Enhancing Nutritional Value and Marketability of Beans through Research and Strengthening Key Value Chain Stakeholders in Uganda and Rwanda

CRSP:   |  Region:   |  Topic: ,   |  Database:

Project Code:

Start Date:

End Date:

CRSP Phase:
Phase 1, Phase 2




Lead University:

Other Partners:
National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI); Volunteer Efforts for Development Concerns (VEDCO); Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST); VEDCO; Makerere University

Principal Investigator(s):
Robert E. Mazur

Co-Principal Investigator(s):
Suzanne Hendrich, ISU, U.S.; Helen Jensen, ISU, U.S.; Patricia Murphy, ISU, U.S.; Manju Reddy, ISU, U.S.; Mark Westgate, ISU, U.S.; Dorothy Nakimbugwe, Makerere, Uganda; Michael Ugen, National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), Uganda; Henry Kizito Musoke, Volunteer Efforts for Development Concern (VEDCO), Uganda; Hilda Vasanthakaalam, Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST); Rwanda Agnes Nakimuli, VEDCO, Uganda; Gabriel Elepu, Makerere, Uganda; Barnabas Kiiza, Makerere University, Uganda


Agriculture in East Africa is characterized by women and men working in small scale, rainfed production, averaging 2 hectares per household (FAO 2006). Erratic bimodal rainfall patterns in recent years further challenge cropping results (ARB 2007). Farmers have very limited access to extension, training, inputs (quality seeds, fertilizers, etc.), improved agronomic practices, new technologies, and credit (KDA 2004; Nkonya et al. 2004). Producers are not well linked with profitable markets, especially to emerging sectors of domestic and regional markets (Ehui & Pender 2005). Private traders operate on a small scale with limited investment capability. Availability and use of processed products at present remain very modest. As a result of low production levels, hunger is widespread (WFP 2006) and the vast majority of the rural population lives in absolute poverty (KDA 2004).


1. To improve harvested bean grain yield and quality (a) determine and prioritize key production constraints of five priority bean varieties, (b) improve quality and yields of beans through evaluation of better production practices, (c) evaluate and reduce post-harvest losses, and (d) strengthen farmers' collective capabilities to learn and share innovative practices. 2. To enhance nutritional value and appeal of beans through appropriate handling and processing, by (a) determine the influence of agronomic conditions on nutritional quality of beans, (b) determine the influence of processing on the nutritional and sensory quality of beans; and (c) develop processing techniques with improved efficiency, feasibility and consumer acceptance of bean-based food products. 3. To identify solutions for constraints to increased marketing and consumption (a) identify solutions to production and marketing constraints faced by bean producers, (b) characterize consumer demand and preferences for beans and agro-processed products; and (c) increase awareness of benefits of consuming beans and value-added products and their access to new products. 4. To increase the capacity, effectiveness, and sustainability of national agriculture research institutions that serve the bean sector in Uganda and Rwanda.


- This project has mentored 27 students for degree training. - Sixty-seven farmers (58 women and 9 men) have participated in short-term trainings for farmers in Kamuli. Other members of farmer groups have also participated in the training sessions. At least 954 households have benefitted directly from CRSP project interventions, 104 more than anticipated. - Four (4) technologies and management practices are under research, four (4) under field testing, and 12 ready for transfer. The 381 additional hectares under improved technologies or management practices exceed the anticipated 350. - Farmers' marketing associations in two subcounties are benefitting directly from project activities. The project provided technical assistance directly to at least 82 community-based organizations in which women constitute the majority of members. There are four host country partner organizations benefitting. The public–private sector partnership between Makerere University and Nutreal Limited is being established as a result of this project.

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