Minister to launch new bean seed varieties

The minister for Agriculture, Dr Charles Tizeba. Photo | File

Dar es Salaam. The minister for Agriculture, Dr Charles Tizeba, today, Wednesday June 10, will launch the two types of beans, Selian 14 and 15 that are said to contain high quantities of iron and zinc, which makes them crucial to fight anaemia.

The new bean varieties are also expected to help the country in tackling hidden hunger and malnutrition among children under five years and expectant mothers.

The event, which will be held in Arusha at the Selian Agricultural Research Institute, will be attended by a number of stakeholders particularly research institutions working on the promotion of bio-fortification in the country.

“Among those expected to participate include members of Parliament from the Agriculture Committee, several local and international organisations, donors and farmers,” according to a statement released on Tuesday June 19.

In a statement, seed systems specialist at the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, Dr Jean-Claude Rubyogo, said the launch was part of a strategy of supplementing the government’s efforts in the fight against iron deficiency and hidden hunger in the country.

The release of the new bean varieties, according to Dr Rubyogo, was made possible through the support of the Building Nutritious Food Basket Project (BNFB).

“Without the project, we could only have done one trial in the northern zone, but you see, with this support, we ended up having 10 sites with several multi-locational trials spread across,” said the specialist.

The BNFB project under the International Potato Centre has been partnering with a number of institutions in Tanzania to reduce hidden hunger by catalyzing sustainable investment for the utilization of bio-fortified crops that include Vitamin A maize, Vitamin A sweet potato and iron rich beans.