Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is the world’s most important legume for human consumption. In Kenya, the consumption and contribution of common beans to human nutrition is relatively high with the per capita consumption estimated at 14 kg per year, but can be as high as 66 kg/year in western parts of the country

Implemetation Details

In the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands Agricultural Productivity Research Project (ASAL APRP), through on-station and on-farm participatory varietal selection, 1 high yielding droughttolerant bean variety and 3 high yielding micronutrient rich beans for medium and high potential areas were officially released for production.

However, these newly released varieties have not been integrated into farming and production systems to enable the farmers and traders benefit from them. In addition, production and dissemination of new varieties takes a longer period to be adopted by farmers unless pro-active innovative methodologies are employed. Moreover, the private sector players require the bean grain produced in sufficient quantities and quality.

This is achievable through organized production and marketing and enhancing consumption of micronutrient rich beans as pull to production by small holder farmers. Production of quality grain of beans in adequate volumes has been a challenge. This has partly been contributed by farmers not organized into efficient production and marketing entities that are operating in a competitive business environment.

These farmers are not organized regionally (bean corridors) for producing tradable volumes. Bean producers have also not been exposed to the new high yielding micro-nutrient rich bean varieties. In addition, sustaining the farmer groups have been a challenge. Beans are grown mainly by women yet access and control of income is dominated by men.

There are minimal opportunities to attract the youth in agricultural production. Limited information and weak linkages among beans value chain actors has led to low quality and inadequate production of beans.