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The goal of the Second International Food Legume Research Conference held in Cairo, Egypt was to build on the success of the first conference held nearly 6 years earlier at Spokane, Washington, USA. It was at that first conference where the decision was made to hold the second Conference in Egypt and so near the ancestral home of these food legume crops. It has been a long held view that the cool season food legumes had their origin in the Mediterranean basin and the Near-east arc, and there is little doubt that food legumes were a staple food of the ancient Egyptian civilization. The cool season food legumes have the reputation for producing at least some yield under adverse conditions of poor fertility and limited moisture, i. e. , in circumstances where other crops are likely to fail completely. Yields of cool season food legumes are particularly poor in those regions where they are most important to local populations. The influx of more profitable crops such as wheat, maize, and soybeans have gradually relegated the food legumes to marginal areas with poor fertility and limited water which exposes them to even greater degrees of stress. In the past two decades, production of food legumes has declined in most of the developing countries while at the same time it has expanded greatly in Canada, Australia, and most notably in Turkey.