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Participatory Selection of Beans in Rwanda: Results, methods and institutional issues

Louise Sperling, Urs Scheidegger

Report/paper, 17 pages

Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) are pivotal to the Rwandan household. Eaten twice daily, with pods, green seeds, leaves and grains all variously thrown into the cooking pot, beans provide 65% of the protein and 32% of the caloric intake (MINIPLAN, 1988). Beans are the “meat” and to some extent the “bread” of the Rwandan countryside. The centrality of beans for nutrition is matched by their key role in agriculture. Grown by 95% of farmers, in all major regions of the country (from 1000-2200 metres), beans are sown two, sometimes three seasons a year. A third remarkable aspect lies in their genetic diversity, with Rwanda providing one of the most varied and vibrant bean varietal pools in the world.

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