Isabel Cachomba; Cynthia Donovan
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A poster presented at the 2012 Global Pulse Researchers Meeting, Kigali, Rwanda- “Transforming Grain-Legume Systems to Enhance Nutrition and Livelihoods”. Abstract: Common beans have an important role in enhancing food security and farmer’s household income in Mozambique. Although beans are usually high priced in the market, yields remain very low (from 200 to 500 kg/ha) and production is seasonal. This study analyses the common bean value chain in Mozambique, characterizing bean production and trade. The study also reveals different actors of the bean value chain in order to identify opportunities for agricultural research and policy interventions. Beans are mostly produced using rainfed manual cultivation systems in the central and northern provinces of the country with low external input use. This results in small cropped areas and low bean yields. Overall, slightly more than half of the beans produced are marketed. Usually, brokers and assemblers buy in center and north to sell in the major cities of southern Mozambique. The trade is dynamic and traders and producers respond quickly to changing market signals within these markets, although there is some rigidity in the varieties that traders from the South are willing to buy. The lack of price information, transportation infrastructure, adequate storage conditions and efficient processing techniques are significant constraints to bean marketing. Varietal mixing and shortened storage period due to problems with pests are two key problems in bean marketing. Agricultural research into varieties and cropping cycles with market opportunities can improve market opportunities. Market information can play an even greater role in developing markets and improving profitability for farmers.