Combining Conventional, Molecular and Farmer Participatory Breeding Approaches to Improve Andean Beans for Resistance to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses in Ecuador and Rwanda


Project Code:

Start Date:

End Date:

CRSP Phase:
Phase 1, Phase 2




Lead University:

Other Partners:
Cornell University; INIAP-Ecuador; ISAR-Rwanda

Principal Investigator(s):
James D. Kelly

Co-Principal Investigator(s):
Eduardo Peralta, INIAP, Ecuador; George Abawi, CU, U.S.; Sieglinda Snapp, MSU, U.S.; Augustin Musoni, ISAR, Rwanda; Louis Butare, ISAR, Rwanda


Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is the most important grain legume (pulse) consumed in Ecuador, and the most important protein source in Rwandan diets. Around 120,000 hectares of beans are cultivated annually in Ecuador, and common bean is the most widely grown pulse in Rwanda on 300,000 hectares. Both bush and climbing beans constitute an important economic income for farmers, and staple food for thousands of Ecuadorian families, and the vast majority of small scale farmers in Rwanda.


1. Develop through traditional breeding and marker-assisted selection (MAS) a range of large-seeded Andean bean germplasm with differing combinations of resistance to major foliar diseases in contrasting bean growth habits for distribution and testing in the highlands of Ecuador, Rwanda and the Midwestern U.S. 2. Develop inbred backcross lines in a range of commercial seed types for testing under drought and root rot pressure in Ecuador, Rwanda, and the U.S. 3. Collect and characterize pathogenic and genetic variability of isolates of root and foliar pathogens in Ecuador and Rwanda. 4. Employ participatory plant breeding and cropping system assessment to assist the breeding process in Ecuador and Rwanda to enhance productivity and marketability of beans under development. 5. Capacity building


- The development and release of locally adapted, acceptable, and disease resistant bean cultivars for the major production regions in Rwanda, Ecuador, and Michigan. - Increased sustainable productivity and profitability of bean production, due to increased yield and reduced inputs. - Improved grower income and stability of bean production contributing to better nutrition and health of farm families. - Increased awareness and knowledge of participatory breeding methods, root health, and soil health issues to further improve bean productivity, long-term land management, and environmental risk. - Identification of germplasm sources to benefit improved, select bean traits for the U.S. market. - Enhanced human resource development, gender equity, and improved infrastructure capacity of participating institutions in Rwanda and Ecuador. - The project forged closer collaboration with Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST). RAB provided KIST with 20 newly released varieties for postharvest and processing studies under CRSP MSU/ISU collaboration to build synergy between the KIST-led PULSES CRSP ISU and the current project in integrating agronomic and market traits with the nutritional and quality attributes of new bean varieties released and being developed by RAB. - A bean stakeholder meeting was organized in RAB eastern zone to initiate platforms for main actors in bean production chains. International NGOs, including AFRICARE, ADRA, CARITAS Rwanda, and Catholic Relief Services were among key partners this year 2012. Local NGOs, such as DERN, INGABO, CSC, IMBARAGA, and individual farmers contributed to the dissemination of new bean technologies. - The program interacted with more than 10 different NGOs in Ecuador.

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