General and their Deputy DGs join hands in commitment to the new Program.

CGIAR center Directors General and their Deputy DGs join hands in commitment to the new Program. Center: ICRISAT Board Chair Nigel Poole.

A major new global program to improve grain legumes, which enrich the diets of hundreds of millions of poor people in the developing world, was launched on Feb. 6, 2013. Known by the official name of ‘CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes’, this new program will breed more productive varieties of groundnut (peanut), chickpea, cowpea, common bean, pigeonpea, lentil, faba bean and soybean under stress-prone smallholder farming conditions in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

This initiative is one of sixteen new CGIAR Research Programs. It is led by ICRISAT, a CGIAR center headquartered near Hyderabad, India in partnership with its sister centers that work on grain legumes: CIATICARDA and IITA. Key collaborating partners include national agricultural research systems, regional research networks, private sector enterprises, farmer organizations and others across these continents.

The two days following the Launch event were devoted to an Implementation Workshop, in which scientists and managers deliberated ways to most successfully implement the much-broadened partnerships that the new Program has catalyzed. Initial workplans for the first year of the new Program were also developed.

ICRISAT Director General Willie Dar sets the stage for the Implementation Workshop participants.

ICRISAT Director General Willie Dar sets the stage for Implementation Workshop participants.

Click on the photos to see more images of these two events. Click here to visit the website of the new Program.