T. P. Mall*


Crop species which are adapted to hot and dry climates will become increasingly important as the world warms. The Krikhouse Trust supporting research and education in the biological Sciences is devoted to agricultural crop improvement for the alleviation of poverty, with a focus on legumes. The trust has supported research on legumes because of their importance in providing high quality protein in the diets of resource-poor farmers. Among these crops are many stress tolerant legume species found in India and Africa, which are relatively minor and neglected crops. A new programme called ―Stress Tolerant Orphan Legumes‖ (STOL) for KT aims to support systematic studies of their potential to address the loss of agricultural productivity in the areas of the globe that are suffering from the grave climate stresses. There are obvious signs that climate change is already having severe effects on the agriculture where several crops are failing because of the changed climate. In addition to direct effects of heat and drought on crops, the country is suffering soil loss due to increase in desert area per year. Over grazing, intensive cultivation, removal of tree cover, poor water management have all been reasons for this loss which cannot be compensated by any means. One more versatile fact remains that large tracts of land are being taken out of production for diverse types of constructions by the governments for the people as well as by the people for their settlements in urban areas. There are three possible ways to mitigate this looming disaster. First one is the adoption of stress tolerant legume species which may help farmers to fight the ravages of climate stress: production of grain to feed the family and provide income; fodder and forage to livestock; ground cover as remedy for soil degradation. For this reason, there should be a diversity of species where some crops may prove to be multipurpose, providing grain and fodder, forage and other crops may be specialized for other function such as soil remedation. In this presentation, we are undertaking twelve orphan legumes viz., Cajanus cajan, Lablab purpureus, Macrotyloma uniflorum, Phaseolus acutifolius, Phaseolus lunatus, Phaseolus vulgaris, Tylosema esculentum, Vigna aeconitifolia, Vigna radiate, Vigna subterranean, Vigna umbillata and Vigna unguiculata for their potential of climate stress mitigation, ethno-botanical and ethno-medicinal uses.

Keywords: Underexploited, Pulses, Bahraich.

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