Iron-rich beans for family farming in Latin America and the Caribbean
A regional initiative that, through the implementation of communication and knowledge management strategies, seeks to strengthen the value chain according to demand and increase the adoption rate of technologies with biofortified crops in LAC.
Context of the story
Family farming in LAC constitutes the basis of food, but despite the progress made, problems of malnutrition continue. In the context of the COVID pandemic and in the future, producers and consumers will need new skills to strengthen food security and the efficient operation of value chains.
In today’s world it is challenging to generate scientific and technical knowledge that promotes sustainable agriculture and food with nutritional quality, such as the high iron content in beans. Biofortified crops are an option to address nutritional deficiencies, therefore, this platform seeks to implement strategies that strengthen their value chain and expand the adoption of these technologies by farmers.
Technologies in agriculture for food and nutritional security
The implemented initiative
This initiative supported by FONTAGRO has three major challenges: i) identify the demand and potential market for iron-rich beans in each country. ii) Multiply, spread and scale seeds of iron-rich bean varieties released at the level of producers' farms. iii) generate knowledge management and technology transfer strategies for producers.
In order to improve the adoption rate of these new varieties in an appropriate and sustainable way in Central America, the Dominican Republic and Colombia, this projects expects to strengthen the value chain and the consumption of iron-rich beans, benefiting 1,200 producers and implementing strategies for knowledge management in 200 technicians and researchers, in 30 marketers and in consumers.
Sustainable production and consumption of iron rich beans for Central America, the Dominican Republic and Colombia
The technological solution
This initiative seeks to integrate agricultural and nutritional issues in order to close the communication and knowledge gap between producers, consumers and food environments. Among the main solutions are strategies aimed at strengthening the value chain, acceptance and technological adoption by producers, such as:
a) Baseline and final line available in the region with data from the main actors in the value chain for iron-rich beans in the intervention areas, their characteristics, limitations, market opportunities - commercialization and analysis of challenges.
b) A design protocol for the production of quality seed on demand-based producer farms.
c) A Strategic Plan with recommendations and successful experiences in the management of knowledge and communication in each country and at the regional level for stimulating the demand for iron-rich beans.
d) Availability of new varieties of iron-rich beans released for the Dominican Republic.
Biofortification is a sustainable strategy that improves nutritional quality and the bioavailability of certain micronutrients without modifying the population's eating habits.
The project proposes to have positive productive, economic, social and environmental impacts on family producers and other actors in the value chain in the region. Through the implementation of knowledge management strategies and the exchange of experiences between actors of the iron-rich bean chain, the aim is to promote an increase of at least 25% in the production of good quality seeds, reduce agrochemical use by at least 20% and utilize at least one agroecological technique for integrated crop management.
Stimulate demand through marketing strategies with gastronomic education and food and nutritional education regionally and by country.
At least 50% adoption of iron-rich bean varities by participating producers in Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua and Colombia and the release of at least one iron-rich bean variety in the Dominican Republic.