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The mungbean transformation: Diversifying crops, defeating malnutrition

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Mungbean is a major pulse crop in Asia. National partners in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand collaborated with AVRDC ? The World Vegetable Center, using an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to research and develop improved mungbean varieties and technologies. The effort aimed to resolve the major constraints limiting mungbean production and resulted in the release of improved varieties with traits such as short maturity duration, high yields, and disease resistance to Cercospora leaf spot, powdery mildew, and Mungbean yellow mosaic virus. The total area planted to improved varieties has reached almost 3 million hectares across these countries, providing an estimated 1.5 million farmers with yield increases of about 300 kilograms per hectare. In terms of consumption, mungbean consumption has increased 22 to 66 percent in the various countries, and has been demonstrated to improve the health of anemic women and children. This paper traces the research, development, and dissemination of improved mungbean in Asia and examines its impact on agricultural productivity and food security. Actions to sustain the intervention and support future research are noted.

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