Grain legumes research for the future

BIG IDEAS

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600 million of the world’s most vulnerable people depend on...
The problem and opportunity
Production of grain legumes is being displaced by
cereals, leading to higher legume prices and...
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6 grain legumes scr

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6 grain legumes scr

  1. 1. Grain legumes research for the future BIG IDEAS ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ G 600 million of the world’s most vulnerable people depend on legumes for food and fodder 200 million hectares of grain legumes are grown globally US$24 billion in market value at the farm gate per annum in the developing countries rain legumes are protein rich foods that balance cereal-based diets and are the least resource demanding option to improve the nutrition of poor people. Grain legumes supply up to 60% of daily protein intake for the poor in parts of subSaharan Africa, and 13% for hundreds of millions of poor in South Asia. Farmers both consume and sell grain legumes, benefiting from food and income gains. Grain legumes can take their nitrogen from the air in place of fertilizer, contributing enormously to sustainable intensification and raising food production. With grain legumes’ large production and market, we are aiming for an integrated approach to research for development (R4D) to ensure that current and future generations of smallholder farmers and poor consumers will benefit. We need to invest heavily in basic and strategic research, and involve innovative research to chart new areas to enhance the genetic gain from crop improvement. Science with a human face www.icrisat.org November 2013
  2. 2. The problem and opportunity Production of grain legumes is being displaced by cereals, leading to higher legume prices and negative nutritional impacts Inadequate seed production systems and the lack of access to seed by distant smallholder producers are particular bottlenecks to the adoption of improved varieties. In some regions the per capita demand for legumes is decreasing. As countries develop and become wealthier, legumes confront competition from other foods. productivity. Developing new resilient varieties is urgently needed. Overall demand for all grain legumes in low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDC) is expected to double from the current 30 million tons to 62 million tons in 2050. We need to elevate and strengthen our research for development efforts to increase the productivity and production particularly of chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut in the rainfed areas of Asia and subSaharan Africa. Grain legumes are also susceptible to climate change – both drought and heat can severely limit their Our grain legumes R4D approach 1) 2) We will use modern approaches to enhance genetic gain to improve productivity of grain legumes: - genome sequencing - generating large-scale genotypic information by developing/ accessing analysis and decision support tools in modern breeding approaches. - phenotyping for drought adaptation traits, and high-throughput phenotyping for diseases. We will develop insect smart crop production systems, particularly for pigeonpea and chickpea, through the use of: - - transgenic approaches of insect resistance, and introgressing insect resistance from wild species using genomics-based approaches. We will harness the potential of doubledhaploid (DH) and heterosis approaches in grain legumes – promising tools to develop new high-yielding crop varieties of crops such as chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut. These pro-poor technologies make possible the selection of individuals with desirable gene combinations and to propagate them as clones, beneficial in developing countries, where farmers would be able to save hybrid seed for the following crop. 3) Involvement Contact Partner with us in advancing the development of high-throughput platform and deployment of modern breeding approaches in crop improvement programs. Rajeev K Varshney, Director, Research Program on Grain Legumes, ICRISAT. Email: r.k.varshney@cgiar.org 2 A concept note for Ensuring nutritional security in rural India

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