Improving Bean Production in Drought-Prone, Low Fertility Soils of Africa and Latin America


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CRSP Phase:
Phase 1, Phase 2

Not Available

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Principal Investigator(s):
Jonathan P. Lynch

Co-Principal Investigator(s):
Kathleen Brown, PSU, USA Roland Chirwa, CIAT, Malawi Jill Findeis, PSU, USA; Celestina Jochua, IIAM, Mozambique; Magalhaes Miguel, IIAM, Mozambique; Juan Carlos Rosas, EAP, Honduras; Soares Almeida Xerinda, IIAM, Mozambique; Rose Mongi-Henday, ARI - Uyole, Tanzania


Drought and low soil fertility are principal, pervasive constraints to bean production in Latin America and Africa.

The vast majority of bean producers in poor countries cannot afford irrigation and intensive fertilization.Bean genotypes vary substantially for root traits that determine their tolerance to drought and low soil fertility, making it feasible to increase yields in low-input systems through genetic improvement. To exploit the potential of this approach, we need intelligent deployment of root traits in bean breeding programs, and better understanding of the socioeconomic and agroecological factors determining the adoption and impact of stress tolerant crops and cropping systems.


1. Develop bean genotypes with improved tolerance to drought and low P 2. Develop integrated crop management systems for stress tolerant bean genotypes 3. Understand constraints to adoption of new bean technologies, income and nutrition potential, and intra-household effects and impacts 4. Capacity Building


This project's achievements include the development of new bean lines with greater tolerance to drought and low soil fertility in Central America and Mozambique; phenotypic profiling of many bean lines for root traits of value for bean breeding; the discovery of new traits that can be used to select stress-tolerant cultivars; the discovery of genetic markers controlling these traits; the characterization of several important agro ecological benefits from bean lines with superior root traits, including reduced soil erosion, enhanced water utilization, and greater biological N fixation; comprehensive analysis of community preferences for bean lines and obstacles to seed dissemination; and training of bean researchers from Mozambique.

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