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Breeding for bean anthracnose resistance: Matching breeding interventions with people’s livelihoods through participatory variety selection

ST Nkalubo
A Namayanja
AM Ugen
P Paparu
M Otim
P Asete


The common dry bean is the main source of protein, food and income for the majority of rural smallholder farmers in Uganda especially the women and children, and any constraints hindering its production  directly affects these vulnerable groups. Despite its importance, there has been an unmerited decline in bean production over the last few decades as a result of bean anthracnose disease. Breeding for genetic resistance to bean anthracnose and the use of participatory variety selection which aims primarily at accelerating the transfer of new lines to farmers’ fields, are the most practical and economical options for controlling anthracnose and popularising the new varieties to smallholders farmers.The objectives of this study were to introgress anthracnose resistance into existing susceptible market class varieties,  generate segregating populations, make selections and conduct farmer participatory evaluation trials to  identify new bean lines having characteristics that are preferred by both farmers and the market for  release as new varieties.A total of 365 new bean lines were generated and 54 of these were introduced to  10 farming communities in four different ecological zones for evaluation using the participatory variety  selection approach. Farmers were able to select eight promising lines, which were earmarked for new  variety release. Out of the eight lines, two have already been released.It can thus be concluded that the participatory variety selection acts as an entry point into the farming communities where new varieties are introduced to farmers. Furthermore, participatory variety selection is reliant on farmer preferences and rural livelihood dynamics.

Key words: Bean anthracnose, bean lines, breeding, farmers, livelihoods, participatory variety selection,varieties

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2410-6909
print ISSN: 1026-0919