Mbegu Plus Project
The AgriFi Kenya Challenge Fund
“Mbegu” is Kiswahili for seed, and Kenya desperately needs more certified, high producing bean seed for palatable and popular dry bean varieties. Increased production of commercial or grain crops of beans will increase smallholder farmer incomes, address national food security issues both in terms of quantity and nutrition, and help promote soil conservation through a rotational, nitrogen fixing crop.
"Mbegu Plus” is an eighteen month project designed to include smallholder farmers in the bean value chain, from seed multiplication to the commercial bean grain farmer. With the assistance of the AgriFi Challenge Fund, Bubayi is contracting over 550 smallholder farmers in Transnzoia, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Bungoma, Bomet, Siaya, and Narok to multiply improved rosecoco bean seed varieties. The fund has supported the launch of a team of trained graduates who make up our intensive farm advisory service. This team guides the smallholder farmers through all stages of the crop. Outgrowers attend regular training sessions on relevant techniques for success in bean farming—from land preparation and climate-smart agriculture to avoiding post-harvest loss.
Bean Project Success
Our farmers grow in success each season. They have adopted our technical advice and are proud of the results. Bean fields which were traditionally sowed with broadcast home saved seed and left to survive are now carefully planted with correct spacing, fertilized according to the soil requirements, and regularly scouted for pests and diseases. Ratios of seed planted to harvest in farms under Mbegu Plus areas have increased tenfold.
As a result, neighbours notice the difference and the demand for certified seed increases among dry bean grain producers in the area. By the end of the project, Bubayi aims to contribute 600MT tonnes of additional seed to the bean seed market which has the potential to impact up to 60,000 farmers who purchase the seed and increase their yields by at least 30%.
This project is funded by the European Union