Why not beans uri icon

abstract

  • Changes in climate and urbanisation rapidly affecting human livelihood are particularly threatening to developing nations in tropical regions. Food production crises have focused the global development agenda on agricultural research, a proven approach for increasing crop yield. A few crops benefit from private investment, but improvement of most crops will rely on limited public funding that must be deployed strategically, pushing forward both proven approaches and new ideas. Why not invest in beans? More than 300 million people rely on this crop, considered to be the most important grain legume for human consumption. Yet the yield of beans, especially in poor regions or marginal soils, is reduced by abiotic stresses such as phosphorus deficiency, aluminum toxicity and especially drought. Is it possible to assemble resources, including genetic diversity in beans, breeding expertise, genomic information and tools, and physiological insight to generate rapid progress in developing new lines of beans more tolerant to abiotic stress? A workshop to address this question was held in November 2010 at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia. The resulting 'call to action' is presented in this issue which also includes research papers focused on tolerance of beans to stress.

publication date

  • 2011
  • 2011