||In recent years, wheat consumption in developing countries has been on the rise. Population growth, urbanization, rising incomes, bread subsidies, and food aid have contributed to escalating demand. During the 1970s, consumption was increasing at an annual rate of 5.4 percent. By 1980, 65 developing countries were consuming over 100,000 tons ( t) of wheat annually. While China, India, Pakistan, Turkey and Argentina are self-sufficient, all other developing countries must import wheat to satisfy consumer demand. Most of this grain is purchased from developed countries which produce about two-thirds of the world's supply and, between 1979 and 1981, accounted for 95 percent of total exports. In the tropical belt., the area contained within the tropic of Cancer (23.5° N) and the tropic of Capricorn (23.5° S), dependence on imports is particularly high largely due to climatic conditions which pose constraints to the production of wheat. - a temperate and subtropical crop. While 45 tropical countries consumed more than 100,000 t of wheat each year between 1981 and 1985, less than a fourth of these produced an equivalent amount. Most of this wheat is grown in the tropical areas of India, Sudan, Yemen Democratic Republic, the Andean Region, and Eastern and Southern Africa at higher elevations. The area contributes less than 2 percent to developing world product.ion. More than 85 percent of the 22 million t of wheat consumed in the tropical zone each year must be imported. This dependence on foreign suppliers, chiefly industrialized nations, places a heavy burden on the already fragile economies of the tropical countries leaving them vulnerable to external political pressures. This situation prompted a number of countries to look for ways to increase domestic product.ion. Cameroon, the Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Madagascar are just some of the countries which initiated or stepped up wheat production programmes. In other developing nations, situated adjacent to or within tropical areas where wheat is commonly grown at higher latitudes and/or elevations (i.e. Brazil, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia), production increases are being sought by exploiting land in the lower-lying, warmer areas. The technology needed to increase production in the tropics involves the development of germplasm and crop management practices suited to the wheat growing season which is the coolest period of the year. Research focussing on wheat for the warmer, marginal areas provides a potential solution to the precarious circumstances faced by developing countries dependent on imports.