On November 1, 2019, The Financial Times published the article titled, "The fight to save hummus from extinction" written by Rebecca Seal featuring the Chickpea Innovation Lab and the work spearheaded by Douglas Cook.

The Chickpea Innovation Law was featured in a U.S. Feed The Future online news article posted September 24, 2019 by Brandon Jetter titled, "The Challenge of Taking Chickpea Innovations from the Lab to the Field".

The Cook lab with Alex Greenlon as first author published the paper titled "Global-level population genomics reveals differential effects of geography and phylogeny on horizontal gene transfer in soil bacteria" in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) July 2019. Article PDF

The new BBC World News and BBC Future series in 2019, Follow the Food, will explorer how farmers, scientists and engineers hope to improve the efficiency and sustainability of our food. The work being done by Douglas Cook and the Chickpea Innovation Lab will be highlighted in one of the episodes as noted in this article about the series. BBC Follow The Food Series LinkArrow2.jpg

Chickpea research and the need for diversity is the focus of a crops and commodities opinion article called, Beyond Hummus, by Foodtank (2019). The article features the Chickpea Innovation Lab and Douglas Cook. Article -->  LinkArrow2.jpg

The article by Amanda Mull, "In the Future, Everything Will Be Made of Chickpeas: America is finally embracing an ingredient that much of the world has relied on for millennia", in The Atlantic  (March 2019) discusses the health benefits of chickpea as referenced by Douglas Cook, UC Davis Professor and Chickpea Lab Director. Article --> LinkArrow2.jpg

Steve Jefferies, Grains Research and Development Corporation managing director, talked about how global chickpea diversity is key to expanding Western Australia's pulse production in two articles - Farm Weekly, March 2019 LinkArrow2.jpg and Grain Central, March 2019. LinkArrow2.jpg

Cook Presentation Picture May 2018.2.jpg UC Davis Professor and Program Director Douglas Cook presented, "Harnessing advanced crop science to raise legume productivity"LinkArrow2.jpg, during the second day of the 7th International Food Legumes Research Conference (IFLRC), May 2018.

Maximizing the potential of legumes so these climate-smart plants can contribute more significantly to human and environmental well-being will depend on bridging the yield gap – which against a backdrop of rapid climate change could grow even wider over the coming years. Drought, rising temperatures and the threat of pests and disease place a significant constraint on yields which small holder farmers, in particular, may struggle to overcome....

Agrilinks announce May 1, 2018 that it is teaming up with Climatelinks and the climate team at the USAID Bureau for Food Security to look at a set of critical issues facing today’s food producers. The article titled, "Weathering the Storm: Agrilinks Turns to Climate & Resilient Agriculture This May "LinkArrow2.jpg is available on the Agrilinks website.

In May 2018, Agrilinks published an interview with Douglas Cook, Director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Climate Resilient Chickpea, as the first article in a series for climate, weather and resilient agriculture. The article titled, "Toward a More Resilient Chickpea: Q&A with Innovation Lab Director Doug Cook" LinkArrow2.jpg is available on the Agrilinks website.

An article titled "New insights into improving genetic diversity of chickpea LinkArrow2.jpg", in the March 20, 2018 Food Technology magazine newsletter, the IFTNEXT, highlights the Chickpea Lab's goals and objectives.

Chickpeas are popular, but the plant’s lack of genetic diversity is a potential detriment to its future sustainability. The lack of genetic diversity in domesticated chickpeas makes them more susceptible to extreme heat, droughts, and insects, and this could have serious implications for people around the world who depend on chickpeas as their main source of protein. So scientists have turned to the plant's wild relatives to create new varieties of chickpea plants that are more diverse, genetically speaking, allowing them to withstand various environmental stresses.

In February 2018, the team published a landmark paper in Nature Communications titled, "Ecology and genomics of an important crop wild relative as a prelude to agricultural innovation", LinkArrow2.jpg describing the diversity and functional attributes of chickpea’s cross wild relatives. 

February 22, 2018, Nature Research Ecology & Evolution Community published an article titled, "Behind the Scenes: The Hunt for Wild Chickpeas" written by Dr. Eric Bishop von Wettberg.

The Chickpea Innovation Lab annual meeting was held in India, December 2017.  The meeting talks, objectives, and attendees have been published on this website.

