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  • In the News

    Sostino Mocumbe, a grad-uate student working with


    the project “Farmer Decision-Making Strategies for Improved Soil Fertility Management in Maize-Bean Production Systems” was highlighted in an article in the Greenlee Gazette. Link to read the article Research Impacting Developing Countries.

  • 2015 PCCMCA Conference

    The 60th meeting of the Society of the Central American Cooperative Program for the Improvement of Crops and Animals (PCCMCA) will be held this year in Guatemala, May 4-7, 2015. Link for more information and view the brochure.

  • Pan-African Grain Legume Conference

    The Pan-African Grain Legume Conference, organized by the Legume Innovation Lab and IITA in partnership with PABRA/CIAT, the CG Grain Legume Program, ICRISAT, and local NARS, and held jointly with the World Cowpea Conference, has been tentatively scheduled for the first week of March 2016 in Livingston, Zambia. Please reserve these dates on your 2016 calendars. Link here for more information. Link here to see the IYOP powerpoint.

    Conference information will be updated regularly over the coming months on LIL’s Pan-African Grain Legume Conference webpage.



Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Grain Legumes

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

Irvin Widders with Honored 2015 Ralph Smuckler Award

The Legume Innovation Lab is pleased to announce that Irvin Widders has been named the winner of the 2015 Ralph Smuckler Award for Advancing International Studies and Programs at MSU.

''Irv Widders, left

Widders’s commitment to helping smallholder farmers (many of whom are women) improve their crop yields in grain legumes and the nutritional status of their families and communities has shaped his 30-plus year career at MSU.

As director of the USAID-funded Legume Innovation Lab since 2002, Widders has continued MSU’s incredible legacy of engaging science and scientific leadership to address the seemingly insurmountable worldwide problems of hunger and poverty. He has overseen the management of dozens of long-term projects focused on advancing sustainable and secure agricultural developments through science research, technology, and capacity building programs in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, and the United States.

The award ceremony will be held on Wednesday, March 25, at 3:00 p.m. at MSU’s Huntington Club, 4th floor of Spartan Stadium, 535 Chestnut Road, East Lansing, Michigan.

For the full story, link here.


Tepary Beans Offer Hope for Hot, Drought Prone Areas Affected by Climate Change
Smallholder bean farmers living in hot, dry agroecological zones in Central America and Haiti have difficulty growing common bean, a staple crop critical for household food security and livelihoods. The tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius),

''Seed of improved tepary versus unimproved tepary (top left)

a sister species of common bean grown by Native Americans for more than 5,000 years in semi-arid production systems in Mexico and the Southwest United States, has naturally evolved with resistances to drought and high temperature conditions. This underutilized bean species, which produces seeds similar in shape, color, and taste to common bean, is an alternative crop that can be grown in Continued. Link to full story/Spotlight 1.

Women Farmer Organizations Assume Active Role in Cowpea Seed Multiplication in Burkina Faso
Production of quality seed of improved varieties of cowpea and rural smallholder farmer access to such quality seed at affordable prices


are major constraints to enhancing farmer adoption of the improved varieties necessary to increase on-farm grain legume productivity. Link to full story.

Advances in Understanding and Guiding Farmer Decision-Making Strategies
Poor soil fertility and crop management practices have left thousands of smallholder bean farmers in Uganda and Mozambique struggling to


grow even 10 to 25 percent of their potential crop yield. A Legume Innovation Lab project on Farmer Decision Making Strategies for Improved Soil Fertility Management in Maize–Bean Production Systems. . . , however, is combining soil and social science to bring hope to these farmers—farmers like Angélica A. in the story below—for improved, sustainable crop yields. Link to full story.


Rural UgandaTwo men inspecting cropsPerson holding beansWoman holding beans

IYOP Events Page Launched
The Legume Innovation Lab has created a special link on its menu bar to keep its researcher up-to-date on events connected to the International Year of Pulses.

The first page link is dedicated to the upcoming Pan-African Grain Legume Conference, and will be updated regularly. A general Events page has also been created to provide information on forthcoming events.

While the LIL links will not be comprehensive for all IYOP events (see IYOP page for comprehensive information), they will be updated regularly.

Announcements on IYOP events will also appear on the LIL facebook page and twitter site.

Legume Scholars Program, Update
The application deadline for the Legume Scholars Program has been reached and the application process is now closed. More than 200 applications were received and are under review.

The Legume Innovation Lab thanks all of its researchers and collaborators for their enthusiastic response to the call for nominations. Information on the Legume Scholars Program is available here.

Legume Innovation Lab Launches Facebook Page
The Legume Innovation Lab is on Facebook. Please “like” our page here to receive updates and stories on legume research.

Legume Innovation Lab on Twitter
The Legume Innovation Lab has launched a Twitter account named Legume InnovationLab. Follow our feed to receive the latest updates on the Lab and research and development work related to the legume sector.