Pigeonpea in Eastern and Southern Africa

Legumes are highly susceptible to pests and diseases, increasing the risk for smallholder farmers and constraining the adoption of improved cultivars. Breeding for resistance, grain quality and nutritional traits, drought tolerance and avoidance and helping farmers find reliable market outlets and incentives to invest in productivity-enhancing technologies can make a great difference to their livelihoods.



  • Release and promotion of high-yielding, wilt-resistant medium-duration varieties including a new set of climate resilient medium-duration varieties adapted to diverse agro-ecological regions, photoperiod insensitive, intercropping compatible, tolerant to Fusarium wilt, and with consumer preferred grain traits
  • Enhanced productivity through sustainable Intensification: P-microdosing, intercropping with cereals and double up legumes
  • Promoted innovative seed systems
  • Improved market linkages through producer marketing groups, participation of large traders in regional and International exports and value addition.



  • 40% productivity gains from greater access to superior seed; in Malawi productivity was 1309 kg/ha
  • Access to ever growing Indian grain market through trader participation
  • About 15 large-scale dhal processing plants set up in Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique
  • 25-40% higher local producer prices in ESA following producer-wholesaler linkages
  • Production and dissemination of 4250 tons of quality seed covering about 0.5 million ha in the last 8 years
  • 80% rise in farmers’ incomes in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda
  • Pigeonpea considered a life saver and guarantor of livelihoods in these drought-prone areas
  • Expanding green pea markets in urban and semi-urban centers
  • Greater household utilization and nutritional benefits to women, youth and children under five.


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