Trials of heat-tolerant food legumes are demonstrating significant potential in Sudan, where scientists are conducting on-farm demonstrations of faba beans, lentils, and chickpea varieties. Introduced alongside a package of interventions – including irrigation, integrated pest management, and Rhizobia inoculation – the varieties have doubled the yields that Sudanese farmers normally receive. In the case of improved chickpea, some varieties – for instance Salawa and Burgeig - produced high average yields of 3.5-4.0 t/ha.
These trials are being conducted as part of an initiative funded by the European Union (EU) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which tests, validates, and disseminates proven innovations to assist wheat and food legume farmers across West Asia and North Africa (WANA). The impressive performance of the varieties developed in Sudan – an ICARDA research hub for the production of heat-tolerant crops – was recently demonstrated to more than 300 farmers at five farmer field days in Nile River State and Al-Gezira.
Given that food legume production is often held back by a lack of technology and the limited application of new innovations, the EU-IFAD funded initiative is introducing mechanization to participating faba bean and chickpea farmers. The Project is promoting mechanical harvesting as a key component of its efforts to raise production. A capacity development program on the use of this technology will be rolled-out over the coming months.
The Project’s efforts to stabilize production and strengthen food security are being applied at targeted research sites in WANA countries. If successful, potential interventions will be scaled-up and extended to farmers globally.