The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) held its public meeting, The U.S. Government's Global Food Security Research Strategy: From Upstream Research to Development Impact, on September 12, 2017 in Washington, DC.  The purpose of the meeting was to launch the new U.S. Government's Global Food Security Research Strategy and to highlight U.S. Government, university, international agricultural research center, and private sector collaboration and synergy on research to end global hunger. Professor and Program Director Douglas Cook gave a presentation titled, "Harnessing an International Network to Deliver Focused Upstream Research to Real World Outcomes in Farmer Fields". The entire meeting video is available on our Video webpage and Dr. Cook's presentation is at time 1:20:50.

The USAID program Feed the Future released their 2016 Progress Report. The report is available on the Feed the Future website. LinkArrow2.jpg

UC Davis Professor Douglas Cook gave a talk titled, "Pulses: The Heroes of Nutrition & Agricultural Sustainability." LinkArrow2.jpg on October 5, 2016.  

The UC Davis World Food Center LinkArrow2.jpg, the World Bank Agriculture Global Practice LinkArrow2.jpg and SecureNutrition LinkArrow2.jpg hosted a seminar to celebrate the UN’s International Year of Pulses. The featured speaker was UC Davis Professor Douglas Cook, who leads the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Climate-Resilient Chickpea with the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The seminar highlighted the role pulses play in nutrition and agricultural sustainability. Among other themes, Cook covered the uses of pulses in the developing world and challenges around nutrition, yield, climate change, and more.

Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family and represent 12 grain crops, including dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas and lentils. Cook shared his decades of experience on legumes in a discussion covering agriculture, nutrition, delivery systems and the challenge of linking science to the development of resilient legumes for farmers.

Video of Dr. Cook's presentation. LinkArrow2.jpg
PDF of Dr. Cook's Powerpoint Presentation LinkArrow2.jpg

USAID's Beth Dunford, Bureau for Food Security Assistant to the Administrator, discussed youth and Feed the Future at The Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit on September 28, 2016. 

Video of Dr. Dunford's talk. LinkArrow2.jpg The Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit LinkArrow2.jpg

A Food Secure 2030 – PDF LinkArrow2.jpg

Wednesday, September 7, 2016, USAID Press Office

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Gayle Smith announced a new report in Nairobi, Kenya that expands the U.S. Government's vision for ending global hunger, poverty, and undernutrition over the next 15 years.

The new report, A Food-Secure 2030, embodies the U.S. Government's approach to food security through Feed the Future and calls for developing country governments to lead by mobilizing the resources, partnerships, and policies that are required for success; donors to renew and expand their resources; private sector to deepen their engagement and investment; and civil society to utilize their collective voice and support to help translate commitments into action.  Full Press Release LinkArrow2.jpg


Obama signs Global Food Security Act to end hunger, USA Today, July 21, 2016  LinkArrow2.jpg  

A bipartisan bill promoting global food security, resilience and nutrition could make hunger history, President Obama said Wednesday during the White House Summit on Global Development. The Global Food Security Act of 2016, which the president signed before attending the summit, determined it is in the U.S. national security interest to accelerate growth that reduces poverty, hunger and malnutrition.


White House Summit on Global Development, YouTube Videos of Panel Discussions and President Obama's Remarks  LinkArrow2.jpg

On July 20, 2016, President Obama hosted the White House Summit on Global Development to recognize the progress that has been made and ensure it continues. The Summit brought together development leaders, public and private sector partners, civil society, diplomats, and entrepreneurs to discuss the progress achieved by the Administration’s approach to development and chart a course forward to continue the progress in the years ahead. There was a series of panel discussions throughout the day that highlighted President Obama's global development initiatives. President Obama gave the closing remarks.

USAID Impact Newsletter highlights the summit.


FAO Biotechnologies Symposium. WEBCAST: Facing the challenges of climate change. February 15, 2016 LinkArrow2.jpg 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Symposium includes a talk by Douglas Cook, "Molecular breeding in legumes for resource-poor farmers: Chickpea for Ethiopia and India". 


FAO Interview of Douglas Cook, University of California Davis, USA, on February 15, 2016 LinkArrow2.jpg

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations interviewed Professor Cook.  He talks about the importance of wild gene pools for improving crops and a specific project on chickpea in Ethiopia. He also points out what genetic changes in crops can make them more efficient.  


Two Florida International University Students Associated with the Chickpea Project Awarded the Botanical Society of America Young Botanist Award LinkArrow2.jpg Published on the Botanical Society of America's website, May, 2016

Botanical Society of America is pleased to announce the recipients of the YOUNG BOTANISTS awards. The purpose of these awards is to offer individual recognition to outstanding graduating seniors in the plant sciences and to encourage their participation in the Botanical Society of America.


