Climbing Beans In Rwanda: Development, Impact, And Challenges
Kimani, P. M
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Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) are the second major contributor of dietary protein in East and Central Africa. With an adoption rate of 50% among farmers just 10 years after their introduction, improved climbing beans are fast replacing the bush type, raising on-farm productivity and contributing significantly to the GDP in Rwanda. Due to their yield advantage of 150% to 300% and better disease resistance, climbing beans have shown great potential for intensified production in other densely populated, humid, root-rot infested highlands in southern Uganda and central and western Kenya, as well as northern Tanzania, where improved varieties of climbing beans released in Rwanda have been introduced in recent years. The economic returns from growing climbers have encouraged farmers to invest in species like Leucaena and Calliandra to overcome staking problems, which has, at the same time, enabled farmers to exploit other values of the species, such as soil protection, soil improvement, fodder for ruminants, or a source of cooking fuel. Current research by Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Rwanda (ISAR) aims at developing climbing beans with red and red-mottled seed, having multiple disease resistance to meet the internal, regional, and international market demand.