January 2021
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Legume Systems Research fosters dynamic, profitable, and environmentally sustainable approaches that contribute to resilience, productivity, and better nutrition and economic opportunities. The lab is managed by Michigan State University.
From the Management Office
Annual Global Convening goes virtual
in February 2021
JOIN US! The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Legume Systems Research invites you to attend our Annual Global Convening 2021. The event will be held virtually February 16-18.

Global Legume Lab researchers will share their research updates and impact on legume systems throughout West and Southern Africa.

Registration is free and open to the public. For more information visit the Legume Lab website.
From the Field
Green revolution déjà vu and gendered impacts
on cowpea production in West Africa
by Andrea Allen and Melinda Smale
Cowpea products offer the women of Mali entrepreneurial opportunities. Photo courtesy of Mamadou Sissoko
During the late 1960s, the Green Revolution in South Asia focused research and development efforts on boosting production of rice and wheat in response to the specter of famine. Though yields of these staple cereals increased phenomenally, the transformation that resulted is thought to have caused the displacement of legumes as an unintended side effect.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Melinda Smale from Michigan State University is investigating the broader question of “How Input Subsidy Policies Change the Cowpea Farming Landscape in West Africa”. 

Cowpeas provide an important source of proteins and micronutrients in local diets. What’s more, farmers can harvest, consume, and sell cowpeas during the hungry season, and they are adapted to drought.  
Early data analysis indicates that in Mali, fertilizer subsidies targeted specifically to production of rice, millet, sorghum, and cotton have shifted production away from other crops – including cowpea...

Read the complete article by clicking the Read more button below which continues the discussion on nutritional impact and perceptions on cowpea and gender roles in Mali and Burkina Faso.
Featured Legume of the Month
Lima beans, like many bean varieties, vary in color. The most common color for fresh lima beans is green and pale white when dried. Less popular varieties produce beans that are red, purple, or speckled to name just a few.

Lima beans can be a bush or pole type plant. The pole plants usually produce the larger pods and require a longer growing period.

Nutritionally, lima beans are an excellent source of protein.
Cooking with White Lima Beans...
Giant white beans with greens
Lima beans are commonly referred to as butter beans in the U.S. and are versatile in many recipes.

Michigan State University's MSU Health4U program offers many recipes featuring legumes. One features giant white lima beans sautéed in olive oil with red onions, tomatoes, and kale. A vinaigrette of lemon juice, olive oil, and fresh chopped dill complete the dish.

Give it a try tonight by following the recipe at the link below.
For More Information on the
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Legume Systems Research
This newsletter is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Feed the Future initiative. The contents are the responsibility of Michigan State University and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.