Harnessing the Power of Crop Wild Relatives for Pulse Improvement LinkArrow2.jpgLandscapes for People, Food and Nature Blog, April 21,2016

Pulses, annual leguminous crops that include lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas, have nutritious value as a low-fat source of protein and fiber. They help to increase soil fertility by virtue of their nitrogen-fixing properties, and generally have a lower water footprint compared to most other protein sources. As valuable as current pulse varieties are, however, it is essential that pulses continue to be improved to become productive and resilient enough to meet the challenges of the 21st century ...


We Need a New Green Revolution LinkArrow2.jpg, New York Times

This Op-Ed highlights the successes of the last green revolution and emphasizes the need for additional investments in agricultural research in light of today and tomorrow’s problems.


Feed the Future: 2015 Year in Review LinkArrow2.jpg 


Feed the Future, the U.S. Government's Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, Released 2015 Reports.

Feed the Future is the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, which establishes a foundation for lasting progress against global hunger. Led by USAID, Feed the Future draws on the strengths of agencies across the U.S. Government and leverages resources and efforts with multilateral organizations, NGOs, the private sector, research institutions and other stakeholders to accelerate inclusive agricultural growth.

2015 Feed the Future Results Summary (PDF)
2015 Feed the Future Resource Guide Innovation Labs (PDF)
2015 Feed the Future Progress Report (Webpage LinkArrow2.jpg


Alex Greenspan awarded prestigious Borlaug Fellowship LinkArrow2.jpg

Alex Greenspan was awarded a Borlaug Fellowship to spend 9 months in India surveying the nitrogen-fixing bacterial symbionts of chickpea, to characterize the bacteria at the whole-genome level, and to determine better practices for optimizing nitrogen fixation in Indian chickpea production.


President Obama Announces Major Progress Through Feed the Future Initiative LinkArrow2.jpg

President Obama today announced that Feed the Future, his signature global hunger and food security initiative, is delivering on his promise to reduce hunger and malnutrition through agricultural development. New data demonstrate that, thanks in part to Feed the Future and other U.S. Government efforts, stunting rates have declined in Ethiopia, Ghana, and parts of Kenya by between 9 and 33 percent in recent years, while areas in Uganda have seen a 16 percent drop in poverty....


U.S. Universities Step Up to Fight Hunger LinkArrow2.jpg

American universities have a rich history of working with the U.S. Government to forge innovative solutions to global hunger. Since 1978, the U.S. Government has supported research programs led by some of the United States’ most prestigious academic institutions in order to help achieve sustained growth in agriculture and reduction in poverty. These programs have also provided long-term degree training in food security-related fields to more than 4,200 students from 130 countries....


USAID Sponsored Innovation Lab to Improve Chickpea Production Launched in Ethiopia LinkArrow2.jpg

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the University of California Davis (UC Davis) launched the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Climate Resilient Chickpeas housed at the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR). The 5-year, $4 million genetic research program will create more and stronger varieties of chickpea to increase smallholder farmer productivity....


The Small But Mighty Chickpea LinkArrow2.jpg 

With the rapidly expanding world population, food production must increase in tandem. USC Dornsife’s Sergey Nuzhdin is investigating how the humble chickpea may be a solution. Bumping along the dirt roads of rural southeastern Turkey in a battered Jeep, Sergey Nuzhdin and his team of collaborators got an occasional glimpse of the plumes of smoke rising across the border in war-torn Syria....


$4 million chickpea project aims to boost nutrition and environmental sustainability LinkArrow2.jpg

A new research effort, designed to improve the productivity of chickpea varieties by harnessing the genetic diversity of wild species, was launched today in Ethiopia through the federal Feed the Future Initiative and under the leadership of the University of California, Davis....


USAID Engagement at the Plant and Animal Genome Conference LinkArrow2.jpg

Global food production will need to increase by 60 percent, while facing the challenges of climate change and dwindling environmental resources, to support the estimated world population of 9 billion in 2050. To meet these demands, utilizing the genetic diversity found in crops and livestock will be crucial for the development of future plant varieties and livestock breeds that are climate resilient, disease resistant, and higher yielding...


UC Davis helps global team sequence chickpea genome LinkArrow2.jpg

An international team of scientists has sequenced the genome of the chickpea, a critically important crop in many parts of the world, especially for small-farm operators in marginal environments of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, according to an announcement from researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in India....