Evaluation of Stress Tolerant Orphan Legumes for use in dryland farming systems across sub-Saharan Africa and India - Promoting India-Africa Framework for Strategic Cooperation

Environmental Institute for Agricultural Research (INERA), Kamboinse research station, Burkina Faso


Project Staff:

PI: Batieno B. Joseph

Co - PI: Dr Felicien Zida

Technician: Mr Congo Abdoulaye

Breeder: Mr Dieni Zakaria 

Summary of project 

The agricultural sector that contributes the most to gross domestic product in developing countries is severely affected by climate change.  Sub-Saharan African countries like Burkina Faso will be the most vulnerable to this shock. Emergency measures in response to global warming range from new agricultural practices to developing resilient crop varieties that tolerate drought or extreme temperatures so that they can feed a growing population while being able to improve or restore soil fertility. In order to achieve these objectives, through the STOL project, we were able to import in Burkina Faso orphan legume species targeted by the project for their obvious advantages in order to carry out their preliminary characterization. These orphan crops are as follow: Dolichos lablab (Lablab purpureus); Horse-gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum); Moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia); Rice bean (Vigna umbellata); cowpea (Vigna unguiculata); Bambara groundnuts (Vigna subterranea); Mung bean (Vigna radiata); Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus); and Tepari bean (Phaseolus acutifolius). At the first, these legumes species were imported from several GenBank all over the world including: Tanzania, England, India and Australia. Subsequently, the opening of the project to other countries in sub-Saharan Africa with the reducing of number of species following STOL-partner project allowed the fruitful exchange of genetic material between countries for the coordination of experiments and to allow the performance assessment of the target leguminous species to be evaluated across different environments.

These trials, on an international scale, with which are associated farmer’ field days, bring out the relative performance of the different species and allow the first bases to be laid for the popularization of these species, many of which are almost unknown in our countries.


Current Activities

By now, in Burkina Faso they are currently continuing evaluating and multiplying these species while searching for other experimentation sites within the country.


Which is your favourite STOL crop and why?

To date, our preference is mainly for three species: the Tepary bean, very adapted to the arid regions of the country, and a variety of which already exists in Burkina Faso but very neglected, then comes mung bean of which also exists in Burkina Faso and is growing in popularity. Ultimately comes moth bean, an amazing species that shows very high tolerance to drought and a regeneration capacity in addition to the good plant cover that it provides due to its growth habit


Related to Farmers Field days – How has this helped to achieve STOL objectives?

Farmer’s field days, during which farmers and other agriculture actors were invited to visit and comment on STOL trials, allowed us to introduce these species and their advantages to producers, which aroused their willingness to experiment with certain species in their own fields back in their location of origin. This approach will therefore contribute to the popularization of STOL crops.


How do you see the work going (or progressing) in the future? / where would you like to see the project go (or achieve)?

Based on the advantages of these species and regarding the growing interest of the populations and the scientific community for them, my ambition is to see these species be put on trial in the different agro-ecological zones of Burkina Faso even if they are experiencing climate change in varying degrees. Because land needs to be restored while animals and humans can no longer feed themselves properly due to irregular and insufficient rains.


What do you enjoy about the STOL project?

What I enjoy is the links that I forge on each occasion with the members involved in the program and with whom we have now formed a community. I appreciate the training in several fields of research including data recording, drone phenotyping and computing.


In your opinion, which is the crop with the best taste? / do you have a favourite recipe or dish which uses a STOL crop?

To date, my choice is the tepary bean, I ate a delicious dish made with minced meat, vegetables, and tepary bean, all cooked together.