Legumes are the 3 rd largest family of flowering plants

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2 What s a Pulse?

3 Legumes are the 3 rd largest family of flowering plants Second only to grasses in agricultural importance Keystone family for nutrition

4 Pulses are legumes of which we eat the seed

5 Why legumes? A key source of humankind s protein nitrogen High Protein content of seed Enrich soil in vital nitrogen Legumes & rhizobia N 2 Of particular importance in food insecure regions of the world In non-legume systems, nitrogen derives primarily from industrial processes that depend on fossil fuels. Nitrogen drives agricultural costs, is among the world s most significant pollutants and major contributor to greenhouse gases. NO NH 4 C-N

6 Humans co-domesticated legumes and grasses

7 The predominance of legumes in developing world diets, makes them key vehicles for delivery of both micro and macro-nutrients Iron, zinc, fiber, oils and fats, caloric intake Courtesy of Pulse Canada

8 Feeding a growing world A large and growing population in which malnutrition is the most widespread human malady. Large disparities in production, capacities, income. Urgent need to increase the efficiency of agricultural systems, while reducing environmental impact. Longstanding challenges to agriculture disease, drought, variable inputs, etc. Increasing planetary warming, with more extreme and less predictable weather. Need for increased investment in research and development.

9 Since the Green Revolution, legumes received significant underinvestment. The best land and the major financial investments have been in grasses: rice, wheat and maize, for examples. In the developed world, animal protein has replaced legumes, despite significant upsides of legumes for health and sustainability.

10 Agriculture under stress Year-in, year-out, water availability is the major factor limiting agricultural yields 70% of the freshwater used by humans is for agricultural purposes, often exceeding local regeneration rates. Irrigation alone is not sustainable. 66% of the human population (4.0 billion people) lives under severe water scarcity (WS > 2.0) at least 1 month of the year. Of these, half a billion people face severe water scarcity all year round. Meeting humanity s increasing demand for freshwater and protecting ecosystems at the same time will be one of the most difficult and important challenges of this century Mekonnen and Hoekstra Sci. Adv. 12 Feb 2016

11 The changing climate will impact developing countries most Countries close to the equator will suffer declines in productivity. heavily depend on agriculture already warm environment lack of infrastructure to adapt to changes lack of capital to invest in innovation adaptation Commodity prices will increase due to the reduction in production. Higher commodity prices would increase farm revenue, but hurt poor farmers who consume more than they produce.

12 The problem of climate is more than just drought Drought Heat Cold Pests and Disease Nitrogen fixation

13 Terminal drought is the most consistent threat to chickpea production in Ethiopia, farmers plant AFTER the summer rains conclude, which exposes the crop to drought. WHY? Plant a er the rains. Produce crop on residual soil moisture. Exposes crop to drought.

14 Ascochyta blight is a climate-driven disease, and o en the limi ng factor in chickpea produc on Pod borer Fusarium wilt

15 Most of the world s poor live in the semi-arid tropics where drought and heat are most severe Drought and heat suppress legumes potential for N- fixation Nitrogen fertilizers are not an option. Degraded soils compound plant nutrition.

16 Global Context Severe hunger and poverty affects nearly 1 billion people around the world. By 2050, it s estimated that the earth s population will reach 9 billion. Global food production will need to increase significantly to 100 percent to feed these people. Two billion people in the developing world are malnourished -- the world s most serious health problem. The power of investing in agriculture is clear: Agricultural development is two to four times more effective at reducing hunger and poverty than any other sector.

17 How do we address these challenges? Partnerships: governments, foundations, international organizations, scientists, engineers, farmers, etc. Sustained investment with a variety of time horizons Recognize the importance of scale: local problems and priorities are not necessarily global problems and priorities Embrace diverse scenarios Infrastructure (Roads, seed systems, etc) Education Diplomacy and capacity building Nutrition Science

18 Science has a role to play In development? In agriculture, bridging yield gaps, increasing resilience to climate and disease, increasing sustainability, The example of chickpea Developing crops that yield efficiently under conditions of limiting water

19 Chickpea is among the world s most important pulse legumes and critical to food security in much of the developing world Stagnant yields Susceptible to pathogens, pests and abiotic stress Drought Heat Pests and Disease Nitrogen fixation Nutrition Soil adaptation Agronomic traits Domestication 11

20 Area (Ha) Production country Yield (Kg/Ha) harvested (tonnes) India 9,600,000 8,832, Australia 573, ,300 1,418 Pakistan 992, , Turkey 423, ,000 1,195 Myanmar 335, ,000 1,463 Iran (Islamic Republic of) 550, , Ethiopia 122, ,465 2,041 Mexico 115, ,941 1,817 Canada 72, ,400 2,353 United States of America 86, ,351 1,820 Top 10 countries account for 95% of world production. Source: FAO Stat. 12

21 A multi-institutional, multi-national initiative USA >27 partners in 10 countries National Programs Private foundations USAID USA Australia Canada Norway NSF GRDC SPG GCDT VIR Russia Pakistan HEC

22 Terminal drought Terminal drought: year in, year out, most serious constraint.

23 Chickpea production is limited by Drought, heat, disease and low genetic diversity Terminal drought: year in, year out, most serious constraint. Drought and heat: Predispose the crop to disease. Reduce rates of nitrogen fixation. Requires a multifaceted approach. ~95% of variation in the crop was lost during domestication and modern breeding

24 Improve farmer livelihoods and increase agricultural productivity Drought tolerance Heat tolerance Nitrogen fixation Plant architecture for mechanical harvesting Seed nutrient density Fusarium resistance Pod borer resistance

25 For crop improvement, the way forward is genetics Breeding: novel alleles typically come from domesticated germplasm, landraces and wild relatives are largely ignored. Biotechnology: accesses alleles from a broader set of organisms (transgenics), and to modify endogenous genetic components (cisgenics).

26 Breeding needs variation Accessing, characterizing and utilizing genetic variation

27 C. reticulatum C. echinospermum C. arietinum Wild systems: Starting in south-eastern Turkey We explored chickpea s center of origin over 56 days in 2013 and 100 days in 2014/15 at ~50 sites 5 Egil

28 Mobilize the genetic capacity of wild relatives ~15,000 unique lineages entering into field trials and breeding India, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Morocco, Turkey, US, Canada, Australia Engage international networks of breeders. Combine developing world needs with developed world capacities. Massively leverage new funding sources.

29 Post-domestication diversification: landraces Nikolay Vavilov

30 Innovate and think outside of the box!

31 Microbes impart functional properties (i.e., health ) to their plant hosts. but we lack a solid understanding of these phenomena Micronutrient uptake Disease Tolerance Nitrogen Fixation Drought Tolerance Phosphate solubilization?? Micronutrient? uptake???? Disease Nitrogen? Tolerance Fixation?? Drought Tolerance? Phosphate solubilization?

32 Implement and deliver NSF and BMGF USAID National Programs Industrial partners

33 Legumes are key to meeting the world s challenges in agriculture and the environment Global coalitions. Broad investment. Relevant technologies. Appropriate goals and pathways for delivery. True partnerships with technology transfer and capacity building.