Pulse CRSP Archives

Dry Grain Pulses Collaborative Research Support Program (PULSE CRSP)

PREFACE from the Five-Year Report (2007-2012)

The continued persistence of hunger, malnutrition, and poverty in the twenty-first century developing world called—and continues to call—research scientists to develop strategies toward achieving sustainable reductions in these areas. A strategy that linked these interrelated and mutually reinforcing social dynamics with pro-growth support for smallholder farmers and institutional capacity building within affected countries proved the most promising approach to achieving long-term and regional improvement.

Because pulses are grown and consumed throughout the world, particularly in regions with high incidents of poverty and hunger, and because of their exceptional nutritional value in meeting protein and mineral needs, they seemed the ideal commodity for addressing the multidimensional nature of poverty—hunger, malnutrition, poor household and national economies, and agricultural challenges. An umbrella program that would manage numerous independent but mutually beneficial projects focused on this aspect of the food economy seemed most likely to succeed in both short- and long-term improvements in household food and financial security. Embodied in the Dry Grain Pulses Collaborative Research Support Program (Pulse CRSP), this program was funded from October 1, 2007, to September 30, 2012.

In addition to the need for developing countries to address their peoples’ food and nutritional insecurity in the midst of poor soil, insect pests, plant diseases, climate change, and other food growing difficulties that led to unacceptably low levels of productivity, the globalization of markets and fundamental changes in food value chains in the twenty-first century offered new opportunities for smallholder farmers in the global pulse industry to access these opening markets. The Pulse CRSP set out to address both these individual and community-wide challenges and opportunities through its focus on results-driven scientific agricultural research.

The global mission of the Dry Grain Pulses Collaborative Research Support Program (Pulse CRSP) was to link the interrelated and mutually reinforcing dynamics of hunger, malnutrition, and poverty with pro-poor growth, private sector investment, and institutional capacity building to support future country-led efforts for development through a five-year research and capacity building program to contribute to the following:

• Economic growth and food and nutritional security through knowledge and technology generation

• Sustainable growth and competitiveness of pulse value chains utilizing socially and environmentally compatible approaches

• Empowerment and strengthened capacity of agriculture research institutions in USAID priority countries

• USAID’s Feed the Future and Global Food Security Research Strategy

• Achievement of Title XII legislative goals for CRSPs, including the generation of dual benefits to developing country and U.S. agriculture.

This program built upon the scientific advances and technological achievements of the Bean/Cowpea CRSP while responding to the agriculture development priorities and objectives set forth in USAID’s Feed the Future (FTF) Global Food Security Research Strategy and in the Development Strategies by USAID Missions in FTF Focus countries and regions. These strategies seek to address the root causes of hunger and forge long-term solutions to these challenges. The strength of the Pulse CRSP is that it mobilized the cutting-edge research capacities of U.S. universities in such strategic areas as genomics, marker-assisted selection, root biology, symbiotic plant-Rhizobia interactions, systems science, sustainable community livelihoods, gender, communication science, value-chain research, and market development to achieve its goals.

The Pulse CRSP worked to address the causes of food insecurity through science-based research that addresses the challenges of smallholder farmers. Pulse breeding for high yield potential and resistances to abiotic and biotic stress factors, integrated insect pest management, improved storage methods and technologies, and enhancing soil fertility and/or improving a plant’s ability to utilize soil nutrients are among the Pulse CRSP projects.

Please see the Final Report of the Pulse CRSP for more information. 

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