Crops Research Institute highlights importance of common beans

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CSIR

The Crops Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has highlighted the importance of common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) as a food, secured with high nutrition and has potential for higher incomes for producers.

CSIRThese beans are key sources of protein, calories, vitamins and minerals, iron and zinc.

The nutritional advantages of common beans have been further enhanced through biofortification.

At a workshop involving the major stakeholders on the common beans value chain at Fumesua, near Ejisu in the Ashanti Region, Dr, Emmanuel Asamoah Adjei, a Seed Scientist, at the CSIR-CRI, said it was critical to engage the stakeholders on the importance of the various varieties of the beans which had already been released by the Institute.

He said the varieties, which included “Ennepa”, “Semanhyia”, “Nsroma” and “Adoye” were not common on the markets and there was the need to engage stakeholders further to expose the product and its benefits in contributing to the nutrition, health, and socio-economic well-being of the people.

Dr Adjei explained that after the workshop, the stakeholders, made up of seed producers, seed processors, seed growers/farmers, food processors, would be in a better position to disseminate the technology (new bean varieties) for farmers to be aware and maximize the production of the crop.

The Seed Scientist was confident that if Ghanaian farmers adopted these early maturing and high yielding varieties, the cost of the importation of baked beans would reduce drastically.

He pointed out that, common beans were one of the cash crops for Eastern and Southern African countries, adding that, if Ghana could produce in huge quantities to feed its people, it could also consider exporting for foreign exchange.

Common beans, according to Dr Adjei, thrived in most parts of Ghana and it was important the private sector invested in its production and technology to help create jobs.

Dr. Stephen Yeboah, Senior Research Scientist at CSIR-CRI, hinted that the Instituted had initiated a two-year project to promote sustainable farming through development and dissemination of rice-bean cropping systems.

The Project titled “Developing and Deploying Drought Tolerant High Iron Bean Varieties that fit the Legume-Rice Crop Rotation in Ghana, is being funded by the Alliance for Green Revolution of Africa.

It will be implemented by the CSIR-CRI in collaboration with the Alliance for Biodiversity International and CIAT through the Pan-African Bean Research Alliance.

Dr. Yeboah said the Project would release two drought-tolerant bean varieties to smallholder farmers to address climate change associated problems as well as evaluate and release two high iron and zinc bean varieties to reduce malnutrition.

Professor James Yaw Asibuo, a Principal Research Scientist, CSIR-CRI, said Ghana was going to benefit from maximizing bean production.

“We are not only looking at exports, but we also want to see the value chain where a lot of people including processors, seed growers, processors into animal feed, consumers and others in the production cycle will benefit.”

The stakeholders after the meeting inspected the common bean seed production fields at CRI.

The Institute used the meeting to sign a memorandum of understanding with the seed companies to project the production of quality and viable seeds for farmers.

By Florence Afriyie Mensah, GNA

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