Beans in the Farming System and Domestic Economy of Uganda: A Tale of Two Parishes

Type Working Paper - Occasional Publications Series
Title Beans in the Farming System and Domestic Economy of Uganda: A Tale of Two Parishes
Issue 28
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1999
The common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) plays a paramount role in human nutrition and
market economies throughout Eastern Africa. In this region, beans provide the second most
important source of protein after maize and the third most important source of calories after
maize and cassava (Pachico, 1993). But the predominance of local varieties1
susceptible to
numerous biotic and abiotic stresses contributes to significant economic losses. The response
to this situation by bean researchers has been commendable: between 1992 and 1996, 69
cultivars were released and disseminated in eight Eastern African countries (David, 1997).
While information is readily available on the performance advantages of introduced varieties,
documenting their impact at farm level presents a greater challenge.
Several factors account for the paucity of bean-related impact studies, including the expense
of ex-post impact assessment, limited and scattered seed dissemination, a shortage of social
scientists in national agricultural research systems (NARS) and the absence of baseline data
against which to assess change. The objectives of this paper are twofold:
1. to provide a detailed description of the bean producing environment in two Ugandan
parishes prior to the introduction of two cultivars released by the National Research
Organization (NARO), K132 and K1312; and
2. to highlight the types of data needed for measuring social impact, an under-researched area
in the wider field of impact assessment.

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