Development of a ten-year pulse research strategy
Globally, pulses—legumes such as peas, beans, or lentils—are essential to achieving resilient agricultural systems and healthy diets. However, there remains a large gap between current pulse production and the significant potential of pulse crops for meeting global sustainability challenges. In particular, research funding for pulse crops is a fraction of investments made in cereal crops. As a result, global pulse crop production has remained relatively stagnant in yield per acre, acres planted, and total volume produced. To better leverage existing funding and expand knowledge frontiers for climate-smart agriculture, water efficiency, crop diversification, and pest/disease management, coordinated pulse research investments are needed.
In collaboration with Emerging Ag Inc., this initiative will build on IDRC-supported research and the International Year of Pulses to bring together a high-level group of public and private sector experts to develop an internationally coordinated research strategy for pulse crop productivity and sustainability. This strategy will be designed to increase investment in strategic, game-changing pulse research with emphasis on transformative research that is not under way or planned within existing research funding and implementation mechanisms, in particular for small-holder farmers in Africa and Asia.
Given Canada’s strong capacity in pulse research, this project provides an excellent opportunity for Canada and IDRC to show global leadership. It will increase the visibility of all pulse research domains through structured engagement with governments, researchers, private sector, NGOs, and farmers. It will result in global and regional networks of leading scientists and industry players collaborating towards improved productivity and sustainability of pulses. By demonstrating consensus on priority investments, setting an agenda for global discussion, and mobilizing leaders and champions to advocate for funding, essential pulse research investments can be accelerated.