In order to build on the achievements and the lessons learned from Tropical Legumes (TL) I and II projects in ensuring increased legume productivity and nutrition for smallholder farmers, ICRISAT is developing the Legumes for Livelihood (L4L) project. L4L will exploit the genomic resources and tools developed in TL I and TL II while up-scaling successful innovations to achieve the goal of increasing production and productivity of legumes in the target countries.

“We appreciate the support and contribution of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and partner institutes towards the TL II project, that helped transform the lives of millions of smallholder farmers in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa,” said ICRISAT Director General Dr William D Dar. He was speaking at the Proposal Revision Meeting of the Legumes for Livelihood (L4L) project.

Both TL I and II facilitated the release and availability of more than 129 new improved varieties of the six target crops in various countries across sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The projects helped to strengthen partnerships among different stakeholders in the legumes value chain; enhanced market linkages; and increased incomes and benefits for smallholder farmers with the help of improved technologies and crop management practices.

“I am pleased to inform that the team is moving forward on the next phase of the proposal (of L4L), so that we and our partners continue to work towards improving the productivity of legume crops under the framework of the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes,” added Dr Dar.

About 24 scientists, including partners from three CGIAR Centers, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and ICRISAT (including colleagues from Kenya, Lilongwe, Addis Ababa, Niamey and India) attended the meeting.

“We hope to have a very strong proposal with support of all partners by the end of July,” said Dr Rajeev Varshney, Research Program Director-Grain Legumes, ICRISAT and Principal Investigator of the proposal.

Both TL I (led by the CGIAR Generation Challenge Programme) and TL II (led by ICRISAT) are funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The TL II project is a joint initiative of three international agricultural research centers: ICRISAT (chickpea, groundnut and pigeonpea), IITA (cowpea and soybean), and CIAT (common bean). It is being implemented under the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes.

The Proposal Revision Meeting of L4L project was held at the ICRISAT headquarters on 25-27 May. It was organized in continuation of earlier meetings held in India in December 2013 and in Nairobi in March this year.

Adapted from ICRISAT Happenings