Legumes are an important source of protein for humans and animals. They provide nutritionally rich crop residues for animal feed, and playa key role in maintaining the productivity of soils particularly through biological nitro gen fixation. They are, therefore, of immense value in rainfed farming systems. The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) has a responsibility for research on food, pasture, and forage legumes. The Center also has the broad objective of improving livestock production in rainfed farming systems. Although food legumes have be n known and grown by farmers in the WANA region for a long time, their productivity has remained low and variable. Forage legumes, on the other hand, are not so well known by farmers of the region, and their role in the farming systems is not so well understood. Thus, we need to develop the concept of using forage legumes as crops and to fit them into cropping systems. In its efforts to increase the productivity of food legumes and develop the legume-based crop/livestock systems, ICARDA has established a network of scientists in the different National Agricultural Research Systems in the region. To further strengthen this network, ICARDA convened a workshop on 'The Role of Legumes in the Farming Systems of Mediterranean Areas' in Tunis, Tunisia, 20-24 June 1988. This workshop was co-sponsored by UNDP, who also contributed funds for this publication.