Bean production in Kenya's central and Eastern provinces: survey of the situation, analysis of problems, recomendations for extension and infrastructural support
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This is a report on a survey of bean production in Kenya's Central and Eastern Provinces,carried out in June and July, 1975 by staff members from the Institute for Development Studies and the Thika Grain Legume Research Project. The survey was based on eight districts where beans are widely grown, and 242 farmers were interviewed, 72 bean sellers in local markets and officers of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Maize and Produce Board. First the present situation is reviewed, including the seed types used, crop husbandry practises, yield levels, storage, marketing and pricing, and extension services for beans. Then the economics of bean production are discussed, as well as the basic constraints on the intensification and expansion of bean production, both in high-rainfall small-farm areas and in dryer areas where farms are larger and land is not such a limiting factor. Specific problems are discussed relating to seeds, land preparation, planting systems and plant density, the application of fertiliser and manure, weed control, pests and diseases, storage, and marketing and pricing. Finally an extension project is proposed and described in some detail which would promote the production of beans in Kenya. The infrastructural support which would be needed for expanded bean production is also described, particularly wider availability of inputs and a viable marketing and pricing system.