‘Super beans’ raise hopes: Africa

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December 3, As hunger and climate change threaten parts of Africa, two bean “gene banks” on the continent are pursuing “super” beans that are bred to resist drought conditions.

One testing ground is northern Uganda, where the recent arrival of more than 1 million refugees from war-torn South Sudan is stretching the abilities of local farmers and the land itself.

The so-called “super bean,” a fast-maturing, high-yield variety, is being promoted by Uganda’s government and agriculture experts amid efforts to feed hunger-prone parts of Africa.

The International Center for Tropical Agriculture says the beans have been bred by conventional means to resist the drought conditions.

The group operates one of just two bean “gene banks” in Africa, which is expected to be hit hardest by climate change, said the U.N. Development Program.

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