The Pan Africa Bean Research Alliance Celebrates 25 years of Bean Research

Kigali, 5 September 2022; For 25 years, the Pan Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) has seen impactful transformation in Africa. Over 37,000 bean types, with high iron, resistance to diseases such as root rots, heat tolerance, drought tolerance, and insect resilience, have been bred in and made available to 31 countries in Africa through international scientific collaboration deployed through the network. On average, farmers now earn US$1,000 more and US$500-800 more per hectare, per season with new beans in irrigated and rainfed conditions respectively.

PABRA is celebrating 25 years of successful bean breeding with 31 countries.  the celebration is as a side event at the AGRF Summit this year which convene stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to share lessons on successful approaches that enable smallholder farmers and other agricultural value chain actors earn decent livelihoods. The celebrations themed Beans Is How: Championing and transforming beans in Africa through science and partnerships in an ever-changing climate.

This PABRA side event comes in partnership with the UN SDG 2 advocacy hub and is graced by Hon. Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Minister of Agriculture, Rwanda, Dr. Patrick Karangwa – Director General, Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) and other distinguished speakers from different sectors.

 “Through our partnership with PABRA, we have been able to develop systems that enable more farmers and consumers to benefit from the beans, integrating value chains to markets for local, national, and international impact. Using good agricultural practices, farmers can grow enough beans for their own families and to sell. This provides an opportunity to empower themselves economically while feeding their families, community and beyond.” Says Dr. Karangwa Patrick, the Director General, RAB.

“Through our strong partnerships, we are confident that we can build on PABRA’s success to double the production and consumption of beans across the continent, to make sustainable and nutritious food accessible to all. We are confident that beans can improve the food security, income and health of smallholder farmers and urban dwellers, as well as contribute to improving soil fertility. Not only in Africa, but across the globe,” remarked Juan Lucas Restrepo, Director General of the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT & CGIAR Global Director of Partnerships and Advocacy.

As confirmed by the PABRA Director Jean Claude Rubyogo, PABRA is privileged to mark this jubilee milestone. “We are most proud of the global bean breeding programs, a collaboration between Africa and Latin America through the global genebank. We have saved over 37,000 bean types through the Future Seeds Initiative. PABRA member countries have seen great transformations in the bean value chain through technology innovations such as demand driven breeding, where farmer- and market-preferred beans are bred. Additionally, we are driving bean commercialization through the Bean Corridor to maximize bean trade in sub-Saharan Africa. Beans are also an answer to the ever-changing climate environment.” He said.