Visit to the National Programs in Mozambique, Malawi, CIAT and Bunda College

Miklas and Porch visited the National Program in Mozambique and the National Program, Bunda College, CIAT, and Africa Rising project in Malawi and investigated possible collaborations to increase dry edible bean productivity in the region. In the Northern highlands of Mozambique, the FtF team will collaboratively develop highly productive dry beans with ashy stem blight and terminal drought resistance for selection by the National Program, and in Malawi highly productive dry beans with heat, drought and ashy stem blight resistance. Most dry beans in both countries are produced without inputs thus suffer from low soil fertility, drought, and disease. The ARS-FtF dry bean project is geared toward increasing dry bean productivity for low input agriculture systems in FtF countries.

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A large population of dry bean lines (Andean Diversity Panel) composed of large-seeded types that are preferred across Africa was planted in MZ and seed was provided to Bunda College in Malawi for planting next season. These trials will provide information on the major diseases and abiotic stresses present, and will allow for the study of the genetics of the major constraints in the region. A headquarters for operations in Malawi with a post-doc level coordinator of activities would facilitate the work of FtF ARS bean dry bean researchers in the region.