Regional crop improvement networks are important for Grain Legume’s success. They provide mechanisms for within-region collaboration and representation, capacity-building, knowledge and skill-sharing, the sharing of seeds and other materials, the collaborative testing of improved varieties and other technologies, safety nets to preserve collective knowledge and materials, to help restore those assets to any member stricken by a calamity such as natural disasters and conflicts as well as other vital functions.
|PABRA: CIAT facilitates the Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance. PABRA played an important role in building the partnerships that resulted in the large impacts achieved in bean improvement in Eastern Africa during the past two decades. PABRA was founded in 1996 and now is a consortium of regional bean networks consisting of about 350 direct and indirect partners, mainly national agricultural research systems in 28 countries, an international research organization (CIAT), a number of donor organizations, government and non-governmental organizations, sub-regional organizations [such as Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), Southern African Development Community – Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (SADC-FANR) and West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD)], community-based organizations, selected rural communities, farmers (seed producers and on-farm researchers), traders and the commercial private sector. The PABRA Steering Committee is constituted of leaders of the national bean programs of member countries.
|ECABREN, SABRN, WECABREN: The sub-regional bean networks linked by PABRA are the Eastern and Central Africa Bean Research Network (ECABREN) with nine member countries (Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, Eastern and West Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and Northern Tanzania), the Southern Africa Bean Research Network (SABRN) with ten member countries (Southern Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mauritius, South Africa, Angola, southern Democratic Republic of Congo, Swaziland) and the relatively new West and Central Africa Bean Network (WECABREN) consisting of Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Guinea Conakry, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo, Ghana and Mali.|
|PRONAF: Several networks were established in decades past in West Africa for cowpea. The West and Central African Cowpea Research Network (RENACO) linked Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal and Burkina Faso. Protection écologiquement durable du niébé (PEDUNE) focused on sustainable cowpea insect pest control for subsistence farmers and linked Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal. In 2000, RENACO and PEDUNE merged to form Projet Niebe pour l’Afrique (PRONAF).|
|NGICA: The Network for the Genetic Improvement of Cowpea for Africa (NGICA) is an informal, collegial grouping of cowpea scientists and other stakeholders that encompasses the entire spectrum of cowpea production and utilization. The main geographic focus is sub-Saharan Africa, although NGICA engages participants from North America, South America, Europe and Australia in addition to Africa. NGICA covers disciplines ranging from plant breeding to molecular biology, agricultural economics and public policy.|
|South and Southeast Asia|
|AICRP: The All India Coordinated Research Programs (AICRP) constitute a multi-disciplinary, multi-location research network spearheaded by ICAR to monitor, guide and coordinate crop research, including pulse crops. Numerous CGIAR centers participate including ICARDA and ICRISAT for the evaluation of lentil, chickpea, pigeonpea, groundnut and grasspea. This network identifies appropriate varieties and production technologies for India.|
|CLAN: The Cereals and Legumes Asia Network (CLAN) was established in 1992 after merging the erstwhile Cooperative Cereals Research Network (CCRN) and the Asian Grain Legumes Network (AGLN). It aims to enhance the production and productivity of grain legumes (as well as cereals) in Asia. The Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) endorses and supports the network’s activities. CLAN is co-facilitated by ICRISAT, ICARDA and World Vegetable Center (AVRDC). CLAN currently includes scientists and policymakers from 12 member countries: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. It also welcomes interested regional and international research institutions in Asia.|
|Latin America and the Caribbean|
|PROFRIJOL, AgroSalud, PCCMCA: Proyecto Programa Cooperativo Regional del Frijol para México, Centro América y el Caribe (PROFRIJOL) was the first bean network in the region, and it focused on Central America. A second network was subsequently formed in the Andean zone. These networks are no longer funded, but the collegial relationships that they engendered are still carried forward. Continued interactions of bean scientists are facilitated by cross-region projects such as the AgroSalud project on crop biofortification, and the regional agronomy meetings known as the Programa Cooperativo Centroamericano para el Mejoramiento de Cultivos y Animales (PCCMCA). Bean programs of Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua routinely participate in the PCCMCA.|
|Central and West Asia and North Africa|
|In collaboration with national scientists across this region, ICARDA is leading multi-location, multi-year testing of advanced lines to identify improved germplasm through an international nursery testing system.|
|Regional Seed Network: Since 1992, this network has functioned almost like a regional seed organization and the scope of its activities has increased. It is now the major ‘outreach vehicle’ of the ICARDA Seed Unit and complements other ICARDA regional activities such as training.|
|Nile Valley Regional Food Legume Network: Three sub-networks of this umbrella network are being established in the Nile valley and Red Sea region. Ethiopia coordinates the sub-network for the management of wilt and root-rot diseases of cool-season food legumes. Egypt coordinates the sub-network on integrated control of aphids and major virus diseases in cool-season food legumes and cereals. Egypt also coordinates the sub-network on socio-economic research.|
|Maghreb Food Legumes Network: Roseau Maghreb in de Recherche et Developpement des Legumineuse Alimentaires (REMALA) was created in Tunis to serve North African countries, particularly Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. This network is now dormant and needs to be revitalized, because the demand for food legumes in this region is increasing.|