Press and News Celebrating 25 years of bean research in Africa

PABRA 25 LogoKigali, 5 September 2022 - For 25 years, the Pan Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) has seen impactful transformation in Africa. Over 37,000 bean types, with high iron, resistance to diseases such as root rots, heat tolerance, drought tolerance, and insect resilience, have been bred in and made available to 31 countries in Africa through international scientific collaboration deployed through the network. On average, farmers now earn US$1,000 more and US$500-800 more per hectare, per season with new beans in irrigated and rain-fed conditions respectively.  

PABRA is celebrating 25 years of successful bean breeding across 31 countries with a side event at the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2022 Summit, which convenes stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to share lessons on successful approaches that enable smallholder farmers and other agricultural value chain actors earn decent livelihoods. The celebrations themed Beans Is How: Championing and transforming beans in Africa through science and partnerships in an ever-changing climate are taking place on 5 September in Kigali. 

The PABRA side event will be in partnership with the UN SDG 2 advocacy hub and will be graced by Hon. Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Minister of Agriculture, Rwanda, Dr. Patrick Karangwa – Director General, Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) and other distinguished speakers from different sectors.  

Speaking at the event, Dr. Karangwa, says:

“Through our partnership with PABRA, we have been able to develop systems that enable more farmers and consumers to benefit from the beans, integrating value chains to markets for local, national, and international impact. Using good agricultural practices, farmers are able to grow enough beans for their own families and to sell. This provides an opportunity to empower themselves economically while feeding their families, community and beyond.”  

“Through our strong partnerships, we are confident that we can build on PABRA’s success to double the production and consumption of beans across the continent, to make sustainable and nutritious food accessible to all. We are confident that beans can improve the food security, income and health of smallholder farmers and urban dwellers, as well as contribute to improving soil fertility. Not only in Africa, but across the globe,” remarked Juan Lucas Restrepo, Director General of the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT & CGIAR Global Director of Partnerships and Advocacy. 

PABRA Director Jean Claude Rubyogo said:

“PABRA is privileged to mark this jubilee milestone. We are most proud of the global bean breeding programs, a collaboration between Africa and Latin America through the global genebank. We have saved over 37,000 bean types through the Future Seeds Initiative. PABRA member countries have seen great transformations in the bean value chain through technology innovations such as demand driven breeding, where farmer- and market-preferred beans are bred. Additionally, we are driving bean commercialization through the Bean Corridor to maximize bean trade in sub-Saharan Africa. Beans are also an answer to the ever-changing climate environment.”

About the Pan Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) 

PABRA is all about beans. We believe that beans can improve the food security, income and health of smallholder farmers and urban dwellers across Africa, as well as contribute to improved soil fertility. We also believe that by increasing the competitiveness of bean markets, we can provide consumers with better products and contribute to the economic growth of our member countries. We work with more than 350 partners and members across 31 countries to do just that. Together, we deliver better beans for Africa. 

About CGIAR and the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT 

The CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food secure future dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources. CGIAR has experience and knowledge spanning 50 years, built on a track-record of continuous innovation and world class research.  

The Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT, a member of the CGIAR, delivers research-based solutions that harness agricultural biodiversity and sustainably transform food systems to improve people’s lives. The Alliance’s solutions address the global crises of malnutrition, climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation.