Pan Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) in collaboration with the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) hosted a high-level delegation from the Canadian government at Duduville campus in icipe. The delegation led by Ms. Ioanna Sahas Martin, Executive Director of Global Affairs Canada’s Pan-African and Regional Development program together with five other members including Mr. Hanif Pabani, First Secretary, Pan-Africa and Regional Development joined the visit to the two institutions.
In attendance were scientists from national research organizations who have been promoting research in Kenya and East Africa generally. Joining in were Dr. Benjamin Kivuva, Assistant Director, Crop Production and Seed System, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), David Karanja, Legumes coordinator among other scientists. Speaking on behalf of Dr. Lusike Wasilwa, Director of Crop Systems -Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Dr. Kivuva noted the progress the bean corridor has made in transforming the bean value chain. He mentioned that this innovation can be applied to other crop value chains since its positive contribution has been immense in promoting the bean trade in the country and the East African community.
Insect-based research for development for improved food and nutrition security, agro-ecosystem resilience, and equitable economic growth by icipe was an insightful presentation that showcased agroecological integration of pest management (IPM) for beans and fruit-tree crops which will be beneficial to the environment and promotes biodiversity.
Speaking at the event, Ms. Ioanna Sahas Martin noted the partnership that Canada has fostered with PABRA over the years spanning more than two decades to improve the livelihood of farmers in Africa has been commendable. The interaction between the crop and insect nexus. Beans and insects are an important source of protein and provide climate-smart solutions and food security. It is commendable of the work happening from the science of crops to the market.
In his speech, Jean Claude Rubyogo. Global Bean Coordinator and Director, PABRA noted the long-standing relationship PABRA has had with Global Affairs Canada. “The Alliance through the bean program is grateful to the significant contributions of the Canadian people through Global Affairs Canada (GAC): GAC support has been and still is key to PABRA to develop and deliver various innovations. Bean Program has been active in ensuring that the research products from discovery to delivery are scaled to consumers.
The delegation was taken through an exhibition on beans and insects making the science practical with various partners displaying their research products that are being promoted by the various partners from the bean and insect value chains. The infusion of beans and insects saw value-added products on display and the delegation getting to taste bean-based and insect-based products.
A new project, Building Equitable Climate-Resilient African Bean & Insect Sectors (BRAINS) will be a game-changer in promoting agrobiodiversity in Africa.