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Introduction

The USAID Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) is a research for development project begun in 2013. SIL comprises a team of 45 U.S. researchers who began work principally in Ghana, where success created requests that have the team now working in 17 countries, mostly in Africa. SIL’s research for development approach involves deep collaboration serving 80 organizations who seek technical assistance and technologies to solve the fundamental problems that limit their success with soybean. The University of Illinois serves as the lead institution, accompanied by the University of Missouri and Mississippi State University.

Recently, SIL was asked to provide a series of articles describing the state of soybean development in Sub-Saharan Africa that leveraged the expertise of our multidisciplinary team. What follows in this special issue are 12 short articles that describe key aspects of soybean development in Africa from the multiple disciplines that comprise the Soybean Innovation Lab. Please access our annual report to learn more about SIL’s impacts, or contact Amy Karagiannakis at the Soybean Innovation Lab at soybeaninnovationlab@illinois.edu for more information on any of the topics, or if you would like to collaborate with the team.

The Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab is the United States Agency for International Development’s only comprehensive program dedicated to soybean value chain research for development. The Soybean Innovation Lab is building a foundation for soybean production in Africa by developing the knowledge, innovation, and technologies to enable successful soybean production. As part of the Feed the Future initiative, the Soybean Innovation Lab works to reduce global poverty and hunger by accelerating growth in the agriculture sector through improvements in agricultural productivity among smallholder farmers.

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