Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Joseph Mwanamvekha has bemoaned the low consumption of beans and its products which remains at six kilogrammes (kg) per year per person against the recommended 15kg per year per person.
The minister said this during the launch of the Technology for African Agriculture Transformation (TAAT)-Bean compact on Monday in Lilongwe, adding such poor consumption habits contribute to malnutrition and stunting in the country.
Said Mwanamvekha: “With the challenge in accessing proteins and other nutrients from meat and meat products, legumes such as beans are the easiest source of such nutrients which can reduce malnutrition and stunting, but consumption levels are too low.”
He also said bean yield in Malawi is estimated at 600kg per hectare, representing 25 percent of the potential yield of the improved varieties whose seed production is below six percent of the national annual requirement.
On his part, Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance director Robin Buruchara said HiB are more desirable in African countries such as Malawi because the variety contains nutrients needed for good health.
He said apart from health benefits, the varieties are high-yielding and have a huge demand on the international market.