Hope For Bean Growers

Hope for bean growers

Release of 2 new green bean varieties developed locally by FAREI

FAREI Bean Selection 1 (FBS 1) and FAREI Bean Selection 2 (FBS 2) are 2 new green bean varieties developed by FAREI and recommended in 2018 to growers for commercial cultivation. Growers can henceforth have access to local varieties to boost up their productivity and consumers can benefit from a wider choice of fresh bean on the market.
Both varieties are the outcomes of a snap bean breeding programme initiated in 2005 by the Agronomy Division of FAREI whereby crosses were made between the parents Long Tom and Sodwana. This project was of high priority because firstly, the variety Long Tom which is highly appreciated by consumers and is well- adapted to the local conditions has shown a decline in yield and secondly, the local bean sector relies heavily on imported seeds which account for 80% of the local seed requirement

The aim of the local snap bean programme is to consolidate the food and nutrition security of protein – rich crops and the main objective is to develop and select superior bean genotypes with high and stable yields, adaptability to the local agro- climatic conditions and desirable pod characteristics.

After eight years of selection using the pedigree method followed by multi- locational yield evaluation trials on both research stations and under farmers’ conditions, 3 advanced breeding lines were found promising in terms of plant vigour, pod yield, number of pods/plant and pod quality. The first 2 lines; FBS 1 and FBS 2 were released during a Launching ceremony cum Field Day organized at Réduit Crop Research Station on 23 August 2018.

Outstanding characteristics of FBS 1 and FBS 2

FBS 1 is a bush type variety with high yield ranging from 15 -18 t/ha. The pods are flat and straight but less fibrous that those of Long Tom making it suitable not only for the fresh market but also for transformation. It has an upright plant canopy with large leaves making it less susceptible to lodging even after several harvests. FBS 1 is a good alternative to Long Tom.

FBS 2 is also a bush type variety with yield ranging from 13 -15 t/ha. In contrast to FBS 1, the pods are round, fleshy and stringless making it suitable for cooking and salad. It has therefore a good potential for transformation such as frozen and canned beans. Moreover, once mature, the pods are slow in seed development such that harvesting can be done after 3-5 days instead of 2-3 days.

FBS 2 is the first stringless variety that has been developed locally which makes it a good alternative to imported stringless varieties such as Vilbel and Star 2005.

The recommendation sheets of FBS 1 and FBS 2 are annexed.

Expected benefits of FBS 1 and FBS 2

(i) Broadening the range of varieties to growers and consumers: The release of FBS 1 and FBS 2 is going to broaden the range of fresh bean varieties on the market by making available to growers and consumers varieties with both flat and round stringless pods.
(ii) Import substitution: The local snap bean improvement programme is in line with government policy to reduce dependency on imported varieties and promote cultivation and production of locally developed varieties.
(iii) Sustainable production: FBS 1 and FBS 2 are well- adapted to the local agro-climatic conditions as potential varieties for SMART agriculture.

Seed availability
Seeds for commercial cultivation will be available at the Barkly Experimental Station, Agricultural Services as from July – August 2019. Small amount of seeds, for research purposes, can be obtained by contacting Mr Yusuf Cadersa, Research Scientist/Senior Research Scientist, Agronomy Division, FAREI.