Extremely delighted to share Special Issue of Plant Breeding journal (Vol. 138, Issue 4, Aug 2019) dedicated to decade of Tropical Legumes projects entitled “Tropical Legumes: From discovery to delivery in small-holder’s fields in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia”. The issue includes eight reviews and perspective articles from leading researchers engaged in the TL projects and an invited article on faba bean. The issue highlights the advances made in the areas of genetics, genomics and deployment of integrated breeding approaches for developing improved drought‐ and heat‐ tolerant and biotic stress‐resistant varieties in the target legume crops. Furthermore, market‐led options to scale up legume seeds in developing countries have also been presented in an article. Article link: https://bit.ly/2KPxY7I
In addition, this special issue highlights the efforts and advances made in the six legume crops through TL and other associated projects. A snapshot of these articles as well as a summary and perspectives are presented in this article. Direct link to the specific articles of this special issue are as below:
- Editorial Note
- Review articles
- Research Article: Market‐led options to scale up legume seeds in developing countries: Experiences from the Tropical Legumes Project
In 2019, Tropical Legumes projects marked its official closure with significant outcomes achieved together with implementing partners CIAT and IITA from CGIAR and partners from national agricultural research systems in projects focused countries. End of Project meeting held during July 16-18, 2019 at Arusha, Tanzania, discussed on the achievement, learnings, challenges and gaps from decade of project implementation. The deliberations of the meeting are featured in ICRISAT’s Newsletter Happenings “Taking legumes from science of discovery to science of delivery”.
As we reached to the end of our decade long collaboration under the aegis of Tropical Legumes projects, I thank all involved stakeholders for their dedication, commitment and hard work in the service of smallholder farmers. Together we have achieved a lot during the course of TL III project and this would have not been possible without you all. This long term collaboration have not just connected all of us on the professional front but also on the personal level- I am sure all other colleagues and partners will agree with this thought.
From “developing genetic resources of once called orphan crops” to “strengthening the NARS breeding programs” including in molecular breeding, “development and release of more than 266 varieties of focused legumes crops” as well as “establishment of innovative and sustainable seed platforms” – we have made some tremendous progress as part of our project activities. I am sure these accomplishments will make remarkable contribution in improving genetic gains in farmers’ field and in increasing their income thereby improving their livelihoods, as also intended by the project. In addition, we together have nurtured more 52 young scientists and students, who will be the torchbearers furthering the cause of agricultural sciences in the service of smallholder farmers and poorest of the poor in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
I also thank Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in general and specifically to Dr Jeff Ehlers who has been a great supporter, mentor, guide and friend for me and probably for majority of us during this very memorable journey of Tropical Legumes project.
With sense of satisfaction about the significant achievement that we together made, I hope to further continue working with you all in near future. I am sure our common goal of working in the interest of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia will soon provide us with an opportunity to resume our collaboration.
“Every sunset brings hope for a new dawn having opportunities galore”, with that thought in mind let me thank you all once again for the wonderful collaboration we had.