EAC & The Horn

Pan-African bean researcher PABRA wins $100,000 prize

For its role in revolutionizing agriculture and food security across Africa, the Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) has been awarded the prestigious Africa Food Prize for 2023.

The announcement was made during the 2023 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) held in Tanzania, with the prize recognizing PABRA’s role in the development of numerous bean varieties that have significantly improved farm productivity, nutrition, and profitability while meeting the ever-increasing consumer demand for this vital crop.

PABRA’s work in the field of bean research and development has led to the release of over 650 improved bean varieties, each endowed with diverse favorable characteristics.

These varieties have not only contributed to the livelihoods of more than 37 million smallholder farmers across Africa but have also enriched the diets of over 300 million people, enhancing nutrition, health, and food security across the continent.

Notably, beans, being a crop traditionally managed by women, have empowered more families to improve their dietary intake and generate crucial cash income, a transformative impact that aligns perfectly with the goals of the Africa Food Prize.

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Overcoming malnutrition

Former Tanzanian President and Africa Food Prize Chairperson, Jakaya Kikwete, commended PABRA for their dedication to bean research and development.

He acknowledged their remarkable contribution to overcoming malnutrition through the development of improved bean varieties and complementary technologies.

“PABRA’s work is commendable, and their impact on farm productivity, resilience, and competitiveness in Africa is significant,” Dr Kikwete noted.

Mr. Jean Claude Rubyogo, Global Bean Program Leader at the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT and PABRA Director, expressed gratitude for the award, emphasizing that it is a testament to the hard work, commitment, and collaboration of the entire PABRA team, their partners, funders, and the smallholder farmers they serve.

PABRA’s recognition with the Africa Food Prize highlights its pivotal role in ensuring a more food-secure and resilient future for the continent, reaffirming the transformative potential of agricultural research and innovation in addressing some of Africa’s most pressing challenges.

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