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‘Pulses Panchayat’: It takes a village to change the country

Urmila Pujari belongs to the Bhumia tribe of eastern state of Orissa in India, a culturally rich and one of the largest tribes in India. The tribe practices agriculture as its primary occupation, with very few farmers cultivating pulses (food legumes). Urmila’s village of Bhejaguda is one the 28 tribal villages that has been brought into the folds of ‘Pulses Panchayat’, a bold and innovative movement that aims to revolutionize India’s pulses production. India’s pulses sector has been much in…

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The business of quick-cook beans

When it comes to transforming agriculture in Africa, the need to join forces with the private sector has surfaced again and again in recent times, notably at the Africa Green Revolution Forum in Nairobi last month. Transforming farming, and the business of agriculture, needs to be exactly that: a business. And achieving that, as noted by Simon Carter, Regional Director of the International Development Research Centre, will require partnerships. “Partnerships are at the center of what we do,” he said,…

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Participants at the aflatoxin laboratory training. Photo: Ayuba Kunihiya

Aflatoxin detection gets a boost in Nigeria: Laboratories installed at two NARS centers

Creating awareness about aflatoxin, its prevention and detection is a priority target in the groundnut and sorghum value chain programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria. In a step towards strengthening this, ICRISAT helped set up two aflatoxin detection and quantification laboratories at the NARS centers in Nigeria. The two laboratories set up at the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR)/Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, and the Federal University of Agriculture (FUAM), Makurdi, are expected to serve as aflatoxin detection centers…

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School feeding program supported by CIAT in Madagascar. Credit S.Malyon, CIAT

Low-income communities need more affordable and nutritious food

A research project tackling malnutrition among vulnerable populations in Kenya and Uganda is launched in Nairobi today. The three-year initiative targeting women aged 15-49 years of reproductive age, and children aged 6−59 months, aims to develop a quick-to-cook porridge from at least four food groups, affordable for poor communities. Poor dietary diversity among the poor is a key contributor to malnutrition, said Dr. Mercy Lung’aho, a nutritionist at the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture in Nairobi. Non-staple legumes such as…

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Woman farmer in Malawi using locally fabricated A-frame groundnut stripper Photo L LAzarus ICRISAT

Technologies developed in Malawi reduce drudgery and labor in groundnut

The most labor intensive operations in groundnut production – harvesting, stripping and shelling – have now been mechanized to ease the drudgery and labor of smallholder farmers. Through a consortium which included Compatible Technology International (CTI), Minnesota; Department of Agriculture Research Services (DARS), Malawi; and ICRISAT, the equipment that can lift (harvest), strip (remove pods from plants) and shell groundnuts faster and more efficiently than manual processes, was designed and adapted. The lifter can harvest four times faster than manual…

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iyp-pulses for a healthy planet

Farmers and consumers need to be ‘pulse smart’

This post was first published in ICRISAT News Message from Professor Chandra Madramootoo, Board Chair, ICRISAT Pulses are truly magic, offering a win-win-win situation for the farmer, the consumer and the planet. Farmers and consumers globally would benefit by being more ‘pulse smart’. They are multi-functional crops that are good for nutrition and soil productivity, and are dryland crops that need less water and have the potential to weather climate change. Traditionally pulses were an important part of daily diets,…

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John's son eating pigeonpea and rice

Include pulses for a nutrition-secure world

There’s a saying in Kenya: If you haven’t eaten “ugali” (a common maize-based stiff porridge dish), then you haven’t eaten. Substitute ugali for rice, cassava, matoke (starchy bananas), sweet or Irish potato or any other starch staple and it reflects the status that many cultures place on carbohydrates. Indeed, according to UNFAO, cereals and starchy roots form the center piece of diets around the globe. UNFAO has compounded the importance of these high-energy foods above others by measuring the rise…

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Ethiopia Winner-Love Pulses

LovePulses competition stirs awareness in Ethiopia

Wondering if pulses have limited place in foods? Alem Greiling proved anything is possible with pulses at the #LovePulses Product Innovation Competition in Ethiopia, held this week on January 25, 2016. Winning the national competition held as part of 2016 International Year of Pulses (IYP 2016), Greiling showcased six new nutritious and delicious pulse-based products as ‘special menu’ of the day, starting with breakfast, lunch, snack, right up to dinner. Dishes were created using chickpea, pea and soya with other…

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Beans_ciat_iyp2016

Beans and other paragons of dietary virtue

When the United Nations (UN) General Assembly designates an issue to be the focus of an international year, this is usually a tacit admission that people around the world tend to take the issue for granted, even though they shouldn’t. The International Year of Pulses (IYP 2016) – which is being formally launched on 10 November at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) in Rome – is no exception. Despite pulses’ nutritional and other…

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Building momentum to address aflatoxin contamination in the groundnut value chain in Nigeria

At a ‘training of trainers’ workshop held in Nigeria, participants from five states pledged to work together with the media to ensure mass mobilization of actors of the groundnut value chain and organize step-down training workshops and awareness campaigns in their different states and organizations on aflatoxin contamination and the fact that it can effectively be managed. Dr Vabi Boboh Michael, Country Manager of the Groundnut Upscaling Project, said that the aim of the workshop was to enable the trainees…

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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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