The Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA-Africa) is a great example of a successful CGIAR-NARES partnership model that has resulted in great impacts on the livelihoods of millions of people in Africa. PABRA focuses on common beans and is coordinated by the Alliance of Bioversity International and International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (The Alliance); one of the CGIAR centers working with more than 540 partners along the bean value chain across Africa.  These partners are organizations that support research for the development of national bean programs of 31 African countries and enable PABRA to achieve wide impacts.  PABRA’s strengths lie in the strategic public-private partnerships that help to meet institutional, infrastructural, and technological changes needed to boost the bean sub-sector. Through a demand-driven breeding approach, the PABRA has developed and promoted over 700 marketable, nutritious, and resilient & high-yielding bean varieties across the 31-member countries over a period of 25 years. Promising breeding lines or new bean varieties developed in one country are shared with other countries where they may be suitable. In this way, countries that lack the capacity to undertake their own breeding programmes still benefit from the improved germplasm.

In addition to developing and releasing new farmer and consumer demanded varieties, PABRA aims to ensure that appropriate seed is available to farmers through demand-led seed systems. More than 35 million farmers (58.1% women) have accessed improved seed from the seed system actors. Average bean yields have increased by 36% where new varieties have been adopted by farmers e.g., In Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, an additional USD 500-800 per hectare per season in rain-fed conditions have been generated. This increased production has translated into more bean business opportunities for over 250 small and medium enterprises commercializing various bean-based products and providing market opportunities to four million farmers (51% among them women). The PABRA’s successes and lessons on food systems, demand-led breeding, responsive seed systems, and multi-disciplinary approaches are expanding to other legume crops among them chickpeas, pigeon pea, groundnut, and soybean.

PABRA awarded by the Al Sumait Prize for her contribution to food security in Africa in 2019.  PABRA’s contribution in ensuring food, nutrition, and income security among farming households in Africa was showcased as one of the ‘Golden egg’ initiatives as a transformative innovation in the CGIAR.

PABRA will showcase its mode-operandi at the Africa Plant Breeders Association Conference to promote the adoption of this successful partnership model across African crops.

The objective of the side workshop

Showcase an efficient CGIAR-NARES partnership model that promotes capacity development and links research and variety development to high variety adoption and utilization and inclusive impacts at scale

The lineup of presentations will include:

Chairperson/Moderator: Robin Buruchara

Introduction and setting the scene (45 minutes)

  1. Introduction and history of PABRA: PABRA perspectives, model, and bean corridor approach: Jean-Claude Rubyogo (Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)
  2. Keynote Address: Dr. Robert Bertram; Chief Scientist in USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security
  3. Accelerating breeding in common bean: Dr. Clare Mukankusi (Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)
  4. Past, Current and Future Bean Research and development partnership in Rwanda – Patrick Karangwa (PhD) – Director-General Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resource Board
  5. Speech from the Minister of Agriculture for Rwanda: Hon. Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana

Panel session: From variety development to utilization

Moderator:  Edouard Rurangwa

Two questions to each panelist; 5 minutes each and 10 minutes Q&A: 35 minutes in total

  1. Foresight and market segmentation for common bean – Enid Katungi (Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)
  2. Partnerships in common bean breeding – Shylet Tsekenedza (CBI-DRSS-Zimbabwe)
  3. Common bean Seed systems- Nepomuscene Ntukamazina (ISABU-Burundi)
  4. Common bean aggregation and trade – Elvis Rwema (BRG-Rwanda)
  5. Gender, diversity, and inclusion in common bean breeding and utilization of products – Eileen Nchanji (Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)

Perspective on the PABRA Model 

Moderator: Jean Claude Rubyogo

  1. Perspectives from the Genetic Innovation Initiative of the One CGIAR – Global Director: Genetic Innovation (Barbra Wells)
  2. Perspectives of Development partners on the PABRA model:
  • Jeff Ehlers (BMGF)
  • Eric Huttner (ACIAR)
  • Hanif Pabani (GAC)
  • Michel Evequoz (SDC)

Conclusion and Closing remarks

  • Joe Tohme (Research Director: Crop for Nutrition and Health- The Alliance)
  • Juan Lucas (Director General & Global Director for Partnerships and Advocacy, CGIAR)

More information on how to register for the conference:

This event blog/campaign is originally published on PABRA Africa Blogs

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