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Tropical Legumes

Legumes are a critical component of global food and feed systems and are particularly important in the tropics where protein energy malnutrition is associated with millions of deaths each year. Legumes are attractive as a food security and environment-friendly crop because of their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, thereby decreasing the reliance on nitrogen fertilizer inputs and leading to improved production system sustainability. They also contribute to ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, soil microbial activity and processes, and food web dynamics.  Long used as traditional food and forage, legumes can also serve as a source of dietary protein, flour, vegetable oil, a component of pork and poultry diets, a source of soil fertility as a green manure or intercrop, and a myriad of industrial uses. However, many important legumes, such as soybean, are not well adapted to the tropical environment and many other tropical legumes as so low yielding they do not compete well in production priority with higher yielding grain crops. To help raise legume production and yields in the tropics, the Tropical Legume Community of the ASA provides a forum for advancing and sharing research on all aspects of tropical legumes including breeding, germplasm adaptation, agronomic production, nutrition, fertility needs and small holder access to legume seed. The community will assist in bringing together both U.S. and international researchers on tropical legumes to build collaborations and networks that we hope will lead to the strengthening of tropical legume research and funding opportunities.

 

View the Tropical Legumes Community Leadership Roster