CGIAR Launches Global Research Programs on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals

7 February 2013: In an effort to boost food and nutrition security of the poor, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has launched two ten-year research programmes with combined three-year budgets of US $225 million to improve food security in the drylands. 

The Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals CGIAR Research Programs will be led by the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). At the launch, William Dar, ICRISAT Director General, highlighted the central role of grain legumes and dryland cereals to food security and mixed-livestock farming, noting the resilience of some varieties of these crops to drought and climate change. The research programmes are related to the research-for-development (R4D) efforts of the CGIAR centers.

The Grain Legumes Program will be a ten-year R4D programme focusing on chickpea, common bean, cowpea, groundnut, faba bean, lentil, pigeonpea and soybean. It aims to benefit 300 million smallholder households with significant increases in both food supplies and protein availability. In this effort, ICRISAT has partnered with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). In the Research Program on Dryland Cereals, ICRISAT and partner ICARDA will work on millet, sorghum and barley, to improve production by 16% over the coming decade.

Though the programmes were approved in October 2012, the launch is part of a week-long event at ICRISAT headquarters to build common understanding and goals around the two programmes. [CGIAR Press Release] [ICRISAT Press Release] [Global Research Program on Grain Legumes] [Global Research Program on Dryland Cereals]