The eight grain legume crops addressed by Grain Legumes are listed below,

Chickpea_seed Beans_seed2 Cowpea_seed FabaBean_Seed grounnut_seed lentil-seed Pigeonpea-seed Soybean_seed


Common bean


Faba bean






Grain legumes are often sub-classified into oilseeds vs. pulses. Oilseeds are mainly crushed to extract vegetable oil for food or other uses; the residual solid ‘presscake’ is a highly nutritious animal feed. Among the Grain Legumes crops, groundnut and soybean are usually classified as oilseeds. An important caveat, though is that smallholder farming families and communities tend to consume more of these crops directly as human food than is done elsewhere. The balance between oil extraction vs. direct consumption depends on traditional food preferences and the degree of market orientation and connectedness, among other factors.

‘Pulse’ grain legumes are those eaten directly by humans. Chickpea, common bean, cowpea, faba bean, lentil, and pigeonpea are classified as pulses. They are prepared in a wide array of dishes in different regions and cultures around the world.

Another useful, though inexact classification is to cluster grain legumes according to their climatic zones of adaptation: warm-season adapted legumes (tropical-zone adapted) and cool-season adapted legumes (temperate-zone adapted).  Common Bean, cowpea, groundnut, pigeonpea and soybean are warm-season grain legumes, grown mainly in the tropics. Chickpea, faba bean and lentil  evolved in the cooler temperate regions, and are mostly grown in those regions today.

Grain Legumes

Grain Legumes is a partnership among four CGIAR Research Institutes: ICRISAT as lead center, CIAT, ICARDA and IITA, along with several public and private institutes and organizations, governments, and farmers worldwide.

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Grain Legumes