releasing over 307 improved varieties of focus legume crops and training 52 young scientists to be the torchbearers of agricultural science in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia were some key achievements of the Tropical Legumes project. These were reflected upon at the end-of-project workshop held in Tanzania on July 2019. The project, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, brought together partners from 15 countries over a period of 12 years.
The Tropical Legumes project (phases I, II and III), together with associated development projects in the regions, contributed to production of about 498,034 tons of certified seeds across six legume crops (chickpea, common bean, cowpea, pigeonpea, groundnut and soybean) in the project focus countries (Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and India – Uttar Pradesh State).
These regions now have stronger seed systems in place – with produced certified seeds planted in an estimated 5.0 million ha by over 25 million smallholder farmers in 15 countries and beyond, producing about 6.1 million tons of grain worth US$ 3.2 billion.
The third phase of the Tropical Legumes (TL III) project was led by ICRISAT and jointly implemented by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in close collaboration with 15 NARS across eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. With the end of this project, some of the work done in this field will be carried forward into the project AVISA – Accelerated Varietal Improvement and Seed Delivery of Legumes and Cereals in Africa.