Farmers in Western Kenya can now harvest up to nine 90kg bags of beans per acre in two months after two agricultural research institutions released four new quick maturing varieties.
The varieties, Katumani Bean 9-Gacuma and Katumani X-69, KAT-B 1 Kathika and KAT X-56 mature in 60 to 65 days.
This means that if planted even during short rain seasons, they can mature quickly before the onset of dry spell. Common beans currently in the market take between three and four months to mature.
The joint collaboration study between Kenya Agricultural Research Organisation (KALRO) and Bioresources Innovation Network for Eastern Africa Development came up with the varieties.
Andrew Egala of Bioresources Innovation Network for Eastern Africa Development said the varieties have a higher germination percentage besides tolerance to common diseases and pest damage.
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Whilst some consumers experience constipation after a beans delicacy due to accumulation of gases during digestion, the expert said the new legumes do not cause that problem.
Because their bushes remain less than two feet, they can be intercropped. For agribusiness people, quick maturity means more planting seasons per year, therefore, for more profits.
Agripreneurs import beans from Uganda whenever there is shortage, leading to high prices and diminished profits.
The planting seeds are available at Kakamega KALRO centre.
PHOTO BY WORDPRESS.COM