P-Efficient Legumes III

Lead Organization:

Instituto de Investigacao Agraria de Mocambique

Partner Organizations:

Pennsylvania State University

Community of Practice:

East & Southern Africa






Common bean is an important crop in Mozambique. The crop provides an important source of protein to rural households, many of whom also sell a proportion of their harvest to obtain income to pay for basic needs such as medicine and schooling. Beans help to maintain soil fertility by fixing atmospheric nitrogen, thereby enhancing overall system productivity. However, bean yields are generally low due to a range of factors which include limited access of farmers to improved varieties, nutrient deficient soils, and recurrent drought. Many of the soils in Mozambique have low levels of phosphorus. This is a constraint to increased production as few smallholder farmers are able to purchase phosphorus fertilizers. This third four-year phase will: Carry out further studies on root traits associated with efficient P-extraction in common bean and investigate possible synergistic effects between traits; and to explore further possible trade-offs between efficient P-extraction and tolerance to drought. Screen materials for P-efficiency, including new lines from the Andean and Mesoamerican gene pools. Ensure the release of new varieties from lines that are currently being assessed in national performance trials. Undertake breeding for new P-efficient genotypes using materials that have been developed in the previous phases of the project and new materials developed by CIAT. The approach involves on-station trials (using controlled irrigation at one location) and on-farm trials using participatory varietal selection. Continue the evaluation of P-efficient bean lines in relation to different agronomic interventions, including biological nitrogen fixation, mulching and intercropping.Assess gender impacts of the new P-efficient bean varieties; explore gender differences in access to seed and barriers to uptake; and document changes in women’s empowerment. Provide seed of new varieties to seed companies for wide dissemination. 

Grant Aims:

Conduct applied research in root physiology for identification, evaluation and validation of root traits associated with phosphorus efficiency in bean under low soil availabilityConduct applied research in plant breeding for development and selection of P-efficient bean materials of various market classesConduct applied research in agro-ecology for development of agro-ecologically sustainable farming systemsConduct applied research in socio-economics for assessing gender and intra-household impactsCapacity building through degree training of IIAM researcher(s) at Pennsylvania State University

Outputs and Outcomes:

New kinds of beans being developed by the Mozambique Institute of Agricultural Research (IIAM) are able to give better yields in soils low in available phosphorus. Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/qCdisovduqMReport available at: https://www.ccrp.org/sites/default/files/p-efficient_feature_sep2017.pdf