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.
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.
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Grain Legumes (Legume Innovation Lab) is a four and a half year research and capacity building program (2013–2017) funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) that focuses on edible grain legumes, including common bean, cowpea, pigeon pea, and lima bean, among others. The program builds upon the scientific advances and technological achievements of the Bean/Cowpea and Dry Grain Pulses CRSPs while responding to the agriculture development priorities and objectives set forth in USAID’s Feed the Future (FTF) Presidential Initiative in FTF focus countries and regions.
Because growth in the agricultural sector has proven highly effective in reducing long-term poverty, Feed the Future’s research strategy focuses on helping developing countries cultivate and strengthen their own agricultural sectors to improve food security and increase economic opportunities and incomes for smallholder farmers, many of whom are women providing directly for their households. Feed the Future’s goals emphasize the use of scientific knowledge and innovation to ensure smallholder farmers sustainably increase food production, can adapt to climate change, and can access and use transformative technologies and innovations.
The Legume Innovation Lab is strategically positioned to fully support and to contribute to FTF objectives and research goals. Legumes are a nutrient-dense staple crop that has multifunctional roles in smallholder farm systems in developing countries, including food and nutrition security, generating needed income, and contributing to the sustainability of farm systems. The strength of the Legume Innovation Lab’s research strategy lies in its an innovative and vibrant research, technology dissemination, and capacity building strategies that not only build upon the technical advances achieved during its previous award periods but its ongoing commitment to exploiting opportunities to make substantial new technological gains to improve the cropping systems for legumes in developing countries.
The strategic objectives of the Legume Innovation Lab include:
- Increasing legume productivity
- Improving legume value chains through better management decision making among smallholder farmers and local governments
- Enhancing nutrition, especially among the most vulnerable populations—women and children
- Improving gut health, including the ability to absorb nutrients from food, through the consumption of grain legumes
- Improving outcomes research and capacity building in the countries they’re partnered with to ensure the long-term effectiveness of the program
To fulfill these objectives, the Legume Innovation Lab will continue to focus on such strategic areas as genetic enhancement, marker-assisted selection, root biology, pest and disease management, sustainable community livelihoods, clinical and community nutrition, gender, communication science, value-chain research, and market development.
Through collaborative projects with scientists at research-intensive agricultural universities, nongovernmental organizations, and private sector partners, Legume Innovation Lab scientists will develop technologies and generate knowledge to reduce the yield gap in legume cropping systems, help develop legume value chains in developing countries, accelerate research on disease and pest management in legume crops, and maximize the potential for development outcomes and benefits to stakeholders in developing countries. (For details on these and other research goals and activities, please explore our full website.)
Our new name reflects a renewed commitment to integrating program strengths with Feed the Future goals as well as recommendations from the Technical Management Advisory Committee (TMAC) and the External Evaluation Team (EET) commissioned by USAID. Expanded partnerships and coordinated activities with the CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) through the CRP3.5 on Grain Legumes and Africa RISING in areas where the Legume Innovation Lab has comparative strength and ongoing collaborative efforts will also play a significant role in the Legume Innovation Lab.
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.