The October issue of USAID’s Feet the Future Newsletter highlights the increased profits achieved by smallholder farmers in Senegal “who have adopted improved cowpea varieties developed” through the Legume Innovation Lab. Link to FTF’s story “Investments in Improved Cowpea Varieties Pay off in Senegal.”
The Management Office of the Legume Innovation Lab is pleased to announce the 2007–2012 Five-Year Report for the Dry Grain Pulses CRSP (5.5MB) This report highlights the technical achievements and intermediate development outcomes resulting from research, capacity building, and technology dissemination activities by subcontracted projects.The report is available in print or as a PDF.
Irv Widders, director of the Legume Innovation Lab, presented an overview of the Legume Innovation Lab: Its vision, alignment with Feed the Future, strategic objectives, and scope at the 2013 Bean Improvement Cooperative Meeting. Click Overview to link to the presentation.
Update: Nutrition RFP
Submissions for the Legume Innovation Lab initiative Improving the Nutrition of the Poor, Especially Young Children and Women, through Grain Legume Consumption are currently under review.
Strategic Investment in Rapid Technology Dissemination: Commercialization of Disease Resistant Bean Varieties in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Haiti.
(Associate Award to the Legume Innovation Lab)
Short Project Title: BEAN TECHNOLOGY DISSEMINATION (BTD)
The Bean Technology Dissemination (BTD) project addresses the shortage of high-quality bean seed available to resource-poor farmers in Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The objectives of the project are aligned with the goals of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future (FTF) Initiative in which involves a multi-agency response to increasing staple food prices and the persistent food insecurity by many developing countries. Specifically, the BTD project supports four central goals of FTF: (1) to increase agriculture productivity, profitability and income of farm families, (2) to disseminate outputs of agriculture research so as to reduce risk/vulnerability and to increase productivity gains of staple crops, (3) to increase market access in an improved policy environment with greater private sector investment, and (4) to increase nutritional interventions so as to reduce child mortality and improve nutritional outcomes.
Edible legumes (pulses) are critically important as a source of income and as a nutrient-dense staple food to address household food and nutritional security needs of poor small-holder farmers world-wide. The BTD project will make available a technology package consisting of improved bean varieties (developed through collaborative research by the Bean/Cowpea and Dry Grain Pulses CRSPs) and Rhizobium inoculants along with training on best production and seed conservation practices so as to sustainably increase bean productivity by small-holder resource-poor farmers in the region.
At the present time, MSU is pleased to report that the BTD project has been executed and activities initiated. Fixed price contracts, including FY11 SOWs, budgets and “deliverables” for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, have been completed (with subcontracts signed and first installments paid) or in the final stages for all the partner institutions. See attached compilation of FY11 Project Descriptions, SOWs and budgets for the BTD project.
Target Outputs and Outcomes
Specific “outputs” and benchmarks for implementation of the proposed rapid bean seed dissemination project to be implemented in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Haiti with special attention given to disaggregation of beneficiaries according to gender. These output/outcome indicators include the following:
Year One (FY 2011)
- Production of 200 MT of quality ensured (certified) bean seed of improved small red and black varieties to be distributed to 10,000 farmers in Honduras and 10,000 farmers in Haiti.
- Representatives (men and women) from participant farmer associations and technicians from national programs will be trained at EAP-Zamorano in the production of quality ensured bean seed, seed quality certification and seed conditioning and handling so as to not comprise seed germinability and vigor.
- Selected technicians from the Bean Improvement Programs of the NARS in each country (min. of 8), including both women and men, will receive training on the culture, maintenance, distribution and use of Rhizobium inoculum for beans.
Years Two and Three (FY 2012 and 13)
- Production of 1,000 MT of quality ensured (certified) bean seed of improved small red and black varieties to be distributed to 30,000 farmers in Guatemala, 30,000 farmers in Nicaragua, 20,000 farmers in Honduras and an additional 20,000 farmers in Haiti.
- Rhizobia inoculums will be produced in each of the four countries and distributed with the improved bean seed to farmers
- Training to continue on the production of quality-ensured bean seed, certification of seed quality, and seed conditioning and handling so as to not comprise seed germinability and vigor.
- Training of farmers and NGO extension staff (including both women and men) on the use of compost and green manures to improve soil fertility plus on the construction and use of metal grain storage silos.
The intended “beneficiaries” of the proposed rapid bean seed technology dissemination project include:
- Resource-poor small-scale farmers (including both men and women) in bean production areas with frequent incidences of food insecurity which rarely benefit from agricultural assistance programs by governments in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Haiti.
- Farmer associations in target regions interested in producing seed of declared quality.
- Rural and urban poor consumers of beans, including young children and women, who will receive nutritional and health benefits from purchasing affordable beans and serving them to their families.
The intended “outcomes” from the proposed rapid seed technology dissemination project in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Haiti include:
- Increased productivity of approximately 25-30% in the target regions due to the use of improved small red and black bean varieties.
- Increased bean yields of 5 – 10% attributable to the use of Rhizobium inoculums (biological nitrogen fixation) and organic fertilizers.
- Improved household food security in poor rural communities due to increased utilization of productivity enhancing bean technologies.
- A sustainable system for the production of both foundation and quality ensured (certified) seed in each of the countries.
- Improved nutritional status of poor families (children, women and men) which consume dry beans on a regular basis (four times or more a week).
Announcements & Opportunities
2014 Global Legume Innovation Lab Meeting
The Management Office is pleased to announce that the 2014 Global Legume Innovation Lab Meeting
will be held at the Radison Bul Park Hotel in Athens, Greece, during the week of May 12-16, 2014. Please reserve these dates, plus travel days both before and after, on your calendars. In the coming months, the MO will be soliciting your ideas on the program and organizational format.