The International Mungbean Improvement Network helps unlock the potential of mungbean to improve system productivity and livelihoods



Mungbean (Vigna radiata (L.) R. Wilczek var. radiata), also known as green gram or moong, is suitable for regions of the world where mean diurnal temperatures are above 20°C during the growing season. Currently, the crop is mostly produced in South, East and Southeast Asia and in East Africa, but there is potential for expansion in West Africa, Central Asia and South America. The global mungbean area is about 7.3 million ha and global output is about 5.3 million tons (2015-17) with India and Myanmar each supplying about 30% of this, China 16%, and Indonesia 5%. Mungbean has much potential to feed future populations because it is relatively tolerant of heat and drought stress and the grains are a good source of protein and iron for human nutrition. In East and Southeast Asia, it is consumed as nutritious bean sprouts, in South Asia it is eaten as dahl, while in East Asia it is also used for making transparent noodles and paste to fill pastries such as mooncakes.

Average global grain yields of mungbean are quite low at 0.73 t/ha and there is much potential to develop better performing varieties. International collaboration has been a key feature of mungbean breeding research for decades. Many of the cultivated varieties are based on breeding work coordinated by the World Vegetable Center and using germplasm resources shared by breeding programs in the Philippines, India, Thailand, Pakistan and other countries.

To strengthen such international collaboration in the light of future global challenges of nutrition security and climate change, the World Vegetable Center established the International Mungbean Improvement Network (IMIN) in 2016 with funding support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). This network aims to connect mungbean researchers from around the world to openly share experiences, knowledge and technologies based on common principles of cooperation as laid down in a Memorandum of Agreement.

To date, IMIN has led to the development of mungbean core and mini-core collections for breeding to better exploit the potential of the available mungbean genetic resources. This collection has been tested in various countries in Asia and Africa, which led to the discovery of many novel plant traits such as new sources of mungbean yellow mosaic virus resistance, salt and heat tolerance, and variations in iron and protein content.

Parties interested to join the network and invited to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with the World Vegetable Center (the template is available upon request). The agreement specifies general Principles of Cooperation to promote the open sharing of knowledge, experiences and technologies. Membership is free of charge. Benefits include a regular newsletter with updates on mungbean research, participation in an annual mungbean workshop, and the potential to develop new projects and collaborations with like-minded researchers. Improved mungbean breeding lines and genebank accessions are available from WorldVeg for members and non-members (

For more information, please contact Ram Nair, WorldVeg Global Legume Breeder ( or Pepijn Schreinemachers, WorldVeg Flagship Program Leader for Enabling Impact (


  • International Mungbean Improvement Network: The network strengthens local mungbean research, pre-breeding and variety development capacity to generate farmer-accepted improved varieties. It is overseen by a Reference Group consisting of senior managers from mungbean research institutions in member countries. The network plans and executes mungbean variety improvement and implement training activities for researchers and extension services. The network ensures ownership of the research by national scientists and mobilizes synergies between research institutions in participating countries.
  • Improve access to mungbean genetic diversity for researchers to source traits required for future elite varieties: The network provides a genetically diverse mungbean mini-core collection to members and coordinates multi-location evaluation of the collection to identify and characterize desired traits conferring biotic and abiotic stress resistance, agronomic adaptation, and grain quality for discerning markets. It generates mungbean introgression lines from crosses with related species to give breeders access to novel traits that are currently missing in the mungbean gene pool.
  • Develop improved mungbean germplasm and elite lines: The International Mungbean Improvement Network coordinates and technically supports improvement activities in member countries. Mungbean lines combining key disease resistance traits with abiotic stress tolerance and desirable agronomic traits are produced and submitted to farmers for participatory selection. Selected lines will be channeled into variety release pipelines by network members.


Bangladesh Agricultural Research InstituteBangladesh
Department of Agricultural ResearchMyanmar
East-West Seed International Ltd.Thailand
General Directorate of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Cambodia
Indian Institute of Pulses ResearchIndia
Indonesian Agency for Research and Development (IAARD)Indonesia
Kasetsart UniversityThailand
National Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development Research Institute (NAFRI)Lao PDR
Queensland Department of Agriculture and FisheriesAustralia
Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA)Switzerland
University of the Philippines Los BañosPhilippines
Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS)Vietnam
National Semi Arid Resources Research Institute / National Agriculture Research Organisation (NaSARRI/NARO)Uganda
Dr. Ramakrishnan M. Nair
World Vegetable Center South Asia
ICRISAT Campus, Patancheru 502 324
Hyderabad, Telangana

Tel: + 91 40 3071 3756, Fax: + 91 40 3071 3074

Email: ramakrishnan.nair(at)

Dr. Pepijn Schreinemachers
World Vegetable Center East and Southeast Asia
P.O. Box 1010 (Kasetsart)
Bangkok 10903

Tel +66-2-9428686 or +66-2-9428687




Mung Central is the newsletter of the International Mungbean Improvement Network.


