• Building stronger bean systems

    Strong seed systems are essential to ensure farmers can access quality seed and new crop varieties. Across Sub-Saharan Africa, the seed systems that feed bean production are unable to meet farmers’ needs, especially when compared to more commercial crops, such as maize. This week (2 December 2014) a new project was launched that will commercialise […]

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  • Syngenta Foundation – sowing the seeds for stronger seed systems

    The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture is backing CIATs efforts, through PABRA, to strengthen bean seed systems in sub-Saharan Africa in collaboration with CIAT (through PABRA) and partners. The three year pilot project will focus on three countries – Burundi, Rwanda and Kenya – and aim to engage private sector companies in bean seed systems to stimulate sustainable bean […]

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  • The promise of beans in the fight against malnutrition

    The idea that agriculture must not only feed us enough, it must also feed us well, has gained much traction on the development and research agenda in recent years. As with gender before it, nutrition has become part of the mainstream research agenda, not least within the CGIAR, which mainstreamed nutrition into most of its […]

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  • Battling pests and diseases in Western Kenya

    Despite major successes in the continuous battle against the pests and diseases that blight agricultural production, millions of farmers across the world still lose part or their entire crop every year, affecting food security and livelihoods. Take cassava for example. Scientists in Asia are battling witches broom, which is devastating yields in the region. And […]

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  • New approach launched to fight malnutrition in Rwanda

    Rwanda’s fight against malnutrition, which affects nearly half of all children under two, stepped up a notch this month. A new survey targeting children under 24 months and women of reproductive age will root out the underlying causes of under nutrition, leading to new approaches to tackle the problem. Commissioned by the Rwandan Ministry of […]

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  • Rethinking seed aid in times of disaster

    Drought in Ethiopia, flooding in Pakistan, earthquake in Haiti, conflict in Congo… Every year, the worlds’ vulnerable are hit by natural and manmade disasters, the frequency of which is set to increase, according to the latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) into the impact of climate change. Urgent action to mitigate and adapt to […]

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  • Breeding better beans in Tanzania

    Kablanketi is a popular bean in Tanzania, known for its fast cooking time and palatable taste. It is thought to have been introduced into the country as far back as 1948. Today, bean breeders at the Tanzanian Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) are using Kablanketi to develop new varieties. The following is a revised article […]

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  • Unlocking Kenya’s bean value chain

    In western Kenya’s drought-prone Narok District, Pastor Stanley Shunkuru (pictured) surveys his land. Today it lies barren, the sun burnt leaves of the last of his bean crop swaying in the breeze. And yet he smiles. The bean season is over and his crop has already been harvested. This season his one acre plot yielded […]

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  • Adapting beans to a changing climate

    Adapting agriculture to the adverse effects of climate change is vital, none more so for smallholder farmers who tend to suffer the brunt of varying temperatures and rainfall patterns. PABRA bean breeder, Clare Mukankusi, reports on how a participatory action research project could help farmers adapt to the immediate effects of climate variability. This story […]

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  • Good things come in small packages

    Smallholder farms are just that, small. Small farms, and, invariably, small incomes.While the one of the aims of agricultural research is to increase productivity and create bigger incomes, when it comes to finding solutions, it often pays to think small – a tactic PABRA used to have a big impact on seed systems across Africa. It […]

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