Climbing beans reach new heights in Rwanda

Already one of the most densely populated countries in the world, the United Nations predicts that Rwanda’s population of around 11 million people is set to nearly quadruple by the turn of the century.

With a pressing need to sustainably boost food production in the country, the photo film An Upward Spiral showcases one promising initiative – the introduction and widespread adoption of improved climbing beans.

By virtue of growing several feet high, climbing beans can be up to three times more productive than commonly-grown bush beans, on the same area of land.

By virtue of growing several feet high, climbing beans can be up to three times more productive than commonly-grown bush beans, on the same area of land.

In just a few years the improved varieties have become the beans-of-choice for many smallholders, and their high productivity has transformed beans in Rwanda from subsistence to cash crops. As you’ll see in this photofilm, the country has quickly become a bean exporter.

While far from a magic bullet, improved climbing beans could be one in a broad package of measures that could help ease the effects of intense – and increasing – population pressure in Rwanda.

This story was originally posted by CIAT on 29 January 2013. The photofilm was produced by Neil Palmer for CIAT/PABRA in

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