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  • Global Meeting, Athens 2014

    The Legume Innovation Lab’s 2014 Global Meeting was a wonderful success, with more than 40 presenta-tions and focused sessions occurring over the five-day gathering of approximately 80 attendees from more than 15 different countries. Link to the complete article, presentations, and slideshow.

  • Awards Presented at Global Meeting 2014

    Dr. Julia Kornegay, chair of the Legume Innovation Lab Technical Management Advisory Committee (TMAC), presented the Legume Innovation Lab Award for Meritorious Achievement to the following researchers at the 2014 Global Grain Legume Researchers Meeting in Athens, Greece, May 2014.

    Dr. Issa Drabo, Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles

    Dr. Jeffrey D. Ehlers, University of California, Riverside

    Dr. James D. Kelly, Michigan State University

    The award recognizes and honors “laudable contributions to research on grain legumes and the development of technologies and policies that benefit smallholder farmers in developing countries.” The awards were presented during the Legume Innovation Lab Banquet, held on May 15 in the Radisson Blu Park Hotel in Athens, Greece. For more informtion on each of the awardees, click the link attached to their name.

  • RFP From Gates Foundation

    There is a new request for proposals from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that may be of interest to our host country collaborators/ PIs: the Program for Emerging Agricultural Research Leaders.The website is can be reached by linking here.

    The lead PI must be an MSc or PhD scientist at a national agricultural research institution or university in sub-Saharan Africa working in collaboration with other researchers internationally (e.g., working with Legume Innovation Lab U.S. researchers). Awards range from  $200,000 – 500,000 over a maximum of four years. Beans, cowpeas and chickpeas are among the target crops. Pre-proposals are due September 7, 2014.


Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Grain Legumes

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Grain Legumes (formerly the Pulse CRSP) contributes to economic growth and food and nutrition security through knowledge and technology generation that strengthens grain legume (e.g., bean, cowpea, pigeon pea, etc.) value chains and enhances the capacity and sustainability of agriculture research institutions that serve grain legume sectors in developing countries of Africa and Latin America.


Recent MSU Ph.D. Graduate Appointed to Rwandan Cabinet

Gerardine Mukeshimana, a 2013 graduate of MSU’s doctoral program in plant breeding and genetics in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, was appointed the new Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) of Rwanda by H. E. Paul Kigame, president of the Republic of Rwanda, on July 24, 2014.

MINAGRI works to increase animal production, modernize farming, reduce poverty, ensure food security, and produce surplus harvest for market sale by developing and managing programs that contribute to modernizing agriculture and livestock. Policies are aimed at increasing the nation’s standard of living through sustainable production systems, institutional development, and improved value chains.

Minister Mukeshimana in  agriculture fields in Africa during her doctoral studies at Michigan State University

While in a PhD program at MSU, Mukeshimana’s research focused on the genetics of common bean, Phaseolus vulgaris, to identify drought tolerant genes and traits. Common bean is an important food and nutritional security crop in Rwanda, which has the highest per capita consumption of beans of any country in the world. Her dissertation is entitled Dissecting the Genetic Complexity of Drought Tolerance Mechanisms in Common Bean (Phaseolus Vulgaris L.).

Continued. Link to full story/Spotlight 1.

New Pest Management Grant to Improve Cowpea Yields in West Africa

The Legume Innovation Lab at Michigan State University has received a $1.45 million grant for a three-year research project to develop integrated pest management (IPM) solutions utilizing biologicals to sustainably manage cowpea pests in smallholder farms in five West African countries.

Cowpea is an important food legume grown by approximately 10 million smallholder farmers in West Africa. It provides an affordable source of protein for countless millions in Sub-Saharan Africa.  With over 50% losses in cowpea productivity due to insect pests, cowpea farmers, mostly women, have a critical need to utilize safe and effective pest management approaches.

Continued. Link to full story/Spotlight 2.

Rural UgandaTwo men inspecting cropsPerson holding beansWoman holding beans


Job Opportunity: Research Economist – Integrated Pest Management

In collaboration with the Legume Innovation Lab, MSU’s Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics is seeking one research associate to join the project team on Development and Delivery of Sustainable Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Strategies in Cowpea for West Africa. This 36-month project, based on research in Benin, will combine the efforts of MSU with the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture. Link here  for more detailed information.