Bean Technology Dissemination Project

Strategic Investment in Rapid Technology Dissemination: Commercialization of Disease Resistant Bean Varieties in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Haiti

(Associate Award to the Legume Innovation Lab)



Project Overview

Short Project Title: Bean Technology Dissemination (BTD)

The Bean Technology Dissemination project (BTD) addresses the shortage of high-quality bean seed available to resource-poor farmers in Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The objectives of the project are aligned with the goals of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future (FTF) Initiative in which involves a multi-agency response to increasing staple food prices and the persistent food insecurity by many developing countries. Specifically, the BTD project supports four central goals of FTF: (1) to increase agriculture productivity, profitability and income of farm families, (2) to disseminate outputs of agriculture research so as to reduce risk/vulnerability and to increase productivity gains of staple crops, (3) to increase market access in an improved policy environment with greater private sector investment, and (4) to increase nutritional interventions so as to reduce child mortality and improve nutritional outcomes.

Edible legumes (pulses) are critically important as a source of income and as a nutrient-dense staple food to address household food and nutritional security needs of poor small-holder farmers world-wide. The BTD project will make available a technology package consisting of improved bean varieties (developed through collaborative research by the Bean/Cowpea and Dry Grain Pulses CRSPs) and Rhizobium inoculants along with training on best production and seed conservation practices so as to sustainably increase bean productivity by small-holder resource-poor farmers in the region.

At the present time, MSU is pleased to report that the BTD project has been executed and activities initiated.  Fixed price contracts, including FY11 SOWs, budgets and “deliverables” for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, have been completed (with subcontracts signed and first installments paid)  or in the final stages for all the partner institutions. See attached compilation of FY11 Project Descriptions, SOWs and budgets for the BTD project. 

Project life

October 1,2010 – September 28, 2013

Outcome goals

  • Disseminate a technology package that includes quality seed of improved bean varieties and Rhizobium inoculants to 120,000 resource-poor farmers in food insecure areas of the four countries
  • Increase the availability of highly nutritious bean grain in domestic markets at affordable prices so as to improve the nutritional value of the diets of both rural and urban poor
  • Implement sustainable bean seed multiplication systems with local farmer/community involvement so as to ensure long-term availability of quality seed of improved varieties at affordable prices to resource-poor farmers beyond the termination of this three-year project

Target Outputs and Outcomes

Specific “outputs” and benchmarks for implementation of the proposed rapid bean seed dissemination project to be implemented in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Haiti with special attention given to disaggregation of beneficiaries according to gender.  These output/outcome indicators include the following:

Year One (FY 2011)

Annual Report FY2011

  • Production of 200 MT of quality ensured (certified) bean seed of improved small red and black varieties to be distributed to 10,000 farmers in Honduras and 10,000 farmers in Haiti.
  • Representatives (men and women) from participant farmer associations and technicians from national programs will be trained at EAP-Zamorano in the production of quality ensured bean seed, seed quality certification and seed conditioning and handling so as to not comprise seed germinability and vigor.
  • Selected technicians from the Bean Improvement Programs of the NARS in each country (min. of 8), including both women and men, will receive training on the culture, maintenance, distribution and use of Rhizobium inoculum for beans.

Years Two and Three (FY 2012 and 13)

Annual Report (FY 2012)

  • Production of 1,000 MT of quality ensured (certified) bean seed of improved small red and black varieties to be distributed to 30,000 farmers in Guatemala, 30,000 farmers in Nicaragua, 20,000 farmers in Honduras and an additional 20,000 farmers in Haiti. 
  • Rhizobia inoculums will be produced in each of the four countries and distributed with the improved bean seed to farmers
  • Training to continue on the production of quality-ensured bean seed, certification of seed quality, and seed conditioning and handling so as to not comprise seed germinability and vigor.
  • Training of farmers and NGO extension staff (including both women and men) on the use of compost and green manures to improve soil fertility plus on the construction and use of metal grain storage silos.

The intended “beneficiaries” of the proposed rapid bean seed technology dissemination project include:

  • Resource-poor small-scale farmers (including both men and women) in bean production areas with frequent incidences of food insecurity which rarely benefit from agricultural assistance programs by governments in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Haiti.
  • Farmer associations in target regions interested in producing seed of declared quality.
  • Rural and urban poor consumers of beans, including young children and women, who will receive nutritional and health benefits from purchasing affordable beans and serving them to their families.

The intended “outcomes” from the proposed rapid seed technology dissemination project in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Haiti include:

  • Increased productivity of approximately 25-30% in the target regions due to the use of improved small red and black bean varieties.
  • Increased bean yields of 5 – 10% attributable to the use of Rhizobium inoculums (biological nitrogen fixation) and organic fertilizers.
  • Improved household food security in poor rural communities due to increased utilization of productivity enhancing bean technologies.
  • A sustainable system for the production of both foundation and quality ensured (certified) seed in each of the countries.
  • Improved nutritional status of poor families (children, women and men) which consume dry beans on a regular basis (four times or more a week).

BTD Project Partners and Websites

Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Agrícolas (ICTA)

Dirección de Ciencia y Tecnología Agropecuaria (DICTA)
Escuela Agrícola Panamericana (EAP-Zamorano)

Instituto Nicaragüense de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA)

National Seed Service (NSS)
Inter-American Institute of Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA)