April 2, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich.Michigan State University gained a $24.5 million award from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to help developing nations find sustainable and secure food sources. The latest award extends a more than 30-year partnership between USAID and MSU in international grain legume research.
The main objectives of USAIDs Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Grain Legumes, led by MSU, will be to increase the productivity of beans and other grain legumes (cowpea, chickpea, etc.) by smallholder farmers and to enhance the nutritional quality of diets of the poor in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America and the United States.
Beans and related legumes are critical crops in developing countries," said Irvin Widders, MSU horticulture professor and director of the lab, formerly known as Pulse CRSP. They are nutrient dense staple foods that help ensure household food and nutritional security while providing needed household income, especially for women, who are the principle producers of grain legumes in many regions of the world."
The MSU program supports collaborative research and graduate student training between university researchers, agriculture research institutions and development organizations in developing countries to generate technologies that benefit farmers through consumers. Key areas include genetics, plant breeding, soil health, integrated pest management, human nutrition and marketing of edible grain legumes. Gender equity and climate change also will be addressed.
The lab will continue the incredible legacy of MSUs commitment and scientific leadership," Widders said. We will tackle new changes resulting from population growth, climate change and persistent malnutrition, especially among young children and women around the world."
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