Contribution to the Pan African Bean Research Alliance PABRA

The greatest global challenge today is how to ensure food and nutrition security of a rapidly growing human population, considering climate change and without adversely affecting the natural base upon which the production is dependent. Beans, as the most important consumed grain legume, are a very good source of vitamins, minerals, and plant derived micronutrients. Significant yield increase of more than 60% are possible, following access to and use of improved varieties coupled with integrated crop management practices.

Paese/Regione Tema Periodo Budget
Agricoltura e sicurezza alimentare
Impiego & sviluppo economico
Sviluppo agricolo
Ricerca agricola
Sviluppo della catena di valore agricola (til 2016)
Supporto commerciale & inclusione economica
01.01.2015 - 31.12.2022
CHF  11’600’000

Despite a remarkable economic and agricultural recovery in the past decade, increased domestic production and import efforts there are 239 million undernourished people living in Africa; during the last 20 years the number of undernourished has increased by more than 35%, nevertheless the proportion of undernourishment declined from over 32 percent to less than 25 percent. Agricultural production must more than double to sustain the projected population. Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change; crop production across the region depends over­whelmingly on rainfall.

Common bean is a strategic crop for meeting the world’s food and nutrition security as well as economic empowerment. It is a fast growing crop enabling multiple harvest in a calendar year. Climbing beans are able to yield 2-3 times more than the commonly grown bush bean varieties. Despite great achievements in the region a huge gap between the potential and the actual yield remains.


The overall goal is to enhance food security, income and health of resource-poor farmers and urban poor in sub-Saharan Africa through research and development of the bean sub-sector. In Burundi and Zimbabwe, due to political and economic instabilities, PABRA interventions will demonstrate significant impacts on the livelihood of the people through the transformation of the bean sub-sector, e.g. through the increase in yield, facilitated seed production and the release of varieties rich on micronutrients. On the whole PABRA expects to deliver products and services that will have positive impacts on the livelihood of 15 million farming households.

Gruppi target

The principal targets and primary beneficiaries will include women, children, people living with HIV/AIDS, rural poor, urban and peri-urban producers and consumer as well as national bean research systems. PABRA will offer products and services that have positive impacts on the livelihood of 15 million rural households.

Effetti a medio termine
  1. Increased and gender equitable access to high yielding bean varieties and productive integrated crop management technologies and related infor­mation
  2. Increased access to micronutrient rich bean products among the vulnerable groups in a gender equitable manner
  3. Increased access to profitable local and national markets in a gender equitable manner
  4. Increased access to skills, information and knowledge providing enabling environment for bean research and development

Risultati principali attesi:  

  • Competitive high yielding and stress tolerant varieties are developed and options for in­creased productivity and resilience are identi­fied and promoted
  • Micronutrient rich varieties with superior agronomic traits are developed
  • Commercial and nutritious bean-based products are promoted
  • Women’s participation in research and decision making-bodies of PABRA is increased.

Risultati fasi precedenti:  

More than 3.3 mio farmers (57% women) have had access to integrated crop management. 61 multiple stress tolerant and farmer accepted bean varieties have been released, of which 19 adress niche market. More than 5 mio farmers had access to quality seed of improved beans through different strategies as the pluralistic seed multiplication approach and the small pack approach. Through the newly introduced bean platform nearly one mio farmers are linked with bean markets.

Direzione/Ufficio responsabile DSC
Credito Cooperazione allo sviluppo
Partner del progetto Partner contrattuale
Instituzione universitaria e di ricerca straniera
  • Gruppo consultivo per la ricerca agricola internazionale

Altri partner

Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development DFATD, AGRA, National Governments (in kind) and others

Coordinamento con altri progetti e attori

The partnership approach harmonizes the objectives and priorities of different players allowing agreement on the different roles and responsibilities and thus capitalizing on synergies and complementarities. Synergies with SDC projects in Zimbabwe and Burundi are planned.

Budget Fase in corso Budget Svizzera CHF    11’600’000 Budget svizzero attualmente già speso CHF    11’456’349
Fasi del progetto Fase 13 01.01.2015 - 31.12.2022   (Fase in corso) Fase 12 01.01.2012 - 31.12.2014   (Completed)