A new digital hub to consolidate learnings from global food legume initiatives

The Bakukus on their farm in Tanzania. The farmer couple are beneficiaries of the TL projects. They increased their family income with seed production and improved bean grain has enabled them to rear cattle and pigs, grow avocado and invest in a bio-gas plant. Photo: Tropical Legumes Hub

To enable crop researchers and policymakers access information on the three Tropical Legumes projects under one roof, a digital hub has been developed to capture learnings and impacts of crop varietal development and distribution initiatives taken up under the projects. Developed by Scriptoria, the hub has a resource center with over 250 vital resources, from scientific articles to policy briefs, and interactive country maps. The projects’ impacts are brought to life in an engaging, highly visual digital story.

Implemented over a 12-year period with US$ 67 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ICRISAT worked with two other CGIAR research organizations – Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) – and national and regional partners across 15 countries.

Principal Investigator of TL II phase II and TL phase III, Dr Rajeev K Varshney, says, “Together, we made significant achievements during a decade of Tropical Legumes projects, from the development and adoption of improved varieties, creation of market-demand to benefit smallholder farmers to the empowerment of national programs in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. This could only be achieved in collaboration with our partners and funders”.

He added, “I am sure the newly launched Tropical Legumes hub will serve as one-stop destination for knowledge and resources generated over the course of TL projects and now made available as International Public Good (IPG) in the service of smallholder farmers and rural economies.”

“The hub will help to preserve the legacy of the Tropical Legumes initiatives,” says Dr Chris Ojiewo, Principal Scientist at ICRISAT who coordinated the final phase of the projects. “It captures vital knowledge and learnings that we have accumulated over the past 12 years and makes them fully accessible so that researchers and policymakers can consolidate our efforts, build on our work and continue to strengthen climate resilience and productivity of African and Asian farmers.”

Resources in the hub contain vital information covering a wide range of related topics, including climate-smart benefits of food legumes, molecular breeding techniques, investments in breeding programs, and the development of effective seed systems to ensure improved varieties are efficiently delivered at scale.

The gains of the Tropical Legumes initiatives are now being consolidated by the Accelerated Varietal Improvement and Seed Delivery of Legumes and Cereals in Africa (AVISA) project, which is building on the experience of the TL projects to continue enhancing efficiency and effectiveness of breeding programs and seed systems.

Visit the Tropical Legumes Hub to find out more: https://tropicallegumeshub.com/

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