A campaign in Africa to make beans the answer to food insecurity in areas affected by climate change will begin next week, with a focus on Kenya. A coalition of proponents will present its roadmap for increased production and consumption of beans and similar foods like lentils and peas at the Africa Food Systems Forum, to be held in Dar es Salaam.
Jean Claude Rubyogo, head of the Pan-African Bean Research Alliance (PABRA), an organisation that pushes for beans as a source of food and income for the continent, said the first step is to help farmers grow more beans.
The climate crisis has affected bean farming just as it has impacted other crops. Unpredictable weather patterns have made it challenging for farmers to cultivate beans and get good harvests.
Experts say low awareness among farmers about utilizing the proper seed varieties for their specific local conditions has led to reduced yields. The presence of pests and diseases has also played a role in declining bean production.
Experts are also working on beans that can take less cooking time, saving families energy and time.Despite not producing enough beans, according to the Global Diet Quality Project, half of Kenyans eat pulses daily.