Project Details

Improving tropical legume productivity for marginal environments in Sub-Saharan Africa

Duration: 01/May/2007 - 30/Apr/2010

Locations: Eastern and Southern Africa / West and Central Africa

This project focuses on improving the productivity of legume crops of high importance to food security and poverty reduction efforts in sub-Saharan Africa. Modern biotechnologies offer great potential for enhancing the efficiency of plant breeding programs, but sufficient genomic resources are needed to implement modern breeding. This project develops the key genomic resources that are currently lacking in legumes (including cross-legume molecular markers for comparative genomics), identifies molecular markers for traits of importance to resource-poor farmers (biotic stresses and drought tolerance), and implements breeding capacities in sub-Saharan Africa. The long term objective of this project is to double grain legume productivity in farmers’ fields. Doing so will generate additional income for farmers – $160/h in cowpea, $370/h in groundnuts, and $220/h in bean per crop cycle – in the target countries of the project, where average agricultural per capita income today is around $120 per year.

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