Smart beans help farmers cope with global warming – CIAT on Deutsche Welle

Smart beans help farmers cope with global warming – CIAT on Deutsche Welle

The eyes of the world are on Paris as leaders from 195 countries continue to hammer out a global agreement on how to address climate change, a threat that is expected to have huge impact on the ability of some communities to grow food.

Take beans, for example. Beans are a cheap and healthy diet staple for millions, especially in developing countries. But they don’t like the heat. Some studies estimate that global warming could halve bean production by 2050.

While ministers negotiate a new 29 page draft agreement, a senior bean researcher at CIAT – Steve Beebe – spoke to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle about the threat rising temperatures pose to beans, and how a new bean developed to survive drought and heat could be a game changer for bean production, especially in east Africa.

Listen to his interview

Beans are grown, eaten and sold around the world and are especially popular in East Africa. Estimates suggest the new heat-beating bean, currently being tested in Colombia at CIAT’s headquarters, could enable farmers to expand bean production in east Africa into lowland areas, making a huge positive contribution to food security and incomes.

Find out more about beans that beat the heat.


The UN has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYP2016). Pulses, including beans, cowpea and chickpea, are a primary source of protein and other essential nutrients. The year will be used to promote discussion and cooperation at national, regional and global levels to increase awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by pulse farmers. Find out more about CIAT and IYP2016.

Interested in pulses? Don’t miss the Pan-African Grain Legume and World Cowpea Conference in Livingstone, Zambia from 28 February to 4 March 2016.

Co-hosted by IITA, the Legume Innovation Lab, CIAT and partners, the event has been selected as one of 11 UN signature events during IYP2016. It will bring together more than 400 scientists, academics, farmers and business people from Africa and throughout the world to showcase the latest scientific agriculture research on pulses in the region. Conference themes include: human nutrition and diets, genetic improvement, gender and youth, seed systems, climate resilience, plant pathology, integrated pest management, linking farmers to markets, and value chains.