ISU-1 Tech Prog Rpt FY11 Iowa State University as lead university           

Enhancing Nutritional Value and Marketability of Beans through Research and Strengthening Key Value Chain Stakeholders in Uganda and Rwanda

U.S. PIs & Institutions and Collaborating Host Countries

Lead U.S.:
Robert E. Mazur
Department of Sociology, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

Suzanne Hendrich, ISU, U.S.
Helen Jensen, ISU, U.S.
Patricia Murphy, ISU, U.S.
Manju Reddy, ISU, U.S.
Mark Westgate, ISU, U.S.
Dorothy Nakimbugwe, Makerere, Uganda
Michael Ugen, National Crops Resources Research Institute
  (NaCRRI), Uganda
Henry Kizito Musoke, Volunteer Efforts for Development Concerns
  (VEDCO), Uganda
Hilda Vasanthakaalam, Kigali Institute of Science and Technology
  (KIST), Rwanda
Agnes Nakimuli, VEDCO, Uganda
Gabriel Elepu, Makerere, Uganda
Barnabas Kiiza, Makerere University, Uganda



  1. To improve harvested bean grain yield and quality (a) determine and prioritize key production constraints of five priority bean varieties, (b) improve quality and yields of beans through evaluation of better production practices, (c) evaluate and reduce post-harvest losses, and (d) strengthen farmers’ collective capabilities to learn and share innovative practices.
  2. To enhance nutritional value and appeal of beans through appropriate handling and processing, by (a) determine the influence of agronomic conditions on nutritional quality of beans, (b) determine the influence of processing on the nutritional and sensory quality of beans; and (c) develop processing techniques with improved efficiency, feasibility and consumer acceptance of bean-based food products.
  3. To identify solutions for constraints to increased marketing and consumption (a) identify solutions to production and marketing constraints faced by bean producers, (b) characterize consumer demand and preferences for beans and agro-processed products; and (c) increase awareness of benefits of consuming beans and value-added products and their access to new products.
  4. To increase the capacity, effectiveness, and sustainability of national agriculture research institutions that serve the bean sector in Uganda and Rwanda.

Problem Statement:

Agriculture in East Africa is characterized by women and men working in small scale, rainfed production, averaging 2 hectares per household (FAO 2006). Erratic bimodal rainfall patterns in recent years further challenge cropping results (ARB 2007). Farmers have very limited access to extension, training, inputs (quality seeds, fertilizers, etc.), improved agronomic practices, new technologies, and credit (KDA 2004; Nkonya et al. 2004). Producers are not well linked with profitable markets, especially to emerging sectors of domestic and regional markets (Ehui & Pender 2005). Private traders operate on a small scale with limited investment capability. Availability and use of processed products at present remain very modest. As a result of low production levels, hunger is widespread (WFP 2006) and the vast majority of the rural population lives in absolute poverty (KDA 2004).

Target Outputs:

  • Reports regarding recommended practices for crop production, and both pre- and post-harvest management procedures to improve quality of harvested beans and increase yields
  • Training manuals (for VEDCO‘s Rural Development Extensionists, farm group members, etc.)
  • Stronger links between farmers groups and associations to diverse types of buyers
  • Reports of superior processing methods to protect protein and carbohydrate digestibility
  • Recipes for widespread use, including for nutritionally vulnerable people
  • Protocol for bean flour processing promoted for commercialization
  • New value-added bean products designed for identified consumer markets