Canada and Australia plan to pump Kshs56 million to promote the supply and use of pre-cooked beans in Africa.
The initiative will improve food and nutrition security, income generation and environmental conservation. The precooked beans which take about 15 minutes to cook will reduce consumption of energy and firewood.
Speaking during the launch in Machakos, International Development Research Center (IDCR) country director Dr Kathryn Toure said the project, which is currently being done in Uganda and Kenya, will be rolled out across Africa once it succeeds.
“The goal of the study is to ensure that the 200,000 households that depend on beans as their daily meal, cut down on fuel consumption and time used to prepare the popular legume”, said Dr Toure
The 24-month project will help farmers in the two countries boost the production of pre-selected bean varieties, and leverage Public-Private Partnerships in the distribution of pre-cooked bean products through hotels, schools, hospitals and other retail outlets.
Karlo and IDRC scientists working in partnership with International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, Caritas Homa Bay and the Australian Center for International Agriculture Research have zeroed in on 11 bean varieties.
Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Australia’s Australian Centre of International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) are supporting the scale up of supply of precooked beans in Kenya and Uganda.