The national demand for beans is over 90 000 tonnes but production is currently hovering around 26 000 tonnes as farmers are producing an average of below a tonne per hectare.

Researchers contend yield of the legume crop can however increase to 3.5 tonnes per hectare.

Factors such as continued use of retained seed and climate change induced decline of summer rains has significantly affected bean production.

With the national demand pegged at over 90 000 tonnes against current production of 26 000 tonnes, the deficit has to be offset by imports says the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development responsible for cropping, Cde Davis Marapira.

Director of the Pan Africa Bean Research Alliance, Dr Robin Buruchara said they are keen to ensure that food security, nutrition, better livelihoods as well as income for farmers is achieved.

The Manunure Innovation Platform in Manicaland’s Mutasa district has seen 56 farmers utilising their half a hectare plots in a bid to promote bean production, its processing and marketing.

Gudyanga and Nyanyadzi in Chimanimani district are some of the innovation platforms that have been formed for outcomes that include breeding, integrated crop management, seed systems, information communication technologies and capacity building.