5 December 2012

Rwanda: Gatsibo Farmers Embrace Iron-Rich Beans

Gatsibo — As part of the ongoing agricultural transformation in the country, farmers in Rwimbogo sector of Gatsibo district have started growing iron-rich beans.

This was revealed yesterday, at a one-day campaign to promote iron-rich beans growing organised by Harvest, an international body that advocates for improved high breed seeds for more profits.

Iron-rich bean seeds were supplied to farmers by HarvestPlus in partnership with Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) and other partners.

According to the farmers, the improved bean varieties have increased production to meet the growing demand of food.

James Kareba, a resident of the sector said that most farmers were growing conventional traditional varieties of beans which are prone to climate change effects and diseases.

He noted that farmers were given several tons of iron-rich climbing and bush bean varieties.

"It has led to high yields. This has enabled us to meet the overwhelming demand. Beans form part of every day meal of most people...that we now eat iron rich beans daily makes a positive health impact in our lives," he said.

Lister Katsvairo, HarvestPlus Country Manager told farmers that the project would continue to support them.

He said that the high demand for food couldn't allow farmers to stick to the old traditional seeds which yielded little.

John Mushumba, Rwimbogo sector executive Secretary noted that growing of iron rich beans was timely.

"I think we are getting sustainable health solutions...we no longer need to be given iron tablets by health centres. It is a great achievement not only in terms of production, but also in reducing health issues like anemia," he said.

In Rwanda, anaemia, which is used as an indicator of iron deficiency, afflicts almost one out of five non-pregnant women and 40% of children under-five in Rwanda.

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