Grain legumes are characterised by their nutritional value, an ability to grow rapidly and improve soil health by fixing nitrogen. This makes them a key rotation crop in promoting food security amongst smallholders in particular. However, yields are constrained by factors such as pests and diseases as well as vulnerability to poor soils, drought and other effects of climate change.
This collection reviews the wealth of research addressing these challenges. Volume 1 focusses on breeding and cultivation. Part 1 summarises advances in understanding crop physiology and genetic diversity, and how this understanding has informed the development of new varieties. Part 2 reviews improvements in cultivation techniques to make the most of these new varieties, from variety selection and seed quality management, through pest and disease management to storage and quality assessment.
With its distinguished editorial team and international range of expert authors, this will be a standard reference for the grain legume research community and farmers of these important crops as well as government and other agencies responsible for agricultural development. It is accompanied by a companion volume which reviews particular grain legumes.
"This reference will greatly improve the visibility of, and access to knowledge about crops that play such a critical role in sustainable cropping systems, nutrition and income, yet which often remain under the radar of governments and policy makers and which do not always receive the investment they deserve.” Jeff Ehlers, Program Officer in Agricultural Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Dr Shoba Sivasankar was formerly the Director of both the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and the Research Program on Dryland Cereals. She was based at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in India.
Dr David Bergvinson is Director-General of ICRISAT.
Dr Pooran Gaur is Assistant Director of the Grain Legumes Research Program and Principal Scientist for chickpea breeding at ICRISAT.
Dr Shiv Kumar Agrawal is Food Legumes Coordinator within the Biodiversity and Integrated Gene Management Program at the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) based in Morocco.
Dr Steve Beebe is Leader of the Bean Program at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia.
Dr Manuele Tamò is insect ecologist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Benin, with a particular focus on IPM in cereal-legume systems. He has worked with organisation such as AVRDC, ICRISAT and AfriceRi