Legume Diversity

Lead Organization:

Mekelle University

Partner Organizations:

Cornell University

Community of Practice:

East & Southern Africa

Duration:

11/2015—11/2017

Overview:

This is a collaborative research project focusing on the leguminous crops and some leguminous agroforestry tree species. The research is carried out as part of graduate research by MSc students in participating universities. Teaching and data generation center around farmers’ varietal diversity and uses of leguminous crops by local communities; it will describe and analyze the specific roles of legumes in each of the selected farming systems at household level as well as their market values. The project aims to develop a comprehensive picture  on the current status of legume crop diversity, showing its potential for enhancement and laying the groundwork for optimal use by farmers, agricultural researchers and other stakeholders.The research supervisors and researchers from participating institutions, together with collaborators from Cornell University and the University of Reading Research Methods Support group (funded through other CCRP projects) are developing a platform for sharing methodological advances in their respective research areas. This will create a cohort of Ethiopian legume scientists from different backgrounds and fields. The platform will provide the forum and opportunity to discuss, share experiences, and come to an understanding on what needs to be done and how it should be done to conserve and utilize Ethiopia’s rich legume biodiversity.

Grant Aims:

This project is training new generations of Ethiopian scientists who make important contributions to characterizing Ethiopia’s rich legume agrobiodiversity.  A promising young female faculty member from Mekelle University will coordinate the project and immediate project partners include faculty from a diversity of disciplines from four partner universities (two from Addis Ababa, two from Wollo University and one each from Jimma and Haramaya Universities), the Institute for Biodiversity Conservation and the Institute for Sustainable Development.