Garagylchyg Wheat

Archaeological and paleontological studies show that wheat has been cultivated in Azerbaijan at least 6-8 thousand years. This is evidenced by the manual mills, known as kir-kira or el degirmany, found during archaeological research and dated to the 2nd-3rd centuries BC. The great 12th century Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi wrote about methods of cultivation and processing of wheat and its products. Durum wheat varieties such as sary bugda, gara bugda, ag bugda, and gyrmyzy bugda, and soft wheat varieties including khirda bugda, gyrka, and gyurgyan, were mentioned in Azerbaijani literature from the 19th century. Shaki, Ismayilli, Shamakhi, Jalilabad, Sabirabad, Agjabedi, Balakan, and Beylagan are considered the key grain-growing districts.

Garagylchyg is the local traditional durum wheat of Shaki district. Garagylchyg is a tall variety, with stalks growing up to 155 centimeters or, under irrigation, 2 meters. The grains are light yellow and have an elongated oval form. There are 45 grains per ear, each weighing about 2.4 grams. This is a drought-resistant wheat variety, adapted to non-irrigated cultivation. It has average resistance to lodging. It is grown mainly in foothill areas, and harvest begins in mid-June. Garagylchyg flour, still often made in watermills, is used in traditional dishes and may be found on local. Unfortunately, it has become difficult for traditional garagylchyg wheat flour to compete with imported flour. In recent decades, local wheat diversity has declined: Traditional and local varieties have been replaced with improved varieties such as Garagylchyg-2, which was developed in the 1980s by crossing the local, ancient garagylchyg variety with a Mexican short-stem wheat variety.