan’s policy permits, we can also establish wholly-owned companies to bring China’s fine varieties there to help Pakistan increase its output of rice, wheat, and vegetables,” said Ma Shuping, vice president at China National Seed Association.
Originally published at Associated press of Pakistan