The global program goal of the Legume Innovation Lab is to substantively increase grain legume productivity through sustainable intensification of smallholder farm systems to increase the availability of affordable grain in domestic markets, increase consumption of legumes by the poor, and improve nutrition and nutritional security in developing countries.
The research program will focus on four strategic objectives reflecting an alignment with USAID’s Feed the Future Global Food Security Research Strategy:
Strategic Objective 1. Advancing the Productivity Frontier: To substantively and sustainably increase grain legume productivity by improving adaptation to diverse agroecologies and reducing smallholder farmer vulnerability to climate change, with special consideration for the livelihoods of women.
SO1.A: To substantively enhance the genetic yield potential of common bean and cowpea by exploiting new research tools afforded by genomics and molecular breeding approaches (e.g., MAS), with a focus on improving resistances to economically important abiotic and biotic constraints that limit yield in strategic cropping systems in Africa and Latin America where grain legumes are extensively grown.
SO1.B. To sustainably reduce the yield gap for selected grain legume crops produced by smallholder, resource-poor farmers in strategic cropping systems.
Strategic Objective 2. Transforming Grain Legume Systems and Value Chains: To transform grain legume-based systems through improved smallholder production management decision making and more effectual governance management of legume value chains by stakeholders, including smallholder farmers and consumers.
Strategic Objective 3. Enhancing Nutrition: To improve the nutritional quality of diets and to enhance the nutritional and health status of the poor through the consumption of edible grain legume-based foods.
Strategic Objective 4. Improving Outcomes of Research and Capacity Building. To improve outcomes of Legume Innovation Lab research and capacity building projects and to assess impacts to improve decision making regarding future investments.