The Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research is set to grow two million quintals of wheat in the lowlands in a new agricultural experiment. The wheat, which usually grows only in the highlands, will be grown on 50,000ha of land and is expected to be harvested in the coming five months. The project, which in its first phase, aims to utilise 450,000ha of irrigable land to fill the 17 million quintals of annual wheat deficit that is imported every year. The study states that Ethiopia can on average produce 44ql of wheat a hectare by utilising lowland irrigated land, while the current highland rain-fed wheat production is 28ql a hectare. Wheat is one of the major cereal crops produced by 4.6 million smallholder farmers on 1.8 million hectares of land with an estimated annual production of five million tonnes on average.