Durum wheat scientifically known as Triticum durum is an annual grass in the Poaceae (grass family) native to the Mediterranean region and southwest Asia, which is one of several species of cultivated wheat, now grown in temperate climates worldwide for its cereal grain, which is one of the top two cereal crops grown in the world for human consumption, along with rice (Oryza sativa).
Common names of durum are Durum wheat, hard wheat, pasta wheat and Macaroni wheat. Durum thrives in a climate characterized by cool summer nights, long warm days, adequate but not excessive rainfalls and a dry harvest. It is the hardest of all wheat.
Durum is actually from the Latin word for hard. It is an appropriate name for the firmest of all wheat. Durum wheat results in numerous foods such as macaroni, pasta products and semolina in the nourishment of world population including India.
More Production in less irrigation
Durum locally known as (Malvi) wheat needs less irrigation as compared to bread wheat, some of the genotypes like ICAVERVE, Margherita, Zaghrin-2 and Icambel can give 40-50 quintals/ha. in one or two irrigations depending upon the availability of water.
Durum wheat is mostly used in fast food like noodles, spaghetti, lasagna, vermicelli, macaroni, pasta and many other products. Wheat oil can be used as an ingredient in food, pharmaceutical or cosmetic preparations because it contains important bioactive compounds such as vitamin E, carotenoids and unsaturated fatty acids. Many ICARDA genotypes like Megherita, Icembel contain high amount of protein and yellow pigment which improve the quality of pasta and other pasta products.
Keeping in view the increasing demands of these products, many fast food production plants can be set up, providing jobs to many people.
Possibility of International Business
There is a wide competition in the export of bread wheat as compared to the durum wheat. Since durum wheat is a more profitable crop as compared to bread wheat, farmers can make good money by supplying disease free nutrient filled durum wheat. In addition, they can get good market of processed food manufacturing in India.
Therefore, the cultivation of Durum wheat makes great economic sense today as compared to other crops. It surely is an opportunity for farmers in India to make use of indigenous technologies and crop varieties available for increased profitability and a fulfilling farming career.