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Farmers are full of beans

Published by:
Publication date
Type of Publication:
Working Papers & Briefs
Focus Region:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Agricultural Value Chains / Agri-Businesses

The common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is a major source of protein and calories in the diet of poor people in eastern, central and southern Africa. Grown largely for subsistence, and mainly by women, the leaves are used as a vegetable and the beans are eaten fresh or dried, while the haulm (stems and pod shells) is fed to livestock. Some 40% of the total production in Africa is marketed at an annual value of US$ 452 million. Insect pests and diseases are a major constraint to bean productivity causing annual losses of 430,000 tonnes in eastern and southern Africa alone. Previously, pest management technologies have been developed but their adoption has been limited to pilot sites.