Legumes: The Hub of Diversification & Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture
“…diversification of crops with legumes and other practical measures must be scaled up to end hunger while meeting the challenge of climate change.” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The global population will run out of food unless science can generate sufficient new crops that bear resilience to the current and increasing yield limitations of temperature extremes, water availability and salt tolerance and nutrient efficiency. In short, we need a third food revolution, to succeed the ‘industrial revolution’ and ‘green revolution’, which sustained the massive population growth since the 1920s to date.
Against these challenges, research on grain legumes has been neglected despite the wide genetic resources available that can meet future food, fodder, environmental and biofuel demands in the face of the global climate challenges.
In November 2015, a three-day meeting was held at Zhejiang University to:
- Define the knowledge-gaps in capturing legume genetic diversity for sustainable food crops.
- Define the state-of-the-art to address legume crop improvement towards 2050.
- Identify champions who will lead grant proposals in Horizon 2020 and similar programs that will fund large scale collaborative programs.
- Establish a program of short-term exchanges, particularly of early-career researchers, between laboratories in order to maximise technology and knowledge transfer.
View the Legumes 2020 program.
The meeting resulted in a policy document aimed at impacting global food security policy.