  • Phase II for mungbean Posted on: June 23, 2020
    The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the World Vegetable Center inked an agreement for Phase II of the International Mungbean Improvement Network (IMIN) on 15 June 2020 to connect mungbean researchers from around the world to openly share experiences, knowledge and technologies based on common principles of cooperation.
  • Winning a grant for the greater good Posted on: January 15, 2020
    Illumina awarded Dr. Roland Schafleitner and the International Mungbean Improvement Network (IMIN) the 12th annual Illumina Agricultural Greater Good Initiative Grant for generating genomic resources for mungbean breeding.
  • Tuta absoluta management and mungbean cultivation in Tajikistan Posted on: October 16, 2019
    Agriculture is vital to the Central Asian country's economy; knowledge dissemination strengthens farmers' capacity to manage pests, risks, and crops. 
  • Mungbean messenger Posted on: October 4, 2019
    Learn more about the network and its outcomes, which will help to unlock the potential of mungbean to improve system productivity and livelihoods.
  • Thanks for your support! Posted on: October 3, 2019
    UK aid and the British people understand the importance of producing safe, nutritious and diverse crops for healthy diets as climates change—and are providing the support to make it happen.
  • Expanding the Mungbean Network Posted on: May 28, 2019
    There’s plenty of room for more countries to participate in an international network devoted to this remarkable legume.


Enhancing farmers’ access to improved mungbean varieties and good agricultural practices in Southeast Asia
Report from a regional workshop held 23-24 April 2019 at Kasetsart University, Thailand.


Bindumadhava, H., Nair, R. M., Nayyar, H., Riley, J. J., & Easdown, W. (2017). Mungbean production under a changing climate – insights from growth physiology. Mysore Journal of Agricultural Sciences 51(1):21-26.

Bindumadhava, H., Sharma, L., Nair, R. M., Nayyar, H., Riley, J. J., & Easdown, W. (2018). High-temperature-tolerant mungbean (Vigna radiata L.) lines produce better yields when exposed to higher CO2 levels. Journal of Crop Improvement, 32(3): 418-430. doi:10.1080/15427528.2018.1439132

Bindumadhava, H., Nair, R. M., & Nayyar, H. (2016). Salinity and high temperature tolerance in mungbean [Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek] from a physiological perspective. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7:957. doi:10.3389/fpls.2016.00957

Manasa, R., Rameshraddy, Bindumadhava, H., Nair, R. M., Prasad, T. G., & Shankar, A. G. (2017). Screening mungbean (Vigna radiata L.) lines for salinity tolerance using salinity induction response technique at seedling and physiological growth assay at whole plant level. International Journal of Plant, Animal and Environmental Sciences, 7(4):1-12.

Nair, R. M., Götz, M., Winter, S., Giri, R. R., Boddepalli, V. N., Sirari, A, Kenyon, L. (2017). Identification of mungbean lines with tolerance or resistance to yellow mosaic in fields in India where different begomovirus species and different Bemisia tabaci cryptic species predominate. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 149(2), 349-365. doi:10.1007/s10658-017-1187-8

Nair, R., & Schreinemachers, P. (2019). Global status and Economic Importance of Mungbean. In R. Nair, R. Schafleitner, & S. H. Lee (Eds.), The Mungbean Genome: Springer Nature.

Rani, S., Schreinemachers, P., & Kuziyev, B. (2018). Mungbean as a catch crop for dryland systems in Pakistan and Uzbekistan: A situational analysis. Cogent Food & Agriculture, 4(1), 1499241. doi:10.1080/23311932.2018.1499241

Schafleitner, R., Nair, R. M., Rathore, A., Wang, Y.-w., Lin, C.-y., Chu, S.-h, Ebert, A. W. (2015). The AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center mungbean (Vigna radiata) core and mini core collections. BMC Genomics, 16(1), 344. doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1556-7

Schreinemachers, P., Sequeros, T., Rani, S., Rashid, M. A., Gowdru, N. V., Rahman, M. S, Nair, R. M. (2019). Counting the beans: quantifying the adoption of improved mungbean varieties in South Asia and Myanmar. Food Security, 11(3), 623-634. doi:10.1007/s12571-019-00926-x